Oily looking feathers?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bonanza35, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. bonanza35

    bonanza35 Hatching

    Jul 19, 2008
    This sounds strange, but I got 16 partridge wyandotte chicks this spring and about half of them developed normally, while the other half refused to roost off the ground. As their feathers came in, the ground roosting ones developed an oily-looking appearance. They are otherwise healthy, active and growing right along with the normal looking ones. I don't know if they roost on the ground because they can't fly to the roost (2' high) or if the odd feathering is a result of some disease they contracted because they roost on the ground, but there is definately a correlation.

    I don't mean that the feathers are actually oily, but they aren't filled out and fluffed up like the others. They look like any chicken looks when wet...the feathers are there, but they are slicked down.

    Does anyone know what this is and what to do about it?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If they are sleeping under the roost... I bet they are being pooped on and they are oily due to the extra preening with their gland oil needed to get the poo off, or the poo is stoping them from preening so their feathers are straggly. Never heard of anything they could contract to cause such things.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    or they could be bunching up together for warmth? just a guess
  4. cath

    cath In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2008
    South Wales, UK
    Have you checked them for lice/mite infestation as this can cause the feathers to look greasy and if they are roosting on the ground they may be more susceptible. If they are suffering from an infestation it would be worth treating them all and give the coop a good clean paying attention to cracks and crevices, and maybe, if you are able to make a ramp or something similar to encourage them to perch at night.

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