HELP! Can you diagnose this problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by blanche, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. blanche

    blanche Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2010
    eastern Pennsylvania
    One of our 2-year-old layers, Rosie, lost some tail feathers 4-5 months ago. Initially we thought she was molting so we weren't concerned. But now the skin where her tail feathers should be is very red, and there is a small growth. Any thoughts / suggestions would be greatly appreciated! [​IMG]
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    The small "growth" is her oil gland. Completely normal.
    Check her for lice/mites. There could be feather picking going on if not molt. Have you noticed feather picking or external parasites?
     
  3. blanche

    blanche Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2010
    eastern Pennsylvania
    dawg53 -- thanks for your response. oil gland sounds so much better than growth. [​IMG] No, haven't noticed parasites or feather-pulling. We have 4 others (5 until recently) and none of the others are experiencing anything similar to this.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    If there isnt a rooster involved overmating her, it could be a mini molt. My Red Star has lost her tail feathers only and it'll take time for her to regrow them. The redness in the pic, like you mentioned is concerning. Have you seen her feathers in the pen, coop or yard? I would suspect possible feather picking because of the redness, I dont think it's due to sunburn lol. Either way if it's feather picking OR molt, you can feed your chickens gamebird feed temporarily til her feathers regrow. Gamebird feed is higher in protein, about 22+% vs 16-18% layer feed. By feeding them the gamebird feed, it would most likely stop picking (if that's what it is) and help promote feather regrowth because feathers are made of protein.
     
  5. blanche

    blanche Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2010
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Nope, no rooster, so that's not it. We do see feathers occasionally -- but the chickens have been free-ranging a lot this summer so not sure we would see them all. Thanks for the tip re the feed -- may try that! Didn't realize it could be months until feathers grow back from a molt . . .
     

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