Feather loss/red around the vent, pics posted

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pit Bull Farm, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Pit Bull Farm

    Pit Bull Farm In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    Since I am new to chicken I do not know what is going on with my girls. A few started to lose feathers on near the vent and now it is beat red and it looks chapped. Then another chicken is losing feathers behind her wings and again it is red. I looked for any parasites and did not find anything. Any ideas?
    This is the red vent area
    Here is the feather loss around the wings, also you can see the feathers look scruffy, is that normal?
    A picture of part of the coop
  2. Pit Bull Farm

    Pit Bull Farm In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    Bumb bitty bump bump, any help will be apreciated We just cleaned out the coops today and put new straw in. Even if I do not see mite would it be a good idea to put seven dust down? Thanks
  3. Bump again.....someone has got to know. Sorry about your chickies!
    Good Luck!
  4. HenPen

    HenPen Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Do you have a roo?? If not then one of your girls is probably plucking....I had one of my girls start doing that after my roo died....I figured out which hen it was because she was the only one with most of her bum feathers.

    ETA: If all the girls are equaly bare then check them over real good for lice or mites.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  5. Pit Bull Farm

    Pit Bull Farm In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    ok don't laugh i do not know chicken terms....
    Roo = rooster? I have a young rooster but he is not with them yet. (oh boy that's on another thread I just posted [​IMG] ) Not all the girls are bare only 2 are bare around the vent area and the one with the feathers missing by the wing has nothing wrong with her butt. The other one has nothing wrong with her at all. So I am stumped to what is going on.....
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  6. LOL....Yep, Roo = Rooster!
    Maby they are ready for a Roo!
    I agree with HenPen. I have read a couple of posts on here about that.
    You might just have a few butt plucking chickens!
    Hey that sounds funny!
    Good Luck!
  7. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Another thing it could be is mice and or rats. Go out at well after dark and then turn the lights on and see how many scurry away.

    If you flip that big doghouse like structure on it's side and look under it you may find the missing feathers.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  8. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    I don't mean to doubt, because indeed I don't doubt that you looked very carefully. But the parasites that frequent that area of poultry are very very tiny, nearly microscopic. I'd look again very carefully, even up and down the shafts of the feathers.

    We'll need a little information - like what are your girls eating exactly (and how much of each food percentage wise), what are their droppings like (solid greenish brown with white on top, runnier but about the same, like chocolate pudding more than occassionally, orangey in color, etc, at all green and frothy or any bubbles in them?) Are you using any vitamins/electrolytes in the water, or nice clean plain water?

    Whenever I see reddened vents like this, I always suspect something like a yeast/bacteria imbalance. The first thing I would do is supportive: give them some probiotics in their food to start with. Some vitamin A/D/E also wouldn't hurt. You can get Vitamin E in a capsule an dmix with their food, or wheat germ oil - a capful per four cups of food mixed in well.

    If you'll answer these questions, we can help.
  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Check for lice/mites after dark with a flashlight. They and their eggs are tiny, at the base of the feathers or on the feather shafts.

    I would go ahead and treat for lice/mites with Sevin dust. Lice/mites are transferred from wild birds easily. Most likely you will always have a few around; it's a matter of controlling the numbers, not eradicating a pest once and for all.

    I doubt that rats are picking feathers, as they will chew on the animals (and humans, as well, for that matter.) But there are probably some around, unless you have a very good preventive program in place, like lots of barn cats that love to eat them.

    If you don't spend a lot of time with them, I would find some time to just watch their behavior for a while. If you have a feather picker, you will see the behavior, but not necessarily in a few minutes.

    I believe I would attack it with all 3 approaches, since there are most likely mice/rates and lice/mites around, anyway, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn you have one or two that are picking feathers, as well.

    Probiotics are always good, even with a healthy flock, and especially with any health problem going on.

    If you have a feather picker, you will almost always find that only some chickens get picked. Has to do with pecking order.

    I see your run has no grass or weeds. If they are there at all times, you might give some clumps of dirt with grass/bugs for them
    to peck at, along with some other distractions like a hanging head of cabbage or some melon rinds. I believe I also see guineas there. I have never had any guineas. It is possible they are the ones doing the attacking. Your chickens look to me like they are buff orps, though I am no expert on this. If so, they are known to be prone to being victims of bullies.

    Low protein intake could also be a factor. It would help if we knew what they eat, and what their daily routine is like, including size of coop and run, and number of birds.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2009
  10. Pit Bull Farm

    Pit Bull Farm In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    Thank you guys for helping! Ok

    what are your girls eating exactly

    I am only feeding scratch because that was what i was told to feed by the guy I got them from. I am sure they need more so I do give them veggies but I would like to know what to feed them.

    what are their droppings like

    A few are like chocolate pudding but the rest are normal.
    I just give them fresh water daily and they keep it clean

    The first thing I would do is supportive: give them some probiotics in their food to start with.

    Yeah I read that on another post and had my husband go and buy everything I need so I will start all of them on it tomorrrow. I also saw the cabbage hanging off the ground and I did that today too. They are on dirt so I layed out fresh straw today but tomorrow I get seven dust. I do not think rodents are much of an issue as the cats keep them in check but I will look tomorrow.

    They sleep in that dog house that is in there so I will flip it and check for rodent dropping. The guineas and the chickes get along well and if anything the Buff Orpington's are the bossy ones. The guineas are free range for most of the day to keep the ticks down in the kennel (Dogs) area.

    Thanks I hope with helps with more suggestions.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009

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