Feather loss/red around the vent, pics posted

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

  1. I know others have said this but maybe they're bored. It looks like feather picking to me. They might start because of a need for protein but then they develop a habit and are bored so they pick. Part of my solution last year was to provide lots of bedding, straw mixed with shavings on their floor and throw grain into it. Gave them lots of exercise and the picking stopped. I've heard that straw bales can be infested with lice and so sometimes that is the culprit. Dusting works only if you do it on a regular basis, like every ten days... because the adults lay eggs (and I'm not even convinced of that because they all didn't lay their eggs the same day!) . The dust kills the adults but then the eggs hatch and it starts all over again. I provide DE mixed with shavings for my girls to dust themselves in and then on occasion I check them over and sometimes some will still have mites. I use Ivermectin pour-on for cattle. It kills the eggs too. It is produced for worming cattle, therefore, it is absorbed through their skin and it worms them at the same time that you're killing mites and/or lice and their eggs. As its made for cattle, you should be careful how much you get on their skin.

    I think there are different kinds of lice... some might be blood sucking and then you have the feather eating kind. I think these kind don't live on the bird but in the coop and they attack at night when the birds are on the roost and they chew their feathers. I had some that for the strangest reason only got on my birds that are black. They would chew the tails of my roosters off! You could clean your coop really well, getting the dust from the cracks and all and then spray the entire building with Sevin spray, being sure to spray the cracks where lice would hide.
  2. kagedgoddess

    kagedgoddess Songster

    May 11, 2009
    My hens no longer have this issue!! Yay. I did two things. First i seperated some into a different coop. That helped Temporarily. I realized the other day how the two ladies that had feather problems were better. I Switched Feeds. I used to feed complete feed from my local co-op and it was fine but when prices started climbing i switched to Layena, but after a few monthes the shells were soft, so i switched back partially to my co-op kind and added oyster shell Well now everyone is on Blue Seal Layer Pellets and feathers are in, they all Look great, my old ladies are laying again and basically seem better than ever.
    So maybe try switching feeds. I used my co-op brand layer for years with no problems. Im not sure what changed. And if youre on that Layena junk, switch. A complete feed should have enough calcium in it for healthy strong shells. I understand suplementing oyster shell for free rangers, but not otherwise. All my hens are penned up togeather againnow because of predaters.

    Good luck! Hope everyones hens get better!
  3. jayjay

    jayjay Chirping

    Mar 11, 2012
    Essex, UK
    Hi all,

    I posted a thread yesterday regarding one of my hens having this problem. A member gave me this link. I am in the UK and having exactly the same problem with one of my hens. Have looked for mites, wormed, clean water every day etc. I am worried but reading through this thread realise i am not alone. I will dust again today and see what happens. They are on layer pellets and oyster shell and have a little corn each day.

    Very interesting reading, many thanks.
  4. hermione123

    hermione123 Hatching

    Apr 4, 2012
    Hi, i dont have a problem with this at the moment but will certainly bear this in mind for the future, i also live in the uk nottinghamshire.
  5. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Happy to find this thread....Buff Orp. roo is the only one with this problem...looks like the pics of hen in the first entry of this thread....red around vent area and loss of feathers....all a moulting ... could sell feathers...no eggs (maybe 4 a day and some times one)... realize I have to give more protein because that is what helps them to get out of their moult quicker...even gave cat food for a time last year...helped.. never had the loss/red around vent,.... never... will try adding the protein first...hot in Louisiana...have around 60 adults and teen agers....all free range...
  6. Agafan

    Agafan In the Brooder

    Sep 14, 2012
    This is a pic of my hens vent area on her bottom. I just noticed it today. I haven't been out to the coop lately as its been rainy and I've been busy inside cooking for the holidays and taking care of company. But Hubby's been out there every day building another coop but he just did not notice it.[​IMG]
    Two of the 4 are like this. The back of her neck is missing feathers too ..they seem to be broken off with only short 1" quills sticking out of her neck where feathers used to be. I didn't snap a pic of her neck as my phone battery died just then. but it's terrible looking! Help! What it is and what do [​IMG]I do???
    They are laying like crazy though even in this freezing cold, 3 eggs a day from 4 hens! But we do leave a 60 w light bulb in a lantern on all night in the coop.
  7. Sharon Bee

    Sharon Bee Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    I too am suddenly having this problem. Their butts are bare and red. I am giving them a layer food and throwing a few handfuls of scratch to them every day. I put a splash of ACV in their water.
    They are 6 weeks old. Could it be a chemical in the food?
    They are laying nice eggs every day.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  8. Sharon Bee

    Sharon Bee Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    I just thought of something. They have two roosts with one offset behind and above the other. Maybe at night the butts that are facing some of the lower ones are being plucked?
  9. Sharon Bee

    Sharon Bee Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    Any comments?
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio

    The roost is a good place for chickens to pick feathers. It could be a lack of protein or a vitamin/mineral issue in the diet. I would get a bag of chick feed or flock raiser 20% and put some oyster shell on the side for calcium, then put poultry vitamins and electrolytes in the water 3 times a week for a few weeks and see if it helps. Boredom and a lack of room sometimes causes picking also.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: