Feathers plucked;inflamed chest & bottom

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ckfard, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. ckfard

    ckfard Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 3, 2008
    Kirkwood, Missouri
    Two of my 11 B.O. hens have had their feathers in the vent area pulled clean out. B.O. #1 has only a small section below and around the vent pulled and the area is inflamed. Her chest or abdomen has an open area missing feathers and is very inflamed. B.O. #2 had all her feathers plucked out from the vent area and down around the abdomen and her breast bone. Her breast area is very inflamed and actually looks like it has an egg inside. She does have pin feathers in this area, but I also saw her preening herself last night, but didn't notice any feathers coming out. Her bottom is very inflamed and appears to be swollen and hard. They are both inside now in dog kennels. I have been putting Prep H. on #2 for three days now and on #1 for two since I noticed her feathers were missing in the vent area yesterday. #2 has had feathers pulled out before, but never to this extent. They are both eating and acting normal, but #2 lookes more ragged and is clearly uncomfortable. The Prep H. seems to be helping some, but not as much as I had hoped.

    Today I purchased Blu-Kote, Neosporin without pain reliever, water soluable vitamins & electrolytes, Bag Balm and Bitter Apple. I need to clean the hens before putting medication on them to remove the Prep H. and any poo or dirt. Any ideas on what I can bathe the dirty areas in? Hen #2 is very dirty around her leg area on the inside. Both girls have what appear to be small abrasions on their bottoms with small black marks. Hen #2 has had her bigger feathers broken off her bottom and they look black in some places under the skin. Would some one with more experience please tell me which products I should use and in what order. I went ahead and got them all in case I need them now or in the future. Both girls will be kept inside until they heal. When the weather permits I may take them to the pen area so they are outside, but cannot be picked on. Otherwise, I'll let them have time in the yard with me.

    The chicken yard has a lot of mudd in some areas, but most is covered with straw and leaves. Their coop is insulated and heated and the food and water are kept inside the coop. There is a light on a timer for early morning and late afternoon to early evening to encourage egg producation. The coop is lined with hay or straw and I usually clean it out every other week. I was unable to last week and it has been three weeks now. I continued to put hay on top every few days. Both these girls roost and do not sit in the hay unless they are laying eggs and there is always fresh hay there. Both go outside unless there is snow. None of the girls like snow and tend to stay inside when the weather is really bad. I open the door unless it is bitter cold and I leave the heat lamp on so the coop stays reasonably warm. Food and water always clean and plentiful. They eat layer pellets and I leave oyster shell for them inside the coop. They get fresh veggie and fruit treats when I have them and oats. The pen is sheltered on two sides and covered. They also have an area under the coop that is sheltered. I have heavy landscaping fabric surrounding three of the four fence sides to provide a wind screen.

    I fed both girls boiled eggs mixed with yogurt and oats along with their layer pellets. They both have healthy appetites. From what I have read, I'm guessing my girls were getting bored from being cooped up when it was cold and there was snow on the ground. I am changing out the inside light to a 25 watt from a 40 or 60. I bought hay and straw today for them to have in the pen and will change out the coop Tuesday as I ran out of daylight today. I picked up cracked corn, shelled sun flower seeds, scratch and a 25 lb. Purina Flock Block. If they were lacking in protein, they won't be now. I'll also be raking more leaves into the coop area that is muddy. Every day I throw pellets out and a few handfuls of hay for them to snack on. The Flock Block will be put in the coop to occupy them and I will throw the new goodies into the fresh hay/straw every day outside and inside around the food area.

    My hours have been crazy and I was leaving home at 6:30 a.m. to return around 3 p.m. for 15 minutes and back out the door until 7 p.m. I feel bad having not noticed how girl #2 was before it got to this point. My hours have changed and I'm home more in the late afternoon and evenings and can spend more time interacting with the girls. I'm thinking hen #1 will recover quickly, but #2 is going to be inside a while. Both are very sweet and easy to care for. If someone could answer my questions about what to use to clean them before putting the medication on and in what order and which product I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    The girls will be 2 in April.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Upping protein may help. If they have ascities or some other reproductive issue causing bloating, that is something totally different, but they probably just got bored and picked them all out. A laying hen should kind of have a "fat" butt, but not distended. Also check for lice and mites as they can cause feather picking.

    If there is no prolapse, I would stop the prepH, as it isn't really going to do anything. What it does is causes vasoconstriction which in a prolapse situation would allow the tissue to shrink due to water loss and go back in. Applied topically would just decrease circulation to the skin and potentialy dry it out.

    As for antibiotics, don't use the one containing pain relief. There is evidence that birds can react to the "-cain" medicine in it leading to cardiac arrest. Really, there is probably no infection, just irritated skin. Chicken skin exposed to the elements such as their faces or bare bums turn red "normally".

    Your birds may also be just moulting if they have pin feathers. Year 2 is often the first hard moult where they really can look naked.

    Good luck! The girls are probably just fine!

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