quarantined new pullets from original hens, parasites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pinkazalea, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. pinkazalea

    pinkazalea New Egg

    Jan 15, 2010
    Hi everyone, I'm a newbie from Atlanta, GA. Y'all are so welcoming and I appreciate having someone to ask my questions.

    In the last week lots has happened, since the new chickens came (they are quarantined in different coops, front and back yard, it's not practical to change clothes between them (I have a 15 month old and getting dressed once a day is a lot) but I am observing all precautions I can, wearing gloves, washing hands, old ones first, etc)

    Here are the two flocks and health concerns with them:

    Year Old Hens, since November
    Anastasia RIR
    Dice, RIR
    Elko, Buff Orpington

    Compared to the young girls the older girls seem to have looser leg scales at the feet, they have been like that but I didn't know what normal was, now wondering about red mites?

    Am getting 2 eggs instead of 3 last 2 days so I knew someone was not well. Yesterday I saw dirty rumps on Dice and Elko. Elko had been since the beginning unthrifty but has made a vivid recovery. Now Dice seems off, she's thin, she's not wanted to crouch down when she sees me, she's falling under Elko in the pecking order, the last out of the coop and last to come for food, for several days now, first physical sign was no eggs and the the dirty butt yesterday. Appetite was good till yesterday, not so good this AM, better this afternoon. Was letting her avoid me and not get patted: newbie mistake! When I held her I felt she was thin. She is my favorite, so friendly. I gave her soft extra food, probiotics and olive oil. Yesterday (before olive oil) she went to the coop at 5:30 pm, before the others, and went on the nest, was wondering, an egg, this late? I found instead a normal but HUGE ball of feces on the nest. Today AM 3 eggs so I'm glad she is not eggbound. Her rump was cleaner today than yesterday. I'd wash but it's cold and wet and I'd want to do the rump/legs/coop all at once if they have mites, need a sunny day for that. They really don't care for being held, a bath would be an ordeal for them.

    Today, three dirty rumps instead of two, but not AS dirty as yesterday. Grayish tan dreadlocks, like sandy mud.

    Minor things; Anastasia has a new white, bald spot on her head by her comb and one feather in her tail is crooked. Elko has a tiny black or gray mark on her comb (frostbite?). Elko also has one toe crooked, not sure if that is new.

    The year old hens are eating Purina layer pellets, kitchen scraps and free range. The new hens are eating some kind of crumble, some kitchen scraps, not free ranging yet. After reading the Purina ingredient list, upgrading the food to something with grains and no fillers is on my list to do but not done yet. Hens are in a plywood coop with dry leaf bedding, pullets are in the carport in a dog run with a plywood shelter inside, dry leaf and wood chip bedding.

    We had an usual last 2 weeks of constant freezing temps and snows. I was sick 2 days ago w/ food poisoning or something, have not been as attentive to them, they seemed sicker when I got back.

    Moving on to the new flock:
    four 5 month oldn RIR pullets since Jan 10 (in quarantine till Feb 14)

    These pullets look very much alike, it's freaking me out, hard to tell them apart. Two hens are thin, Bathsheba and Angela? I can't always tell them apart not always sure who eats what or how often. They are not as enthusiastic about some of the kitchen scraps as the older hens.

    Possible: parasite brought in by new pullets spread, hitting the layers harder since they are working more biologically.
    OR maybe the parasite was with the old flock from the beginning (Elko was weak to start) and the stress of the winter (me sicl + no fresh food) is bringing it out in Dice? And the new girls have lost weight from confinement or stress from the move?
    Am committed to organic/nontoxic means to fix this, hoping I can with catching it early, would like 100% health so the quarantine does not drag on (can't free range the new girls till they are integrated, i know they miss it)

    Read about these things:

    for mites: Wash the legs and oil them and clean/sterilize coop if it's mites (not sure how to tell if it is mites? Does not look in my hens as bad as photos. Young animals always look kind of "newer", could it just be that?)
    for dirty rump: Wash the rumps and make sure the vents are clear, check for lice and parasites at the base of feathers
    in general:
    ACV in the water
    Soft food with probiotics
    Oil in the food

    Appreciating your time!

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  2. pinkazalea

    pinkazalea New Egg

    Jan 15, 2010
    An update, things are better today, Dice eating more, cleaner rear ends on everyone, thin pullets hungrier. Seeing all the really urgent posts I am wishing there were a forum "something might be wrong"!

    Still wondering if we have scaly mites, is a mild case obvious?

    thank you!
  3. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I can't answer most of your concerns, but 2 eggs per day out of 3 hens on some days is normal and is actually pretty good.

    If you think your chickens might have scaly mites on their legs, rub vaseline on the legs - that will smother the mites and it won't hurt the chickens.

    You said you're not sure what kind of crumbles the new hens are eating - maybe the previous owners gave you some extra feed? Your 5 month old pullets are old enough to eat layer pellets/crumbles now - you may want to go ahead and buy some fresh food for them (not knowing how fresh the food you were given is). Give scratch/corn in moderation - only as a treat. If your hens are not already receiving oyster shell, you should put that out for them (free access) for extra calcium.

    A few of my year old hens are molting, so I am now feeding them Purina gamebird layer feed - it has 20% protein instead of 16% percent like the chicken layer feed has - extra protein helps with the new feather growth. If any of your hens start to molt this winter - try to increase their protein - either by switching feed or giving them scrambled eggs, etc.

    I buy 'food grade' DE from my feed stores and sprinkle that around my chickens run and bedding area to prevent mites/lice. You can use DE on the chickens themselves too or if you find they are already infested, you can use something stronger (do a search on BYC). If you do buy some DE, make sure it is food grade and not the poisonous stuff used for pools.
  4. pinkazalea

    pinkazalea New Egg

    Jan 15, 2010
    Thanks, yes, the pullets are eating food that came with them and I don't know what it is. I was wondering if I could give the pullets layer ration, they will need it before they lay and I won't know they are going to till they do it. I will rub something on the legs and DE in the coop, I know what kind to get. Thank you for your help!!

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