New Chickens, head shaking & bare skin.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by niki090909, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. niki090909

    niki090909 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2012
    I was tickled pink to get an email response from my craigslist ad looking for some Jersey Giants. I picked them up yesterday. A beautiful Trio!

    The place I got them from was clean and all her other birds were very well taken care of. She was thinning her show stock to make more room for babies next spring. So basically, I'm saying they came from a good home.

    Tonight as I placed them up on their roosting stick, I noticed the rooster's under chest area, right between his legs is very thin on feathers. There is a completely featherless area and skin is reddish in color. I'm not sure if it's irritated or that's just the color of his skin. He doesn't have the downy feathers there like the two hens do. He was hatched in Jan. 2012. It's not something you'd obviously notice unless you were looking up from underneath him like I was. He was free ranged at this lady's farm and I'm sure there were plenty of other roosters around. Could this be from fighting? I don't see any other marks on him. He's a very handsome healthy looking bird.

    Also, he's shaking his head. What could this be? Some sort of mites? What do I treat that with. I haven't wormed them or anything yet.

    Thanks for any advice!

    Niki
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I bet they are molting. They usually don't molt in their first year, but I have a rooster born January 2012 and is molting right now, so that could explain the feather loss.

    He could have mites, or he could have an ear infection. Check for mites first. Check around the vent for any crawly things. Free ranged birds often pick up parasites more than non-free ranged birds. I have found ticks on my naked necks. I always provide dusting spots for them to rid themselves of parasites, but some need human intervention. Dust them with poultry dust just to be cautious.
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Also, welcome to BYC! :D

    :welcome
     
  4. niki090909

    niki090909 Out Of The Brooder

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    After further investigation, I think my rooster might have mites. He has that cluster of little white dots on some of his feathers.

    I've read to use the poultry dust, but also that i should get something with Seven in it. Do they mean like the normal garden seven dust?? Is that safe for chickens? :O

    Once I have the mites taken care of I plan to just use DE to prevent further infestation, but I'd prefer to hit them once with some chemical stuff to nip the problem in the bud. Can't hold my chickens now without feeling itchy.

    Wondering if this is why he was doing the head shaking thing.
     
  5. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cluster of white dots could be chicken lice, and not mites (or he could have both). Is he tame? In other words - can you post pictures? If not - go to www.google.com and click on the "Images" tab and then type "chicken lice" and look at the images. Then type "chicken mites" and look at those images (warning, some are graphic) but it sounds like lice to me by way of your description. I would imagine this is why he's shaking his head (but I'm a newbie, not an expert). I hope he is well soon. [​IMG]
     
  6. niki090909

    niki090909 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    Found this on google images. This is pretty much exactly what it looks like.
     
  7. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm brand new to chickens, let me say that first. [​IMG]

    Those are definitely lice eggs though, not mites or mite eggs. Good news: those aren't the same lice that infest the human scalp. The fastest way to get rid of lice is dust-bathing the chickens, their coop, run and nesting areas with Sevin. You'll be using it "Off Label", meaning it's no longer approved for use on poultry - but since our vet swears by it so will I if the situation ever presents itself. (and I trust our 30+ year veterinarian a great deal)

    If you don't have access to Sevin - use DE or wood ashes. The wood ashes won't kill the lice according to our vet - but it will stifle and congest the lice so they remove themselves from the bird - where they die quickly without a host.

    Also - the best way to know if your chickens have mites in addition to the lice is to go out there with a flashlight around 2am and push the feathers out of the way to see down to the skin. Most mites that infest chickens are night-feeders and thus are seen mostly at night. They'll be very tiny, and dark brown to crimson in color depending on when they last fed (they drink the blood of the chicken). Mite eggs will be scattered (not clumped) along the 'feathery' part of the feather - not the shaft, and most varieties of mites will have eggs that are going to be pinkish to salmon to very light brown in color. They can also be scattered throughout the chicken (they lay their eggs a lot like fleas do - wherever they please).
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  8. niki090909

    niki090909 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Bee, and amazing what your doing for your flock. I love the dedication.

    Thanks Clucky, I'll trust your word on the seven dust. I'll hit them in the mean time with DE until I get to t he farm store. Luckily it's not a major infestation at this time. Nothing majorly noticable. I know the lady I got them from would have treated them had she known.
     

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