Mold? Disease? Feather tips turning white on Black Australorp's head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LauraP, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. LauraP

    LauraP In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2009
    High Rock Lake, NC
    Hi everyone. I hope nothing is wrong with my hen. She is about a year and a half old, and is a black australorp.
    I just saw this morning that most of the feathers on her head are white at the tips. A few of the tiniest head feathers are white all over. She otherwise seems happy and healthy, and is laying eggs.

    I don't know if this is related or not, but this particular bird has recently gotten over a period of broodiness (she had no fertilized eggs and has her eggs collected frequently, but went broody for a few weeks anyway) During the broody period she didn't eat well and she lost weight and her comb was pale and floppy, but in the week or two since she "recovered" from the broodiness, her comb has regained it's color and is standing upright now. She is still smaller than her 2 sisters, though.

    If anyone knows what this could be, please tell me, as I am worried it could be a sign of some problem. My husband thinks it looks like some sort of mold or something, but I'm not sure. The feathers don't seem to have an unusual texture, just unusual color. I would show pics, but my camera is temp out of service.

    Thank you!!
  2. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Songster

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    I don't know if this will help at all, but when my duck is about to lose feathers, i notice the dark brown ones on her head turn a lighter color before falling out. It's as if as the feathers lift out from the root, they raise and we can see a different shade of them. As i gently fluff through her head feathers, these light ones are the ones that come out.
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    The tip near the skin, or the tip away from it? Could be lice eggs or fauvus (a fungal infection)
  4. LauraP

    LauraP In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2009
    High Rock Lake, NC
    It's the tips farther away from her skin. Thanks!! [​IMG]
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Or getting gray LOL!
  6. dragonlair

    dragonlair Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    I just got 3 hens who were rescued from a commercial eggs business. They are red sex links. Two of the 3 have white tips to some of their feathers on various parts of their bodies. They are in poor condition, there were 30 or so in the group the girl got. They are small, skinny with lots of missing feathers. Not sure if the white is due to their condition or what. Sounds similar to your girl!
  7. atimme

    atimme Songster

    Feb 3, 2010
    She could be preparing for a molt, especially if she was just broody, and could be experiencing the typical loss of pigment that comes with aging. It isn't fungal or parasitic, just heredity. I would'nt worry about it. [​IMG]
  8. K de

    K de Hatching

    Jul 12, 2012
    Hi LauraP!

    What ever happened with your hen? My big Australorp, Monkey, has been showing white tips on the ends of her head feathers for about four months. I keep picking her up to look for mites or general unhealthiness and I just don't see anything! It makes her look diseased, but she is big and healthy and happy. I have noticed for about a week that her head is now losing a few feathers, so I'm hoping she is about to molt (she is just over two years old and I have never seen her molt, so that would make sense...).

    Anyway, I found your old thread and I hope you don't mind a new comment! It's just exactly what I came to the computer to find!

    Thanks--and I hope your chicken is doing great. :)
  9. pcamaren

    pcamaren Hatching

    Dec 18, 2012
    I also have just noticed white tips on the head of on e of my three black australorp hens. The feathers around her beak are missing and the pigment on the proximal part of her beak is turning white. In other words her "face" is turning white. She has already molted and is regrowing her new feathers. She seems well. The other two ladies are fine. Any thoughts?
    1 person likes this.
  10. turtle66

    turtle66 Hatching

    Aug 9, 2014
    My australorp has a similar thing - she is about 18 months old and her neck and tail feathers have turned white. Her beak is aslo turning white! I wondered pcamaren if you ever found out what was happening with your chook as it sounds very similar. She was attacked by a dog just before it happened and I know the dog pulled feathers out of her. She didnt seem hurt though and has been fine since except for this turning white.

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