Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Aussiechooks, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Aussiechooks

    Aussiechooks New Egg

    Sep 17, 2008
    I am a newby to the world of chickens, but am loving it![​IMG]

    We have 2 (don't know the breed) hens from chicks and have just purchased 2 x 12 week old silkies.
    The ones I have had from chicks look great, wonderful colour, feet and faces nice and clear.
    What I am a bit concerned about is the Silkies.
    I have 1 black and 1 white. The black seems to have some scales on it's feet (they seem drier than the other hens) and it kind of looks like it has dandruff. When I spread it's wings out it has white flakes running along the feathers. I have had a good look at it and it isn't a type of bug or parasite, literally looks like flakes of dandruff - is this age appropriate for silkies? Is it losing fluff/moulting or something normal?
    Also the silkies seem to eat A LOT less than the other breed hens I have. Normal?
    Also, the nails on the silkies are that long that they are curling over and make the end joint of the toe bend upwards and twist - should I clip them myself? If so, tips would be appreciated.

    The silkies came from a breeder and I think I'd like to give them a good clean/wash/going over before I introduce them to the other hens. At the moment they are isolated in a separate cage. How do I wash them? We are in the middle of summer here is Oz so weather is nice and warm. Should I use something medicated to make sure no mites etc are present? The breeder gave me a flyer saying something about coating their feed in vegetable oil to smother mites but not sure.

    I appreciate any advice, as I love my chooks but am still learning.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    keep them seperated from the rest, and post pictures. there are a lot of people on here who know a lot!!!!
    good pictures will help.
  3. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    Hello, I have 10 silkies still in my house because of the cold. They are 11 weeks old and have had similar problems. Buy shampoo for dogs (mild) and wash them in the sink. Add a little mineral oil to the water. I found that works great for their skin. I use a q-tip and spread the mineral oil on their feet. Clip thier nails carefully, not too far down or they will bleed like crazy. If your silkies are white, I use a little vinegar to the water to brighten them up. Hope this helps.. [​IMG]
  4. bluie

    bluie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2007
    Hi! I think the scaly legs indicate mites, and the treatment is to cover them with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) regularly until the problem is completely cleared up. As for the nails, they probably never got to scratch around in the dirt and wear them down. Definitely trim them, being careful not to cut into the quick(I think its called). Might even be safer to file them down if the bird will allow that much handling. If they can scratch around that problem shouldn't occur again. The other things I don't really know about. Maybe do a search on washing silkies. There have been plenty of posts about that.
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Can the "dandruff" be new feathers growing in? One of my roos had all these white spots on his head and I kinda freaked out, but when I got closer, it was just new feather shafts. I was glad to see it because his top knot is so meagar I've named him Baldy.

    But, I've also dealt with mites, too and mine seemed to have very dry skin when I examined them. I usually looked for the mites under their feathers on the neck, back, under the wings or around the vent. They move fast, so not really easy to find. I treated mine with Sevin5 dust. I rubbed it all over their bodies, making sure to lift the feathers and get it to their skin, avoiding their eyes and then, I had to shoo everyone out of the coop and spray it down with a pesticide for mites. (It was safe for pets/birds after it was dry)

    My Silkies don't eat that much either; they're pretty tiny under all that fluff. They get excited about food, though, when I bring treats and I have layer pellets and water available 24/7. If your Silkies don't get excited about treats, then they may not be feeling well.

    The black Silkie may have Scaly Leg Mites - the treatment is to rub Vaseline on the legs to suffocate the mites. The Sevin5 might help too. It wouldn't hurt to treat her with Vaseline to see if that's the problem.

    Trim or file their nails. As the nail grows, the quick grows. So take a little bit off every few days. I have cinder blocks in the run to set water pans on, but right now I have water in a bucket, so the blocks are just sitting there and sometimes I see them up their scratching on it and I think - great, they're filing their own nails!

    Silkies are lots of fun - congrats on your first ones!
  6. Aussiechooks

    Aussiechooks New Egg

    Sep 17, 2008
    Thanks for your great responses! Keep them coming!

    I will take photos tomorrow and post to see if that provides any other clues.

    Will keep them isolated and start on the advice/s you have given me.

    Thanks so much once again.


    ps. Not sure what breed my other two girls are (had them from chicks) I'll post them as well and see if you guys can help me identify them.

    pps. Think I'm becoming chicken mad - am planning my next additions to the family already (it's addictive isn't it?)

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