Feather shaft is black/blue and disintergrates.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barbara, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. barbara

    barbara Hatching

    May 7, 2007
    I have a chicken that's feathers on her tail, around her vent, and partially up her back are broken off near the skin, leaving part of the sheaf sticking out, which are black/blue in color and filled with a gold/clear looking slightly thick liquid. Some of the longer feathers are black/blue at the base of the sheaf and covered in a wax like substance that is very hard. I pulled some of these out, (they didn't bleed) which came out quite easily, and they had this golden colored fluid come out of the end of them and from where the feather was pulled from. I tried to scrape the waxy looking stuff off and the sheaf just disintegrated into a gooey mess. The larger tail feathers are extremely hard, with white concrete like substance up the sheaf and partially covering the feathers as well, which when I pull apart the white substance sort of turns quite powdery. Is there any one out there who might have any ideas please?
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Wow, I dont know, sounds like an infestation of some sort. I would take her out, and dust her really well. Is she eating/drinking fine? Acting "normal"?
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    If you have a photo it would be most helpful...you are probably seeing broken blood feathers... what is causing the damage may be lice/mites:
    All poultry lice have chewing mouthparts and feed on dry skin scales, scab tissue, and feather parts. They also feed on blood when the host bird’s skin or feather quills are punctured. Lice are commonly found on both the skin and feathers and can move from one bird to another when birds are kept in close contact. The louse’s eggs (nits) usually are attached to the feathers...."

    here are some articles about that and what you should due (and how to recognize them from the other feathers):
    (What is a blood Feather? > a nice little article on this)

    Bleeding from broken blood feathers
    Apply cornstarch or flour to feather shaft and observe. Tissue glue, if available, may be used instead. Take care to avoid getting on surrounding feathers. If this fails to stop bleeding, take bird to veterinarian. Pulling blood feathers should not be done routinely because of risk of damage and prolonged bleeding from follicle, but may be required if feather is cracked or bent badly (bird may chew feather and start bleeding again.)

    If veterinary care is not readily available and bleeding is not controlled:
    Grasp the bleeding feather shaft firmly at base of feather close to the skin with hemostat or needle-nose pliers, holding wing firmly and pull shaft out quickly. If follicle bleeds apply pressure for 1 minute with thumb and index finger. If pressure fails to control bleeding from the follicle, apply cornstarch or flour. Gelfoam (obtain from avian vet) may be used instead of cornstarch or flour. In RARE situations, you may have to apply tissue glue over the Gelfoam to control the bleeding from a follicle. "
  4. barbara

    barbara Hatching

    May 7, 2007
    Sorry to get back to you all so late on your comments. Been very busy here in Oz. Anyway I ended up taking "Chickie" (one of two Rhode Island Reds) to the vet, and 10 days on Psittavet seems to have sorted her out. I gave both of them a good de-lousing also. What I forgot to mention in my posting was that my daughter brought her dog over one evening, and in the morning her very friendly to animals?, Rhodesian Ridge Back had half eaten one chook, and was happily plucking the tail feathers out of Chickie. Seems that may have set off an infection. All seems to be fine with new healthy feathers coming through now. Thanks for the input anyway. One other question though, after the Chooks have come off the Psittavet, could anyone tell me approximately how long before it is safe to eat the eggs? THE DOG IS PERMANENTLY BANNED BY THE WAY. Cheers all. Barbara
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2007

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