Red & irritated VENT and NECK area with feather loss!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 2FishCreative, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. 2FishCreative

    2FishCreative New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    Apologies in advance if this has been addressed. I searched previous posts and couldn't find one that fit my situation as closely as I'd like (mites, lice, vent gleet, feather picking, etc).

    We have 5 RIR hens, 2 yrs old. Behavior among all 5 currently normal - foraging, dust bathing when ground not frozen, laying (although not sure who is laying and if one is not - we get 3-4 daily and occasionally 5). Pecking order isn't anything extreme, no ganging up, etc. I do not witness feather picking, although I'm also not with them all the time.

    Ok, symptoms: noticed one hen with slight irritation on front of neck with slight feather loss about 7 days ago, sprayed with Poultry Aid. Over the past week have sprayed once or twice a day, a bit more feather loss down chest but no further than crop area, and the loss seems to have slowed or stopped. The irritation isn't wide-spread, in other areas of loss the skin is normal color. Thought mites/lice but cannot find any evidence. Then thought maybe molt, she did not go through a full molt last fall as did 3 others, but no other noticeable feather loss. About same time I noticed another hen with an irritated vent area plus feather loss (doesn't extend to belly) but believe she is still laying. I have been spraying her as well with Poultry Aid. Then today I noticed one with neck issue has indications of her vent area starting to look irritated, but no feather loss yet. Most poop I see is normal, occasionally find some darker, runnier versions, but haven't witnessed who that is, and it's not much. No blood in stool. Really don't think it's vent gleet - no smelly discharges or build up, no swelling.

    They are on an organic layer pellet (can't remember the name). Water either has ACV (2-3 tsp/2gal water) or Oxine (1/8tsp/2gal). Occasional use of NutriDrench (during molt, when I thought they had a respiratory issue, when one had bumblefoot). They get dried mealworms, peanuts, sunflower seeds, berries, banana, hanging cabbage, etc for treats (always later in day, to ensure they are getting most food from their feed and nature).

    When enclosed, they are in a 10x12 run, with access underneath coop. Coop has pine shavings only. Due to excessive water & mud, we've been using straw on floor of run since late fall. This is changed 7-10 days. Again, all are behaving normally, no one appears to be in distress (except me!) Last coop cleaning I used DE on floor before putting down shavings. Also have provided a nice dust bathing bin (large and low) inside run, composed of soil, sand, and DE thoroughly mixed for times when they are either in run all day or there's been snow on ground. They just use is to scratch around in!

    I know this is long, but wanted to provide as much info as I could. TIA for any advice or suggestions!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    Can you post some photos?

    You mention two hens with the feather loss/plucking - are the others "pristine" (no feather loss)?
    Are these two hens lower in pecking order than the others?

    Without seeing it, it's hard to know. But one of the main reasons for feather loss besides molting is plucking. Watch to see if they are being plucked at night while roosting. You can apply some BluKote or Pick No More to see if that helps.

    Offer some extra protein like egg or tuna and give them something to do - hanging veggies/fruit.
     
  3. 2FishCreative

    2FishCreative New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    Thanks, I've attached some pix, sorry for quality! They do have a cabbage hanging in run. I also give extra protein such as tuna, sardines, and egg. Glad to hear I'm doing some things right! After taking pics yesterday I dusted both hens with Poultry Dust (pryrithrin).
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    It looks like there are a couple of new feathers emerging on the neck, perhaps she is molting.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    It looks like feather picking, I do see where new feathers are coming in, so that is good. You can apply some Blu Kote or Pick No More to help hide the redness.

    On the photo of the vent - does she have a discharge (white) coming from the vent?
     
  5. 2FishCreative

    2FishCreative New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    No discharge. Applied Blu-Kote, hopefully that will stall the feather picking (although I haven't witnessed any, I suppose it could be occurring inside coop or when they're locked in run). They all had very nice dust baths yesterday and today! Thanks again for the advice!!
     

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