Newbie question: does she have mites or is this a feather problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrsteiner, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. mrsteiner

    mrsteiner In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2011
    Davison, MI
    At the risk of hearing "I told you so" I purchased some new pullets from a couple of backyard growers 2 weeks ago and bought a problem. I wasn't dilligent enough, and one of them snuck a sick hen into my cage when I wasn't looking. I bought 20 laying hens from two different sellers, so I'm not sure where she came from but as soon as we got home, I noticed that I had one hen that was missing some tail feathers. The skin looked red and irritated and there were some white flaky things around her butt. I haven't seen anybody picking on her. She is a 3-4 month old pullet.

    I've isolated these new birds from my current flock, and have been watching her. There doesn't appear to be any more white specks around her tail, and the skin isn't as red but she has a lot of broken feathers.

    Can anyone tell me what is going on with her? Is this something I should treat? Does she need to be isolated? As far as I can tell, she is the only one of this new flock that is affected. Everyone else is doing fine.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

  2. 1maria100

    1maria100 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2011
    The picture is very blurry, but to me it just looks like new feathers growing in. [​IMG]
  3. Quote:To me, too. Classic feather growth. White flaky things may have been shed parts of the feather shafts as they grow out.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yup, those are new feathers coming in. I have several hens who are just full of those and they're very uncomfortable!
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I recently bought a hen with this same problem, although the skin wasn't red/irritated. I recommend you watch the poo very carefully for worms, as what I believe happened with my hen is that the diarrhea from the worms plus a huge heavy constantly treading roo caused problems. Now that this hen is in my flock and the roos are gone her feathers are coming back and look like yours. I did worm them as I found worms.

    If it is dandruff from the feathers coming in there is nothing to worry about. Lice have a cement so that the eggs (nits) stick from what I have read, and those wouldn't be just falling off IMO. With her being only 3-4 months I wouldn't just worm her for nothing- if you become suspicious of worms (for example, diarrhea) then you can always find a vet that will do a fecal test for worms for a small fee.

    If you see no diarrhea and no nits, then I would venture that it might have been feather plucking by another hen in the previous location and she will recover her cover, lol.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    "Some birds exhibit a vent inflammation that resembles a diarrhea induced condition having whitish incrustations of the feathers and skin around the area. Feed consumption may increase by ten to twenty percent." from this website:

    I think this is not likely to be the problem, but I thought it was informative.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  7. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chirping

    Jul 29, 2011
    my chickens have this in small places and its just new feathers

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