Pale dry slightly swollen faced hen. Possibly scaly leg on face?

kimmj

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
21
0
22
Berkshire, England
700

My 2 year old Pekin Cross has started suffering from a dry pale and slightly swollen face for the second year in a row. She is perfectly fine within her self and is going about her days exactly like she normally would. She hasn't got any sort of discharge coming from her eyes or nose, but I have noticed she has started sneezing sometimes. She looks like she is slightly swollen above her eyes but the rest of her face seems normal apart from being dry and pale. I have heard that scaly leg can effect the face but I've not seen this before so I wouldn't have a clue!. I have two chickens that have scaly leg at the moment but they've been separate from this hen. She had the same problem last year when she was in her broody enclosure with her chicks but I put it down to being stressed and wanting to be back free ranging in the garden. This year she's been in her broody enclosure for 14 weeks, she has plent of food/water and space. She seemes to have enjoyed rearing her chicks tthis year and I was surprised to see this problem come back a few days before letting her back into the garden to free range with the others. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and if anyone has had this problem or a similar one please feel free to comment :)
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chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Well, I've not heard of scaly leg mite affecting the face but do know other birds have scaly face mite as well as scaly leg mite, they're not the same thing in that case.

Does it have a mousy, musty sort of smell?

Are you sure it's not lice eggs?

Her wattle color and distribution of color is not ideal, it shows her cardiovascular system is under the weather a bit; adding some cayenne or tabasco and cold pressed olive oil to her diet would do her a world of good for both problems, with the added benefit of the olive oil taking care of any scaly skin caused by lack of good oils in the diet; it's possible this is what she's showing.

The average commercial layer/grower pellets with their often synthetic or petroleum-derived oils just don't cut it for good heart health or total health, at all. These feeds are not designed for longevity, only for a 2-year lifespan before culling and replacing. Worth keeping in mind if you want your hens to live long, healthy lives, especially if you're breeding them; hens need more nutrients than they get from a layer diet for breeding, or both they and their chicks suffer the deficit, which becomes a multi-generational malnutrition deficit which causes many diseases that many people don't know are due to this.

Best wishes.
 

kimmj

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
21
0
22
Berkshire, England
Thanks for your advice Chooks4life!.

it doesn't look to be lice/mites or lice eggs. It's almost as if she has eczema on her as she has small flakes off dry skin coming from her face. I'm wondering if it may be an allergic reaction to something? But I haven't given her different food/bedding so I'm really stuck on what could have caused this.

I've heard about adding cayenne to their diet so once I read your comment I added some to her water feeder, and some olive oil to her food. Hopefully it will help her perk up!. Do you have a recommendation to the amount of cayenne/olive oil to add to food/water?.

The feed she's eating at the moment is organic with no GM ingredients, which has a combination of omega6 and omega 3 oils she usually has a small amount of corn late afternoon or fruit/veg so I think what she's eating is ok. What feed do you personally use or recommend?.

It's so bizarre, I just can't seem to figure out what the problem is. Her face just isn't right, she has never been a bright faced bird, she's always been a pale colour which I think is due to what she's crossed with but I did notice her entire face was a bright red (healthy red) the day or so before it went like this which is unusual for her to have so much colour
 

Suzie

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
3,113
776
351
Auvergne
She may have Favus...look up the symptoms...it can cause the look your chicken is showing and can account for the swelling around her eye...you can treat with a cream for athletes foot or leave her to heal on her own...it can take some weeks for it to disappear...natural sunshine is good for any chicken with favus...
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Thanks for your advice Chooks4life!.
it doesn't look to be lice/mites or lice eggs.
It's almost as if she has eczema on her as she has small flakes off dry skin coming from her face. I'm wondering if it may be an allergic reaction to something? But I haven't given her different food/bedding so I'm really stuck on what could have caused this.
As for whether anything in her environment has caused this, it's indeed possible. You're in a changing environment, new allergens can always drift right in on the breeze or be carried by wildlife or vehicles or whatever. Chickens are individuals and there are always those who predispose themselves to various ailments by doing something none of the others do. Is there anything she does that the rest do not? Any place she digs, or dustbathes, or foods she eats, or strange behaviors she has, which none of the others do?
Hopefully it will help, whether it treats this specific problem or just gives them a general health boost, but I'd probably also give them an alternative choice of cayenne-free water as well, just in case. It shouldn't hurt them though, for a day or a few days, many people have done this without problems arising from it.
Generally, a sprinkle of cayenne, i.e. a quarter teaspoon, will be sufficient for a few chooks, they will eat a larger amount without harm as well, but it's not like it takes much to help them.
If your other girls are decently healthy then it's probably not the diet at fault, but that yardstick of measurement doesn't rule out deficiency disease simply because the root cause of many deficiency diseases can be based within an individual rather than outside of it. All the right nutrients going in doesn't help the individual who can't process them. This inability can be inherited, acquired, or a byproduct of many other problems both natural and artificial.
Right now mine are on a new mix of feed I've never tried before, which I'm using for now as I'm in the middle of moving house and don't have time nor reliable access to resources to mix my own... The produce stores around here are erratic to say the least.
It's so bizarre, I just can't seem to figure out what the problem is. Her face just isn't right, she has never been a bright faced bird, she's always been a pale colour which I think is due to what she's crossed with but I did notice her entire face was a bright red (healthy red) the day or so before it went like this which is unusual for her to have so much colour
Even if she had inherited some pale faced genetics, as a white-skinned chook already showing some redness of face, she should be much redder; I can't offhand think of any breed with such coloring that does not have a bright, richly red face, wattles and comb if healthy. The distribution of the redness as compared to the paleness in her wattles is not a breed trait in any breed, it's symptomatic of something being wrong with her cardiovascular system, which may well be a secondary symptom of whatever has her under the weather in the first place. Her circulation is visibly poor which has repercussions throughout the whole body and in itself means something's not ok; poor circulation is never a sign of good health. How does her face compare to the other hens?
There's a lot of things that can go wrong but for sure she is in need of some help to get into full health; I know I'm seeming fixated on her weakly circulation more so than on than her flaky skin, but only one of those two problems is known to be life-threateningly dangerous as a rule rather than as an exception. But a lot depends on what is causing it.
As Suzie suggested, it's worth looking into Favus to see if that's what it is. I've seen too many different things called Favus (generally including things that weren't) to automatically suspect it offhand. Need to do some more reading up myself, lol!
 

robknapp

Hatching
Oct 27, 2016
2
1
6
Hi folks, I wondered if you had success with this. My gold-laced Orp has the exact same thing. Six weeks ago her face was deep red, now identical to your pics. She is about 22 weeks & isn't laying yet. Did you sort it/come to some conclusions. My other 5 hens seem fine. Many thanks, Rob
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Emily123z

Hatching
Feb 5, 2018
1
0
3
@Rob knap did you ever find out what had caused her pale face, and did it return to normal? I've got the same issue with one of my Pekins, so I'd be interested to know how she turned out!
 

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