Goslings developing bald patches on sides

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Strabonis, May 23, 2019.

  1. Strabonis

    Strabonis In the Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2018
    We have four embden goslings, about one month old, just starting to get real feathers on their shoulders, and the ledge where the wings rest.
    At night they are closed into their hutch, and during the day they are on grass. Night and day, they have access to grain and water.

    The last several days, they have started to develop bald patches on either side - right where the feathers are coming in where the wings rest. The skin looks irritated, and I can see stumps (some of them red) where feathers have been pulled out.

    We never see them pulling feathers, but it seems to get worse over night. What is going on? Are they likely pulling eachother's feathers or their own? What can we do about this?
     
  2. Strabonis

    Strabonis In the Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2018
    This is what the worst one looks like.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    That definitely looks like broken off feathers, possibly from some sort of injury. Is there anything in/around the coop that maybe they could be rubbing against or snagging on. You mentioned it seems to get worse overnight.
     
  4. Strabonis

    Strabonis In the Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2018
    The damage is on both sides, so I don't think it could be from rubbing while they sleep. Maybe they are scraping it on the door frame going in and out if they squeeze through side-by-side?
     
  5. Strabonis

    Strabonis In the Brooder

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    Nope, not from the door. One of them now has an open wound there after last night. I think they must be biting at it.
     
  6. bluemerle

    bluemerle Songster

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    Ouch. Would it be possible to vet-wrap them so they can't dig at the wound? It looks gnarly & I'd be concerned about a possible infection.
     
  7. The goose girl

    The goose girl Songster

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    Geese don't sleep at night like chickens do. They take more naps than during the day, but they're also awake a lot of the time. I'm thinking they get bored during the night and start chewing each other. How much room do they have at night? Is there any way you could give them some safe toys or blocks of grass turf to play with during the night? Mine have also liked plastic clogs and flip flops. Or maybe small branches from fruit trees - anything they can safely explore (and destroy!).
     
    bluemerle likes this.
  8. Strabonis

    Strabonis In the Brooder

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    Thank you Goose Girl, I didn't know that. Do they have better night vision than chickens then?

    It turns out they DIDN'T have overnight access to food & water, which is what they started off with (I'm not the one who puts them to bed or lets them out, so I didn't know this had changed). This damage only started showing up a few days ago, but it got bad very quickly.

    We tried bandaging them up today - but this caused them to brawl violently for some reason. We sprayed a little rubbing alcohol on the open wound, and that one has been separated over night so he can wear a bandage.

    The other three have:
    - been moved to a different hutch tonight
    - given different bedding
    - had the door left open to their enclosed run so they can access the grass (this isn't quite as predator proof, as something could dig under the sides, but it is only temporary while their permanent enclosure is being finished)

    All of them have food and water access tonight. We'll see if there is any more damage or not tomorrow.
     
    bluemerle likes this.
  9. bluemerle

    bluemerle Songster

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    How are they doing today?
     
  10. Strabonis

    Strabonis In the Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2018
    They are healing. :) We suspect it was the bedding causing the problem - as we had switched types (to a very fine straw) just when it started happening, and everything else had been the same care routine for a couple weeks.
     
    bluemerle likes this.

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