My chicken just dosnt look right, pleae help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Linda91722, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Linda91722

    Linda91722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    California
    Hello everyone, I have something strange happening with one of my hens. She is two years old (not sure if age makes a difference) but I notice that her tail feathers have all come out and I noticed that her wing and butt feathers are thin and this morning I noticed what looked like grey stuff all around her top of head. She is active and runs around with the other girls and she is eating and drinking so Im not sure, should I be concern or is this normal? please help me understand
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Gray stuff? What kind of gray stuff? Maybe egg sacks from lice? Have you looked for lice/mites around her tush or under her wings?
     
  3. Linda91722

    Linda91722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    California
    No are they visable or will I need a magnafiglass to see them. If its them can I just dust her with flea/tick powder
     
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is around two I'd be thinking molt. Is the gray stuff on her head pointy? If it is it's probably the new feathers coming in. It's always a good idea to give them a good going over when they seem "off" somehow, but I bet she is molting.
     
  5. Linda91722

    Linda91722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    California
    I cant tell if they are pointy, she runs when I try and catch her so I have to wait till my son gets home so he can help me get her [​IMG] she is fast...
     
  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'd just wait until she goes to bed tonight and pull her off the roost. I've found that to be much less stressfull for my skittish birds and for me too. It's a better time to check for little buggies anyhow since the mites mostly come out at night and are much easier to see then. If she is molting you can give her some extra protien and/or vitimins to help with regrowing the feathers. They really like scrambled and hardboiled eggs....seems kinda wrong, but it's a great boost.

    If you're still not sure what's going on after you've had a chance to give her a good going over it would be good to post some pictures of her if you can.
     
  7. posey

    posey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Coastal NC
    It sounds like poultry lice is a good thing to check for. You may or may not see the lice but you will probably see the egg sacs which are a grayish sort of oyster shell color at the base of the feather shaft.

    Here is a link to another site that includes photos. Scroll down to the last photo which gives a pretty typical lice infestation. The sacs could be smaller than those shown in the article. http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?t=7961846

    The
    lice will cause the chickens to lose their feathers or to pick at them and break them off.
    It also sucks the nutrition from the chickens and can make them anemic or sickly.

    If one chicken has lice, you will need to check ALL of them that are sharing the coop/run and ALL should be treated even if they don't have evidence.

    What to do...
    1.) Immediately, buy or order online Permethrin 10%. The Permethrin 10% is less than $15 no more than $20. You get a 1 quart container of the liquid, which will last a while and it can be used on other animals for fleas, mites, etc. I ordered mine from: www.firststatevetsupply.com
    It is a pale yellow liquid and it works great. It actually kills the eggs as well as the lice.

    It's easy to use and the directions are on the label. Just mix it with warm water in a basin or small tub. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, immerse the chicken up to the neck. They don't like it at first but they settle down and get quite calm, if you use warm water. While holding their body under the water (never put their head under the water!!!) use your other hand to gently lift up the wings and feathers and tail. You want to get the liquid to soak through the feathers all the way to the down near the skin. Then gently, using a small sponge, dab at the feathers on their neck and between the wattles. Lice usually like the butt near the vent and under the wings. However, we got a 5 month old hen who had lice and she had them in the usual places but also up the back of her neck and between the wattles. A vet told me that those places were very common lice targets too.

    2.) While you are waiting for that to arrive if you have to order it, try to get some Poultry Lice Dust or Seven 5% dust. The dust is inexpensive maybe $5. Open the shaker top and put a clean knee high stocking over the canister (I bought a cheap pair at the dollar tree for a buck) This will work sort of like a powder puff. You will need to 'powder' the chicken all over with the dust. Be careful around the face and try not to breathe the dust yourself.

    The dust DOES NOT KILL THE EGGS, so you will have to re-dust them again in 7 days, and then again in a week. It's sort of an on going maintenance thing from there on because the eggs hatch out.

    I have had very good success with the Permethrin because it does kill the eggs, and i have not had any repeat infestations.

    3.) You will need to boost your chickens nutrition because they will need to regrow those feathers. Chickens require a higher amount of protein when they are growing new feathers.

    4.) Don't forget to treat the coop also it's easy to do with the poultry dust or seven 5%
    Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I would not use dust anywhere around the head as it will irritate the eyes and may get into the airways (not a good thing)
    A simple way to do that part is to get the pump (non-aerosol) spray for cage birds at the pet store .... (protect the eyes and nares) >>> what I have done (with visable lice/mite eggs on the head) is to take off the spray attachment and use a soft paint brush (I have some cheap watercolor paint brushes I use for this) and apply the product directly to that and then spray the bird .
    You might want to think about using an ivermectin/ivomec Eprinex product (topical application at base of neck onto the SKIN) as this will get most worms and is quite effective on several lice/mite species.
     
  9. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    If I give them a bath in the Permethrin 10% do we need to stop eating their eggs?
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    This thread is a few months old. I'm sure the OP has figured it out by now, but this could have been the feather quills on her head coming in during a molt. They tend to make them look gray on top of the head and around the eyes, it's the feather casing you may be seeing.
     

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