Not an emergency but need help/advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by thndrdancr, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    I noticed on my EE pullet, a couple of weeks ago..when she raised up her back feathers from her tail feathers, she has what looks like a bloody spot on a shaft of a feather, and she keeps trying to reach it with her beak to either groom or itch it. I think she must be able to reach it, cuz it did look bloody.

    Well that night, I tried and tried to find that spot, and the poor bird really freaks when I hold her, I am afraid she will give herself a heart attack. She has soooo many feathers and they are so long, and so much down underneath it, I just could NOT find it.

    So I left it, dusted her good with DE, and figured that was the best I could do. Ok, fast forward to today...again I saw her lift her feathers up and try to reach that same place, and it looked better but still bloody, like a feather shaft that was bad, or something. I cant get close enuff to see the exact problem when she has her feathers up like that, or she takes off. So, tonite I enlisted my sisters aid, with a flashlight, while I held her. We STILL could not find the spot, with all her feathers. I held her while sis looked, but every time sis lifted her feathers up, the bird squawked and she thought it was 'hurting' her. HOW in the WORLD do you guys find wounds and take care of them with all those feathers, or is my bird just got more than most? She has that outer layer then all kinds of down stuff underneath. Her feathers are extremely shiny, never saw any mites moving around on her skin, she appears healthy and everything but I would like to tend to that spot. But how in the world do I get TO IT??? :mad: Someone mentioned a feather shaft mite...wouldnt they be seen tho with a flashlight? And its just one little area? I swear, this bird of mine is so flighty, I even waited til she was asleep tonite to do this but she gets so scared even then. Even when I laid her on her back in my arms to look at her belly, she struggled like crazy, then finally just relaxed like "ok, go ahead an kill me". Now she is super mad at me as well, the indignity of it all, you know? And I should have dusted her with DE again, just to be sure, but didnt have the heart to, she made me feel terrible guilty with the looks she kept givin me.
    Anyhow, you guys make it sound easy to tend wounds an stuff, and I cant even get down to my chickens skin. [​IMG] Any bright ideas?
  2. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Hey jill,
    It’s probably a blood feather.
    Bird’s feathers have a blood vassal in them that can be damaged for a variety of reasons.
    I believe the answer is to pull out the feather; I have never had to deal with this problem but have read about it....
    Again mostly I read about it in 1995, so my memory is a little fuzzy.
    I can tell you that it can happen to any bird at any time, there doesn’t need to be an underlying cause.

    Before you try anything, you need to have some styptic powder ready, bird’s bleed allot.

    And defiantly get a second opinion before you pull it out.

    Ok , i'm going to look and see if you posted any new pics...
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  3. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    chickens have a gland near the base of their tail that they use to groom themselves. When its pretty up time you'll notice them fluff themselves up & arrange their feather with their beak, they'll keep going to the spot you're talking about & continue fixing feathers. I don't remember what comes out of it, but they all have it & it does look like a damaged feather shaft.
  4. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Ah, maybe thats it. But thisis ABOVE her tail, would that be it? But right perfectly in the middle, so..its possible it is a gland. Her feathers have a real sheen to them, so maybe it is her oil gland. I am glad I didnt find it and try to iodine it or

    I would still like a closer look tho. Are all birds that heavily feathered? Its worse than fur!

  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If the feather shaft is bleeding I would have to agree it is a blood feather. It won't get better. It will become a picking point for other chickens in the flock too. Pull out the feather genly but firmly and put some stop quick on it. Another feather will grow in.
  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    well- It's going to be really hard for her to pull the blood feather if she can't figure out which feather it is!!!!

    Keep an eye out, as you have been, to see if it might just be that gland. If you definitively see blood, try to catch her then (a long handled fish net works).

    If you still can't find it...I'd spray it with blue kote. Should it continue for more than 1 week, I'd cover ther area with pine tar, keeping care to not cover the oil gland. Pine tar will seal everything and keep any others from picking on her.

    GOod LUck

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