Red belly patch?

A & H

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2019
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Nampa Idaho
Hey all,
It's winter over here in idaho, and I have two hens. One is a Rhode island red, the other an Americana. Recently I noticed a patch on my Rhode island's belly sort of between her legs. It's not filled with fluid or anything, it's just red and featherless The feathers are broken off around there. We don't have roosts in the coop, but they have never had this issue before. One of my hens had to be put down because of mites, but i dont see anything on the live one. I have dusted, just in case. Both hens look healthy, red comb, eating, drinking, etc. They greet me eagerly and walk normally. Please tell me if you know of a problem like this or is it not a big deal??? Thanks guys!
 

Kiki

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Can you post a clear photo of the red area?

What did you use when you dusted last time and did you redust both all of the birds and the coop a week after your first dusting?
 

Kiki

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Kathy Golla

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Jan 2, 2017
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A couple of things:
That particular patch doesnt look like the cause is lice or mites to me, but if you had a hen put down because of mites, that seems like you had a pretty bad infestation. Its a good idea to make sure you have the lice/mite preventative taken care of that Kiki mentions for your two surviving hens. Two treatments 7-10 days apart. During the winter as you mention, you can dust then hen with the permethrin dust (not get the hen wet with spray in the winter). The spray you can use inside the coop and where they are laying, just make sure the spray dries. Replace the bedding if you havent already. DE does not do anything for lice/mites.
Im assuming when you say you dont have roosts, the hens are laying on the ground? If you dont have roosts, this looks like it is from the hen sleeping on the ground, or some other surface.
 
Last edited:

CindyinSD

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Aug 3, 2018
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It looks like a mechanical bald spot... like you might get from rubbing such as sleeping on the floor as Kathy suggests or from a hen plucking her own breast feathers because she’s tending toward broodiness (though it’s an odd time of year for that).

I’m a big fan of natural remedies but I haven’t seen any evidence that DE works in its dry form. Not only that, but the recommendations that taking it internally could help with worms don’t exactly inspire confidence in the other claims, since one of the important tenets for using it is that it must remain dry in order to work. I have most of a 50 lb bag... not sure what I’m gonna do with it. At least it was cheap. If you think they may have mites, you should just use the chemicals. I’ve researched this pretty thoroughly and it appears to be the only effective treatment.

To prevent mites (after clearing out the old bedding and thoroughly cleaning the coop) make sure they have access to dirt boxes/dust bathing. I use deep bedding for mine and they enjoy dust bathing in the decomposing bedding, too. Also make sure they have a large enough space. If they’re confined for long periods (by weather, etc.), they need more room. Close quarters can cause behavioral problems as well as making things nice and cozy for parasites.

All that said, if your girl has been spending an unusual amount of time in the nest box, she may be longing for baby chicks. That doesn’t necessarily mean she would see it through, but they do get these moods. If this is the cause and she carries it to extremes, you’ll need to break her of it because it’s hard on them. They don’t eat or drink much when broody, nor exercise. I broke mine last summer by putting her in my meat birds’ tractor, which I was moving a couple times a day. They kept her active and the frequent relocation denied her a nest. I believe the usual method is to confine them in a wire cage like a dog kennel, up off the ground so their little tummies stay cool (not warm and cuddly) for a week or so.
 
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