Is this a disease/parasite?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by captainmorgan85, May 8, 2017.

  1. captainmorgan85

    captainmorgan85 New Egg

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    May 8, 2017
    North Carolina
    I've got a flock of 10 juvenile Black Austra's in a mobile enclosure until they're big enough to deal with the barn cat. I just noticed one of them has something crazy going on with the feathers on her breast, and I thought it looked like damage from some kind of parasite. Can anyone tell me what this is and if/how I need to treat it? I've looked a couple of times since Saturday when I took the photo and I don't see any of this on the other girls.

    I uploaded in the highest quality allowed, but the original image is a higher resolution. If anyone needs that, let me know and I can make it available as a download link.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you examined it to make sure it's not mud?
     
  3. captainmorgan85

    captainmorgan85 New Egg

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    May 8, 2017
    North Carolina
    Definitely not mud; we've got nothing but red carolina clay here. Also, she let me get quite close with me on the other side of the wire and it didn't appear to be something matted in the feathers. I'm a bit new, though, so I wasn't sure. Catching her to be able to feel the feathers would be a real challenge, since they don't let me get close without a barrier.
     
  4. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd try to catch her to get a better look at it. I can usually grab my less friendly birds when they're in their coop
     
  5. captainmorgan85

    captainmorgan85 New Egg

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    May 8, 2017
    North Carolina
    They don't have a coop yet (not finished). They're in this. That's gonna be hard.

    [​IMG]


    If it's not obviously a parasite I might just monitor her for a week or so and see what happens.
     
  6. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    At night when they're asleep it will be much easier to get hold of her and have a look. Even very flighty birds tend to be more docile and less difficult to handle when they are taken from the roost. (Although it does pose the problem that you are going to need an extra pair of hands to hold the torch so that you can see what is going on!)

    It might also be a good idea to have a pair of scissors ready to snip a bit of the damaged feather off so that you can examine it in more detail or take it to the vet if you are not certain.
     
  7. captainmorgan85

    captainmorgan85 New Egg

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    May 8, 2017
    North Carolina
    Thanks, I may try that. I built roost bars in there (nice, wide, 2x4's per suggestions on the forum) but they tend to sleep in a pile against the back door of the enclosure directly on the ground. I think maybe if my wife helps me we might be able to nab her if we move quickly.
     
  8. captainmorgan85

    captainmorgan85 New Egg

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    May 8, 2017
    North Carolina
    Oh, man. I got that sample but it was HARD. I couldn't find the right one in the pile until they were all awake and scared. We finally got her but I think they aren't speaking to me right now. ;)

    It does appear to be something matted in the feathers. It's sort of fibrous when dry, but seemed to wash off the feather fairly easily. I wonder if it's food that got wet then she got it on her? Should I still be worried?
     
  9. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Only if it's causing obvious problems
     
  10. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France

    Well done for getting the sample. Don't worry that you upset them. They will forget everything the next time you go out with a handful of sunflower seeds / tinned corn / mealworms or whatever their favourite treat is! [​IMG]
    I agree that unless it seems to be worrying your bird I would leave it alone. It could be food, poop or anything else she has come into contact with. She will probably preen it off or rub it off with dust bathing over the next couple of weeks.
    Good luck with your flock - enjoy them!
     

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