Is this molting? Or is she sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ErinsFlock, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. ErinsFlock

    ErinsFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry if this seems like a dumb question. We just got our 4 hens in May so we are new to chicken keeping. All of the hens were newly laying when I bought them and I noticed the black Australorp had poultry lice after getting them. She had lost some feathers in the vent area due to the lice and her picking at them. After multiple treatments we finally took care of the lice and somehow none of the others got them. Anyways she has been losing feathers like crazy and just hasn't been herself. Can someone please tell me what's going on?[​IMG]:/
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    That's not normal moulting. Could be a combination of picking at lice, and the treatments, or just the treatments. What did you treat her with?

    Best wishes.
     
  3. ErinsFlock

    ErinsFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    we started with the manna pro poultry protector, she had 2 treatments of that but it didn't seem to help at all. We then used 2 treatments of prozap garden and poultry dust, that worked great.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Alright, can you clarify if the chook is damp or wet in that photo?

    Also, over what time period did you do these treatments? Was it according to the label instructions?

    (If you've gone a bit overboard or accidentally done it too often, don't feel bad, everyone has made or will make mistakes which can harm or kill their poultry... Not something to beat yourself up about. Occupational hazard. I've made mistakes of my own, everyone here has. Often a common mistake for newbies is overusing products such as lice or wormer treatments, not knowing the overuse can kill).

    Just off the top of my head I'm thinking perhaps the two treatments interacted badly and have destroyed the feathers, if they're not damp or wet in that photo, and maybe even then... Since their structure is abnormal, it's not just like soaked feathers look.

    Obviously neither product is supposed to do that, and generally they're supposed to be low interactivity, but there's a chance something has reacted or combined into a chemical that wasn't stable or safe. I would not eat any eggs she lays for at least 3 months personally, in fact some common and labeled 'safe' lice and worm treatments contain ingredients which render the animal banned for consumption permanently and can render the eggs 'throwaway' grade for 6+ months. (The fine print, which too many folks don't read.) Some are cumulative and don't leave the system.

    On that note, what's the chances she had already been treated before you got her? The lice could still be alive when you got her even if that were the case, it could be a second generation hatching, many treatments don't work 100% the first time.

    I also wouldn't breed her for at least 6 months, possibly a year, if you were thinking about doing so, until you know what's done this. Chemicals are probably the likeliest bet, whether from the treatments or something else, and genetic deformities are a common response to that damage.

    Anyway, hope she makes a full recovery. Her comb looks very pale. Extra nutrition would help her right now.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Ok, I've looked into the ingredients of both and don't think the Manna Pro is your issue. Don't think that would interact with the other one. The only other thing I can think of there is that permethrin based insecticides are known to be dangerous, so perhaps an overdose of that. Or, that combined with a chemical used on/in the hen which you were not told of before you got her.

    Many lice killers involving permethrin or its family include synergists which can be very dangerous not only to them but also to you. No pregnant women for example should spray them, it's known to cause fetal retardation. The permethrin itself is not the actual issue, there, it's the 'inactive ingredients'. Overdoses aren't exactly common or uncommon, they happen.

    Quote:
    HUMANS: Harmful if absorbed through the skin. Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid with eyes, skin or clothing. Wash hands before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco or using the toilet.
    ANIMALS: Sensitivities may occur after using ANY pesticide product for pets. If signs of sensitivity occur, bathe your pet with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water. If signs continue, consult a veterinarian immediately.

    If her feathers had this appearance before you got her, it means something else is up --- perhaps she has some defective genetics regarding her feathering, since an Australorp isn't supposed to be feathered like that, but if the feathers became like that after the treatments, best bet is that she's had a reaction I guess.

    Hard to guesstimate, sorry.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How old are your hens exactly? If they are close to 18 months old, they may well be molting. Many of mine have started doing just that. They will usually start growning blueish pin feathers in where they have just shed feathers within a week or so. Many people use permethrin garden dust for treating lice and mites--it's probably one of the safest treaments. Sevin dust also works well.
     
  7. ErinsFlock

    ErinsFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    The treatments were 10 days apart with probably a gap of probably about 15 days between products, I hope that made sense. She was wet in that photo, I bathed her to remove poop from her backside, I bathed her in warm water with a drop of regular dawn soap. She was the only one who was treated with the prozap, the others showed no signs of lice so they just got the manna pro once. I bought them from a certified organic farm and I can guarantee they did not use any pesticides on her. I didn't handle them the first two weeks I had them. They were terrified and trying to get used to their new home. She was beautiful when I got them, I couldn't tell she had any issues until I noticed a few missing feathers around her vent and that was probably 4 weeks after they came here.

    I did notice her comb was pale so I have been giving a product called rooster booster, it's vitamins & electrolytes added to the water. Last night she had leftover salmon, kale & greens from the garden. Today she had scrambled eggs, mealworms and sunflower seeds along with her regular scratch & peck layer feed. She is acting like herself today!

    Oh by the way the last treatment of the prozap was about 2 weeks ago. Do you think the side effects would take this long to happen?

    I cannot thank you enough for all of your help and information!
     
  8. ErinsFlock

    ErinsFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    I am not exactly sure how old she is but somewhere between 12-18 months is what we are guessing. She does have some feathers coming back in on her backside area.
     
  9. ErinsFlock

    ErinsFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    We don't have a rooster so there is no chance of her breeding right now. She lays very distinct looking eggs so removing them from the eggs we eat will not be a problem.
     
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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