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lots of chicken dander

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sarah3, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    Does anyone know of a reason why chickens would have all-of-a-sudden have a dramatic increase in the amount of dander (white flakes) coming off them? (Yes, they are molting, but that has been for over a month, but just in the last week there has been a huge increase in the amount of dander coming off them.) I am wondering if there is some sort of mineral/vitamin deficiency that could cause the increase in dander.

    Some recent changes that could be contributing to the dander problem:
    1. In the last few weeks they have had to stop free-ranging. (With most of the weeds on our property having dried up/been consumed, they were deciding to hop the fence into my neighbors yard). So they have been confined to their 25 foot X 40 foot large enclosure recently and are therefore having less access to growing plants and insects.
    2. It is just getting to the point where we have our first frost, so it is colder than a few weeks ago.

    I can't think of anything else out of the ordinary recently. Their feed is a home-mixed assortment of whole grains, plus lots of kitchen scraps from our home and a couple friends, but that has been their feed all along so there is nothing different there. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It is very likely the sheathing of the pin feathers breaking off.
  3. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    I know there is supposed to be an increase in dander during molting. The part that confuses me is that in the last week, I have seen a significant increase in dander on EVERY chicken, including the ones who finished molting weeks ago. So I am wondering if there is perhaps a nutrient-issue going on.
  4. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Songster

    Aug 19, 2014
    Do you mean more dander in the pen area in general, or more of it visibly coming off them?
  5. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    More dander visibly coming off them. We do a lice treatment every two weeks (and have been ever since last Spring), and when we did the treatment this week I noticed lots of dander flakes on all of the chickens.

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