Hi all! New here and need a little help

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by biscuit&squirrel, May 1, 2018.

  1. biscuit&squirrel

    biscuit&squirrel In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2018
    Hi everyone. Really happy to finally be a member. Have been utilizing this site and all the great tips since my boyfriend and I bought a new home last fall and inherited a flock of 5 chickens. 1 Black Australorp, 1 Plymouth Barred Rock, 2 Sussex, all going on 3 years old. Also one bantam Plymouth Barred Rock they kept from their previous flock who is going on 6 years old. We live in the city so they are truly backyard chickens. We've had them since September and all seemed to be going pretty well until recently.
    We noticed the bantam had a poopy butt that was just getting worse. We gave her a bath, but she continues to have diarrhea and is losing feathers in the rump because of it. At the same time they have all started intensely shaking/twitching their heads very compulsively and continuously and picking at their bodies a bit more. Their combs & wattles have gotten pale and dry looking and they have a few black spots on them. After trolling the site and reading every related post to those symptoms I concluded it was probably mites or lice. We managed to catch and inspect the bantam again, nothing other than the poopy butt problem. Caught one of the Sussex and nothing. No mites, no bites, no eggs at the feather shafts and a really nice looking vent. Very moist and pale pink and no mess. I also believe the girls might be losing weight. I feel like their chests seem more protruded. They are eating well, and still laying. We get 3 eggs a day from 4 layers.
    Am I crazy? I believe in my gut something is wrong and going on here, but can't seem to put my finger on it. They just seem very uncomfortable with all of the head-shaking and I know pale combs are a bad sign. Could worms be the culprit? Is there a harm in de-worming when you don't know for sure there are worms?
    Our girls do not like to be handled and we are a bit out of our depth. Anyone have any ideas?
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    They might have ear mites. Or if they have red mites, you will not find them on the birds. Those mites infest the coop and come out at night to feed on the birds. Inspect the coop in the evening for red mites. You could tie a white cloth around the perch where it meets the wall, and inspect it in the morning to see if you find any mites in it.

    You can also take a poo sample from your flock to the vet's office for a fecal float test to check for worm load.

    What are you feeding? Protein content, mill date of feed? Free feeding?
  3. biscuit&squirrel

    biscuit&squirrel In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2018
    Thanks for responding. I didn't think about ear mites. I'll look into that.

    Free feeding, 16% pellets for layers, Nature Wise, forget exactly the name, but know it had added probiotics. Also feed fruits and veg every every other day, bit of yogurt lately too, trying to help the little one's digestion issues. And scratch now and again.

    I did try wiping the coop wall at night to see mites and got nothing on the towel. I'll try your suggestion though of tying something up on the perch.
  4. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    Joeschooks and KikisGirls like this.
  5. LittleBrownie

    LittleBrownie 4D Personality

    Sep 30, 2014

    It's nice to have you here!
  6. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Welcome! :yesss: We are glad you joined our flock!
    Jump right in and make yourself at home.
    What state are you in?
    I can send you the links o your state vet's office were you can send some poop to be checked for worms.

    This video will help you learn how to navigate this site:

    Coop Ideas:
    Chicken Coops

    BYC has an APP!
    Teila and Joeschooks like this.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Sounds like they are allergic to something in their new digs. What feed were they eating at their original home?
    Teila and Joeschooks like this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Have you checked your feed for expiration date? Check to see no mold or bugs in it.
    Teila and Joeschooks like this.
  9. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Some helpful comments/suggestions here. I’m sure you’ll find this site a very useful resource and I hope your girls get better soon.
    Teila likes this.
  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    G'Day 13.jpg

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    Including your general location on your profile will assist others. Location, climate, season etc can be important factors when members are responding to any questions you may have and vice versa.

    You might want to also Find Your State Thread and pop in and say hello.

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