Has anyone seen this? - Mottled/missing feathers on juvenile Buff Orpington

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by debrah, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. debrah

    debrah New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Hi,
    If anyone has insight into what we are seeing on our 8 month old Buff Orpington we would be so grateful! We're first time chicken owners so this is all totally new.

    As you can see in the photos feathers on her back and sides are mottled looking, giving an appearance almost like wool.

    On her rump a lot of feathers have fallen off and the skin looks red and irritated, possibly somewhat puffy as well.

    Overall she seems to be doing ok, but she did lay a very small egg yesterday which we've never seen.

    No evidence of mites and understand this is too young to be molting.

    Other five birds in the flock are fine.

    So appreciate any help/advice you can offer!

    Thanks,
    Debrah

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  2. cathy d

    cathy d Out Of The Brooder

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    Keep watching she may have a spider bite and maybe allergic to it
     
  3. debrah

    debrah New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Thanks for your reply! We're in Minnesota though and temps have been below zero lately so not many bugs around... :)
     
  4. debrah

    debrah New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2017
    There are also a couple dime-sized dark areas on her skin that kind of look and feel like a scab.

    Sorry, kinda gross but also a concern

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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome To BYC

    Do you have a rooster?

    The feathers on the back that you are seeing are down feathers. Possibly from rooster treading or other hen(s) plucking her feathers out. The same with the vent - looks like she is having feather picked/plucked out.

    How much coop and run space do you have (sq ft of each)?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?

    The swelling at the vent is a bit concerning. Apply some hemmoroid cream to that to see if the swelling will do down. For the scab, you can apply some triple antibiotic ointment, vetericyn or Blu-Kote to help promote healing.

    Have you observed any bullying/pecking within the flock?
     
  6. cathy d

    cathy d Out Of The Brooder

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    Is that a scab I see on her? That is worrisome to me because I had to put down my chicken just a month-and-a-half ago it's it's pretty cold here where I live. I just posted a comment on another lady's post about her chicken what happened to my chicken was that she was a poopy chicken since she was a week old. she was a year old maybe a little more than a year when when this took place. I had to keept taking the poop from her lower feathers. it would always stick to the feathers right close to her vent. what happened was even though it was so cold, somehow a fly laid eggs on the poop and they hatched I normally clean her up often but I was sick for a couple weeks and I was just putting it off till I felt better and I noticed that she wasn't feeling good she wasn't interested in the treats and she was staying off by herself in the sun next to the house. I was concerned so I decided to get her and check her out and clean up the poop and that's when I saw a hole that Like a scabby dark color and it looked kind of like that scab that your chicken has. when I began washing the scabby hole I realized that she was full of maggots all the way up into her chest and her body organs were already shutting down I don't know how fast something like this happens but it was horrible and I love my little cheeky
     
  7. debrah

    debrah New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Wyorp, thanks so much for the insights. It makes perfect sense now. We have 16 sf of space in the coop and 90 sf of space in the run. 6 birds. They spend almost all of their waking time in the run, even when its below zero here in Minnesota. Do you think space may be contributing to the pecking issue?

    I'm probably stating the obvious, but it seems we should keep our buff quarantined until the feathers grow back?

    Will definitely take you up on your advice about the scab and skin treatment.

    Thank you so much!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Photos of your coop/run will be helpful.

    The coop is a little small for 6 birds - especially if they are large fowl like orpingtons, but try to do the best you can. If possible start planning on adding/providing more coop space when $$ and time allows[​IMG]

    Your run space is pretty good. If you haven't done so, add some perches in the run - for some of my outside perches I just cut Poplar saplings, stripped the bark, smoothed off any rough areas and secured them in the corners of the run. Perches are great for the girls to sit on when preening and allows them to get away from each other.

    Give them some things to do - hang a cabbage, kale, apple, etc., in the run - they can pick at this instead of each other. I also try to add some pine needles/leaves to the run - dump them in a pile so they have something to dig through. Google "boredom busters" for chicken or search here on BYC - some folks are creative. Busy chickens can pick less.

    Observe your flock - I suspect she is most likely getting plucked during roosting time. I don't know how your coop is set-up, but adding another roosting bar may be helpful. Roosting time can be drama time - this is when plucking can occur - since space is fairly tight, she may not have room enough to get away from the aggressor(s).

    Watch to see if you can catch the feather plucker(s) in action and see if they are eating the feathers. If they are, then you may want to increase protein intake. Give some chopped egg or tuna and add some poultry vitamins to their water once a week.

    She may not grow back feathers until she goes through her annual/adult molt. (At approx 16-18months old). So she may look this way for a while. My main concern would be to see if the swelling goes down and treat the scab to make sure it doesn't get infected. You don't want to keep her isolated any longer than you have to, re-integration will be harder. Cover the red areas with some Blu-Kote to hide the redness - and let her join the others (with you watching) during the day to see how they interact.

    Just my thoughts - keep us posted.
     
  9. debrah

    debrah New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Again, Wyorp, thanks so much for your suggestions. They really help. We will get an additional perch in the coop. As you can see in the photo there's not a lot of additional space but I think another short perch can be squeezed in. Will do the same in the run.

    We've heard of keeping treats/items of interest in the coop during the winter to alleviate boredom. Guess we had avoided doing all the time but guess that pertains mostly to treats. They really loved it when we hung lettuce, will pour it on! Also going to dump a load of last falls leaves into the run!

    Here's photos of the coop/run if you have any other comments.

    THANKS!!!

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  10. debrah

    debrah New Egg

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Also btw have been applying Calendula lotion to buff's hind end and will monitor. Trying to get her back with the others ASAP.
     

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