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Red Butt/Missing Feathers = Lice? Moltening? Sick? Bullying? Please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenTownie, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. ChickenTownie

    ChickenTownie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Bethany, Oklahoma
    I am new to the chicken game and today I noticed several little feathers around that matched one of my hens. I picked her up and looked her over... Near her butt there are missing feathers and red irritated skin. I already ordered some DE power to set up a dust bathing area for my girls, but its not here yet. I am just worried it might be something more serious. I looked for signed of eggs or mites but didn't see anything... Could it just be a molt and I am worrying over nothing?

    Here are some pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for the help! I just want to make sure my ladies stay happy and healthy
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I'm still a novice, but looks like feather picking? Since you have already ruled out mites/lice. Molting doesn't leave red areas or broken looking feathers - they just fall out. I would spray the area with Blu Kote and watch the flock for pickers. I have one hen who picked her own feathers on back in front of her tail - a neurotic sweetie - and Blu Kote stopped it. Blu Kote covers the blood look so all don't start pecking.
     
  3. Radioactive Egg

    Radioactive Egg Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2014
    Perth, Western Australia
    Our chook(similar breed to yours, Isa Brown) recently had lice and it was very different symptoms. She was lethargic and slow moving, and when I picked her up, some of the lice came off on to me.
    It could be different symptoms for you, or it could be something else such as mites (I think it's different to lice).
    I hope this helps your diagnosis!
    Radioactive Egg out
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I think mites usually cause feather loss initially around the vent.
     
  5. Radioactive Egg

    Radioactive Egg Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2014
    Perth, Western Australia
    Interesting, and thank you for the correction. (I'm not trying to sound sarcastic)
     
  6. chicknshrimp

    chicknshrimp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2014
    It looks more like feather picking to me than anything else. For some reason hens seem to like to pluck those areas, and will pluck then bald with broken feathers like that. They'll even cause wounds sometimes. Chickens can't resist pecking at exposed red skin, the more they see the more they will pick and pluck.

    We had two hens that looked like that from feather picking. We got them as adults and they already had the bald spots... once our other hens saw the tempting exposed red skin they continued the plucking. We separated them at molt then the hens were able to grow back the feathers.

    We had trouble catching the plucker at work... I think they do it on the roost, in our coop at least. Its usually the dominant hen and sometimes they'll eat the feathers so you won't see much evidence besides the bald patch. Some say that plucking could be a sign of lack of protein in the diet too, something to try.

    Good luck!
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    I agree with the other posters who suggested feather picking.

    I would recommend increasing everyone's protein intake, and separating out the injured hen until the wound heals up. While it is red and irritated looking it's like waving red flag to a bull. Or chicken, as it were! They just can't help themselves and have to peck at it.

    Hopefully once the wound settles down she will start to grow new feathers.

    Krista
     
  8. ChickenTownie

    ChickenTownie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Bethany, Oklahoma
    Thanks everyone for all the responses! I got some blue kote on order so I will apply that. What is the best way to up their protein intake? Grit? Corn?
     
  9. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    I know you can buy some specially formulated poultry foods with a higher protein content, such as Feather-Fixer.

    If you can't get that, mealworms or meat will help.

    Also, your girls should have free access to grit and oyster shell wether they have feather damage or not. Grit helps them digest their food effectively, and oyster shell adds calcium to their diets. [​IMG]

    Best wishes,

    Krista
     
  10. ChickenTownie

    ChickenTownie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Bethany, Oklahoma
    Sorry, I said grit but I meant scratch... dumb mistake. They do have oyster shells available and their run is fill with coarse sand so I think they can get the grit from there. Am I mistaken?

    I already give them meal worms. I throw a few handfuls to them in the evenings. Is there a cheaper option? Those meal worms arent cheap!

    Update on bald spot: The redness has gone down a lot, but there are definitely more feathers missing. The newly exposed areas are not red/irritated looking. Could she just be molting and the other chickens took the opportunity to peck? There are feathers of hers floating all over the run today, some are bigger tail feathers. I have never seen any of them peck her, but I know they are prob just sneaky. Either way, I am going to blu kote the red areas tomorrow to be safe.
     

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