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Help Me Identify My Chickens!

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Amirah, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Amirah

    Amirah In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2014
    San Francisco, CA

    I need help ID'ing the chicken in the far right and the far left. The one on the far RIGHT: I got her when she just hatched. I had requested a Buff orpington but I am starting to feel like she isn't very buff.... or orpington-like. Do orpingtons have black markings on their feathers? She is a very sweet girl and I love her to bits. However she isn't the docile bird I was expecting. She actually picks on some of the other birds even though she is the youngest!

    The bird on the far LEFT I got from someone that had unintentionally neglected (they would go without water for days at a time on many occasions). I was unable to get any info on how old she is or her breed. She stopped laying because of the season but she did lay brown eggs. She is rather small and if you see on a later pic she has a patch of fur missing on her bum. She was like that when I first got her and I thought at first it was from the molt or because of picking on them from the stressful environment I rescued her from. However, its been well over 2 months and the feathers haven't grown back. Did anyone experience anything like this before? She has a healthy appetite and is an extremely sweet girl as well.


    Above: black markings on my "buff orpington"
    Below: patch of feathers missing. Can it mean something serious? will it ever grow back?

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014

  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    They both looked to be mix breeds to me....the white one probably a 2nd generation red sex link, or white leghorn/RIR type mix, and the brown possibly a New Hampshire production quality with something else or just a hatchery oops...definitely NOT a Buff Orpington, not even close.

    The whitish bird with the bare patch has significant feather loss and redness at her vent that indicates either a severe case of lice, which eat the feathers, or mites which eat the blood and irritate the skin causing feather picking at the vent, or possibly even a milder case of vent gleet...although in the photo it does not appear that there is gooey enough discharge which typically cakes the feathers below the vent with vent gleet (an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive/egg tract).

    I would look for signs of little yellow crawlies at her vent or crawling red/black bugs (harder to see, best at night as they like to feed at night). You should dust her very generously with permethrin poultry dust. This type of infestation you'll need to do the "shake and bake" type with her in a bag to thoroughly penetrate the feathers. You'll have to dust the rest of your birds as well as lice/mites are contagious. Clean and sprinkle all your nesting areas too. I like to spray my roosts and crevices with Orange Guard as it does a decent job of ridding creepy crawlies...lice and mites are susceptible to its oils.

    I would also put her on a probiotic such as a dollup of yogurt twice daily with Apple Cider Vinegar (raw, unfiltered, with mother) in the water. If her vent or droppings are very smelly, and you can see cheesy goopy discharge indicating yeast overgrowth, I would also spray with something like Tinactin (the athlete's foot spray) at the vent for a week to 10 days to help kill the yeast overgrowth.



    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED for important clarity
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. 11mini

    11mini Songster

    Aug 17, 2014
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Your BO looks like my Gold Comet
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The darker bird with the black collar and tail looks like a hatchery quality New Hampshire. The lighter bird looks like a barnyard mix. Her color, light shanks and loose, soft feathering could indicate some buff Orpington in the gene pool, but her small size would mean she's pretty mixed, enough no other breed jumps out right away.
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I agree.
  6. BubbaLikesIt

    BubbaLikesIt Songster

    Feb 9, 2013
    I agree. Nice little flock you got there.
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013

  8. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    I think your bird is molting. Most of my hens began to molt in that area. I checked them for lice, and they are clean. from the looks of her feathers, you have a late molter. [​IMG]
  9. Amirah

    Amirah In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    Thank you all for your wonderful advice! I have dusted my chickens with "Sevin dust powder" about 3-4 months ago.

    I recall when I first rescued the barnyard mix I had also checked and powdered her as a safety precaution but didn't see
    any mites or creepy crawlies on her. But maybe she does have something that comes out in the night time.

    I have a final exam today (anatomy!) and as soon as I get back from school I will powder all my chickens and check to
    see if I can see any bugs. I do check some of my chickens here and there and still didn't see any bugs ( check 4-5 spots
    every time I check per chicken including the vent area). Last random check was about a week ago and I saw nothing.

    *Does anyone know what factors increases parasite growth. Like hot weather or rainy weather? Months ago after couple
    weeks of hot dry weather that's when I noticed an explosion in the mite population and dusted my chickens.

    ** When a chicken molts, do the feathers usually grow back shortly after, or do they have a bald spot for months before
    the feathers grow back? I know every chicken is different but what is the general rule? I am sure by 2 months everything
    should be coming back to normal by now, right? I will dust her really well tonight!
  10. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Yes, it is true, It could still be just a molt...Let's hope so as It is the season for molting, and I really considered that...BUT...

    When I have a bird with lingering loss of feathers only at what in the photo appears to be around or below the vent, with redness, and if the bird has sustained significant stresses, I definitely check for pests or illness. I definitely would with this bird since isn't this the bird that was kept in very unclean and harsh conditions? And, after 2 months, it appears only this patch is what is effected, the molt after 2 months has not appeared (in the photo) to advance to other areas...I would then suspect pest/illness rather than simple molting.

    My birds typically molt around the tail feathers first and/or the base of the tail on the top, working its way up and around if a harder molt....but each bird can be somewhat unique in their molt pattern, and some birds molt harder and take longer than others leaving patches for an extended time. Here's a sight that shows "typical" molt patterns and one with the possible causes of feather loss and solutions:


    When you look closely at the patch, if it is a molt, you should be seeing pin feathers starting to regrow. You should see no other signs of creepy crawlies (dark specks which are dried blood trails from mites, or yellow creepy crawlies skittering away as you fluff the feathers above and below the vent....look at the others links I've provided for those too. You should not smell a cheesy or really off odor (taking in consideration it is a chicken's bum...but it should not smell strong...I don't notice a smell from my chickens at all when I examine their vent... only when they actually just pooed, and then from the poo itself.)

    If, let's hope, it is just lingering molt in this bird, you can support her system better to help with regrowth, especially if she is the one that was in the rescue situation. Giving extra protein and Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) can help provide the extra nutrition. I also like the Rooster Booster Multi Vitamin, or better the Multi Wormer as you then worm and boost nutrition during harder times of stress.

    This season I've used Nutrena's Feather Fixer to help my birds recover from a terrible lingering molt (began in early August!) I am skeptical with any commercial product with advertising, but the Nutrena Feather Fixer was getting good feedback from the community I live in, and it DOES seem to help birds regrow feathers during the molt. I have to say they appear to have recovered much faster this year as all of them are really coming into full and glossy feathers about 2 weeks after being on the feed. Nutrena's Feather Fixer also has some ingredient (not a chemical, not a drug according to the company) that is supposed to help discourage mites by creating a poo that is less pleasant for the mites....Nutrena is pretty tight lipped about what the ingredient is (I can't find it on any google search or company literature), but I suspicion it is some herb such as garlic or such that simply leaves an oily residue at the vent site...for me it was worth a try for feather regrowth and boost nutrition right in the feed...it also contains probiotics.

    Good luck figuring out whether this is a lingering molt with a rescue bird who needs more support to get over it, or if there are darker forces at work. Even if it is lice or mites, or a mild case of vent gleet, with proper treatment the bird should recover fully and soon have a nice fluffy bum again....even though it may take a little time.

    Lady of McCamley
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014

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