Old injury declining hen’s health? Hen acting lethargic and sickly! Please help!

ChxLadyCass

Songster
Mar 2, 2017
442
139
156
La Junta, CO
My wyandotte is about 3 or 4 years old (given to me by a friend). She has definitely always been lower on the pecking order. My dog pawed at her about 6 months ago and I know for sure she was injured on her rear end, above her vent. I was able to keep her separate from the flock and she healed up! That incident may or may totally not be related to this!
Yesterday when I fed the flock, who has has not been free ranging for 2 weeks now, she did not come for food! She had her head tucked in her feathers and was sound asleep! Today was the same. I see no new injuries, but thought he neck looked funny, so I looked and found areas where it looked like her most outer layer of skin and feathers had maybe been tore apart (pictured). It’s hard to explain! Her eyes are squinted and she is kind of moving her beak oddly. She seems like she’s slouching and I can tell she is just off. I don’t ever take my sweet birds to the vet, so I would like to treat her myself if there is anyway I can figure out what’s wrong! Such a unique situation! I hope someone is able to offer insight before it’s too late! What else should I look into or try? Thank you so so much!!
 

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coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,799
11,392
611
North Florida
I see two or three spots where it looks like there may be lice nits, I can't zoom in enough to tell for sure. This link has good pictures for ID of that. Those can really weaken a bird if that's what is going on. There are also treatment suggestions, usually permethrin products.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification/
She also looks to have a pretty good case of scaly leg mites, there appears to be a lot of detrius built up and some scale loss, those need to be dealt with also.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/scaly-leg-mites-in-chickens/
I've circled in the pictures below where I'm possibly seeing the lice nits, you can zoom in on your posted pictures, or better, examine the bird looking again.
Inkedwlice1_LI.jpg
Inkedwlice2_LI.jpg
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
12,666
75,072
1,247
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Poor baby clearly doesn’t feel well, I agree those look like nits and scaly leg mites are an issue. If they are nits, I agree permethrin is in order.

What is her molting status? If she has parasites, can you provide some poultry vitamins and an iron boost (like beef liver) to help her recover?
 
Last edited:

ChxLadyCass

Songster
Mar 2, 2017
442
139
156
La Junta, CO
Poor baby clearly doesn’t feel well, I agree those look like nits and scaly leg mites are an issue. If they are nits, I sgree permethrin is in order.

What is her molting status? If she has parasites, can you provide some poultry vitamins and an iron boost (like beef liver) to help her recover?
Ooohhhow would you serve beef liver? We do have some! Her health is definitely making me realize I need to restock my supplies, as it’s been years since I have treated my flock!
 

ChxLadyCass

Songster
Mar 2, 2017
442
139
156
La Junta, CO
I see two or three spots where it looks like there may be lice nits, I can't zoom in enough to tell for sure. This link has good pictures for ID of that. Those can really weaken a bird if that's what is going on. There are also treatment suggestions, usually permethrin products.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification/
She also looks to have a pretty good case of scaly leg mites, there appears to be a lot of detrius built up and some scale loss, those need to be dealt with also.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/scaly-leg-mites-in-chickens/
I've circled in the pictures below where I'm possibly seeing the lice nits, you can zoom in on your posted pictures, or better, examine the bird looking again.
View attachment 2878294 View attachment 2878296
I will look again tomorrow as I can’t quite tell in my photo! Her skin looks ok to you though? She looks so uncomfortable! Poor girl.
 

ChxLadyCass

Songster
Mar 2, 2017
442
139
156
La Junta, CO
I see two or three spots where it looks like there may be lice nits, I can't zoom in enough to tell for sure. This link has good pictures for ID of that. Those can really weaken a bird if that's what is going on. There are also treatment suggestions, usually permethrin products.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification/
She also looks to have a pretty good case of scaly leg mites, there appears to be a lot of detrius built up and some scale loss, those need to be dealt with also.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/scaly-leg-mites-in-chickens/
I've circled in the pictures below where I'm possibly seeing the lice nits, you can zoom in on your posted pictures, or better, examine the bird looking again.
@coach723 You were correct! I haven’t treated my birds for mites in years! But I had some permethrin dust, I dusted her with. She’s in the chicken hospital until I can get to the rest of the flock! I think you’re right about scaly mites too. Her toe started bleeding though, so I’m afraid to treat that until she stops bleeding! Any other advice you may offer?
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,799
11,392
611
North Florida
I would soak the feet and legs in some epsom salts, that will help soften up the caked on stuff and sooth the irritation. Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean them as well as you can, try not to damage scales and tissue. The stuff that dries on can be very hard, like concrete, don't force it. Then oil up the legs and feet working the oil into all the nooks and crannies, use the same soft toothbrush. You can use any kind of vegetable oil, I like castor oil because it's very thick (the oil will smother the mites) and then cover with a layer of vaseline. Don't worry if dirt sticks to it. Repeat that several times a week until the legs and feet start to look normal. Healing can be a very slow process depending on how much the tissue is damaged and how much scale loss. Once the mites are gone, the bird should feel much better.
When treating for mites in particular, and lice, you need to clean out the coop and treat it as well. Remove all bedding and nesting material and get rid of it (burn if possible) and spray into all the nooks and crannies (spray works better than powder in the coop), and replace all the bedding and nesting material with fresh. For mites in particular you need to do that at least three times at weekly intervals to get rid of any eggs that may hatch out. The chemicals kill the bugs, but not the eggs.
 

ChxLadyCass

Songster
Mar 2, 2017
442
139
156
La Junta, CO
I would soak the feet and legs in some epsom salts, that will help soften up the caked on stuff and sooth the irritation. Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean them as well as you can, try not to damage scales and tissue. The stuff that dries on can be very hard, like concrete, don't force it. Then oil up the legs and feet working the oil into all the nooks and crannies, use the same soft toothbrush. You can use any kind of vegetable oil, I like castor oil because it's very thick (the oil will smother the mites) and then cover with a layer of vaseline. Don't worry if dirt sticks to it. Repeat that several times a week until the legs and feet start to look normal. Healing can be a very slow process depending on how much the tissue is damaged and how much scale loss. Once the mites are gone, the bird should feel much better.
When treating for mites in particular, and lice, you need to clean out the coop and treat it as well. Remove all bedding and nesting material and get rid of it (burn if possible) and spray into all the nooks and crannies (spray works better than powder in the coop), and replace all the bedding and nesting material with fresh. For mites in particular you need to do that at least three times at weekly intervals to get rid of any eggs that may hatch out. The chemicals kill the bugs, but not the eggs.
THANK YOU!! I will take care of my birds! How much epsom salt to water would you use? That sounds much more gentle than the gasoline!!
Oh and I was going to ask, is too much dust on the birds a bad thing? Lol
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,799
11,392
611
North Florida
A couple of tablespoons to the container you are soaking in is usually good (warm water). I don't do the gasoline thing, never have, and definitely would not use on a bird that has raw or broken skin, would burn like the dickens! Some people use nu stock ointment also, rather than vaseline.
 

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