Molting, Pecking, Lice, and/or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SqueakChicken, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. SqueakChicken

    SqueakChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2014
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Hey everyone, this is Dumpling. She is a bit of a loner. Doesn't really hang out with the other chickens, and gets bullied by Hennifer, the queen of our flock.

    I noticed in the last couple of months she was looking rough. Lost a bunch of feathers on the back of her head/neck and along her back. My research said molting. But she hasn't appeared to lose any weight, and still leaves us a cute little egg every single day, including today in the bathtub.

    She has also gotten pretty filthy. A really dirty butt, and pieces of mud stuck all over. Upon closer inspection, I saw a couple of scabs which leads me to think others are pecking where she was molting.

    I also thought she might have lice. It looked a bit like mites, but at the same time, nothing living that I could find. So I am not too sure. Under her wings look very clear. After cleaning her vent, doesn't look like anything awful down there. Nice and clean.

    I brought her in for a bath today, and cleaned her up nice. But I found a weird, little bump. Anyone know what this is? It is on her back, near the top of where her tail feathers start.

    What is going on with Dumpling?

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  2. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    Do you have a rooster? The area's where she has feather loss are common for rooster damage. On the back from their claws, and on the back of the head from grabbing with their beak. Many times the more submissive hens get over bred and show the most damage. If that's the case you can try a hen saddle for her back.
    The lump by her tail looks like it's the preen oil gland. How they oil their feathers while preening.
    If she's being bullied I would suggest removing the bully for a week or two, out of sight and hearing. Sometimes this stops the bullying.
     
  3. SqueakChicken

    SqueakChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2014
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Hey! Thank you so much for your reply! No rooster in our flock, only hands. But I've definitely seen one bully and action so I may try removing her. Dumpling seems to be doing much better now that she is clean.

    Preen oil gland! Wow! You just blew my mind. I've never heard of such a thing! Awesome.
     
  4. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    Sometimes, especially in the absence of a roo, a dominant hen will do mounting behavior, which can cause the same damage.
    I'd definitely try to spend some time observing the flock to determine what is actually going on.
    Always a good idea to check for mites and lice, I don't see evidence in the pictures, but always something to check with feather loss.
    Check everybody for those.
    Best of luck!
     

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