Mites? Or Pecking? (pictures)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zacandgina, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. zacandgina

    zacandgina New Egg

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Central Oregon
    Hi all,

    We're still new to this chicken thing, but recently we've noticed one of our hens was missing feathers towards her backside. Her skin is red and very dry looking. We've inspected thoroughly, cleaned out the coop, and I don't think we've seen any indication of mites or lice.

    Now we are noticing red bare spots on three of the hens, and feathers here and there in the coop and out in the yard. The gals are acting healthy, seem happy and still laying. Any thoughts on what this is and what we should do about it?[​IMG]

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  2. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2014
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    I would lean towards something other than pecking. Feather are yanked out when they get pecked and leave holes where the feather was attached. I have the same thing going on one with my BR's heads. I just noticed it yesterday. Can't seem to figure it out. Here is a picture of my Polish who was getting pecked. You can see the holes from where the feather was pecked out. The other photo is of my BR missing her head feathers.

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    Maybe just add some neosporin or Vaseline to the skin and see if it's just dry from the weather.
     
  3. zacandgina

    zacandgina New Egg

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Central Oregon
    It is plenty dry where we live, I guess Vaseline wouldn't hurt.

    Thanks for the input. Hope you figure out your issues with your gals!
     
  4. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2014
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    We are getting hit with 2-3 feet of snow tonight so they will be locked in for the next day or two. I am going to put some Vaseline on her head and also all their combs. I will follow your post to see what others have to say - good luck :) I really don't think it's pecking - pecking does a lot of damage to the skin and will make the area bloody and raw looking. Could they be molting?
     
  5. zacandgina

    zacandgina New Egg

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Central Oregon
    I wondered about that, but they're only about 10 or 11 months old-isn't that kind of young?
     
  6. rosinsk1772

    rosinsk1772 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2014
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    I'll be interested to hear the vasoline works. My BRs and cooper Marans have the same thing. I checked for mites/lice and there doesn't appear to be any. Most of the pecking that's occurred has been a bloody fight so this isn't pecking
     
  7. zacandgina

    zacandgina New Egg

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Central Oregon
    Yeah, there really isn't any blood, it's just red and dry looking. The feathers that are there look healthy, and the girl seem happy and healthy too. They free range, so it's not because they're cooped up and bored. I'm stumped.
     
  8. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    emmet MI
    If they are all losing feathers in the same place, between the bottom of the vent to about where their legs start, I would say it is feather picking, on the roost in the evening. Seeing where you live, I 'm guessing your girls are spending a lot of time indoors these days...?
     
  9. zacandgina

    zacandgina New Egg

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Central Oregon
    You nailed it! After we saw your post we snuck out to the coop, and sure enough, and they were positioned right with beaks to bottoms! That must be what's happening. We're planning on expanding the coop soon, maybe we'll just up our timeline a bit! It is pretty cramped in there.

    And actually, the weather has been pretty pleasant lately (mid to upper 60's this weekend) so they've been out enjoying the sun and kicking up all the dirt in the flower beds.
     
  10. Dolittle

    Dolittle Out Of The Brooder

    I also have a Plymouth hen that is pecking her own feathers out along her tummy - but we are in Australia so it is warm and she is outside .. could it be stress? she is part of a flock with a lot of Isa Browns who tend to pick on the other breeds a lot.. Or is it something more sinister ?
     

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