Redness of skin

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by withca, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. withca

    withca Hatching

    Nov 25, 2007
    My Rock, Silver Lace and Ostralorp hens began to lose feathers in February. At first I thought it might might be due to moulting, however this has gone on for several months. Their backsides and breasts are very red and dry looking. Occasionally I see one of both of the Rhoadies pecking them and wonder if the skin issues are from that or could they have a skin disease. They were hand raised, have had good nutrition and egg production seems ok. They are 14 months old and otherwise vigorous and friendly. Any preparations out there that would discourage the pecking but not burn their tender skin? They look moth-eaten and pathetic.
  2. hwerner

    hwerner In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2008
    Independence, KS
    Have you checked for mites. They will peck at themselves to try and free themselves of mites. If they have mites get some dusting powder from farm/feed store. Another remedy is if you have acess to wood ash make them a dust bed to bath in. Mites and other critters don't like the wood ash. We dump ours all winter into their dustbathing spot and they use it year round.
  3. ella

    ella Songster

    Yes definately check for bugs. Lift up the feathers and look at the base and skin for white (lice) or black (mites) bugs and eggs.

    And if you do find them don't forget to treat the coop too mites like to hide out in cracks and around the roosts. Also treat them again after a few weeks to get the new hatched ones.
  4. earlybird

    earlybird In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2008
    Oregon City
    I've had the same problem with my two banty hens. I treated them for mites as suggested on this website, but they still look terrible. Can't I expect the feathers to grow back?

    I actually treated them for mites several months ago and really never saw an improvement. How long and how often should I treat them? I bathed them in warm mild soapy water, then kept them in a large clean dog kennel, but of course released them back to the run the next day. I also cleaned the coop and dust in occasionally with DE. Should I be doing more? To add to the dilemma, none of my other chickens are showing these symptoms. But they are able to fly better and sleep up high on the roosts, rather than on the very low roost my husband built for these little gals. I read on another post about pulling dead or damaged feathers. That was in relation to showing chickens, but I don't really have to do that do I? That just seems to add insult to injury. They already don't trust me after I bathed them. [​IMG]

    Let me know if you have any suggestions.

    Thank you.
  5. ella

    ella Songster

    The feathers will grow back eventually, but it might not be until the next molt which is usually in the fall when the days get shorter and colder. If you have wild birds nesting in or around your coop you're going to have to keep checking your hens because they will keep getting them.

    I hope you treated with more than just warm soapy water because that won't do a thing. Mites especially are really tough little critters. What you use is up to you but not taking care of the problem can lead to the death of heavily infested chickens.

    I've used Eprinex which is a cattle wormer and not approved for poultry but it does work and I like it better than Pyrethrin powder- sold under a variety or brand names- which is approved for poultry and also very effective. Both products should be re-applied after a few weeks.

    I wouldn't pull the feathers, insult to injury is right! [​IMG]

    Good luck it's a tough problem to deal with.
  6. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    I have the same thing and i belive it is depluming mites . they burrow under the skin and cause irritation . you will need to spray you coop good to because allot of mites stay in the house.
  7. earlybird

    earlybird In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2008
    Oregon City
    Thank you for the responses.

    Ella, I did treat with DE after the warm soapy bath and I also sprayed the entire coop with Pyrethin, but I was uncertain about spraying the birds because I'm not sure what the withdrawl period is and I can't tell their eggs apart from the other chickens. I have some Eprinex, do you have any idea what ratio I should use? I couldn't find anything online about treating chickens with it. Oh I also found a mite spray at the pet store, I guess that was a pyrethin. But I did treat them with the DE dust. Now I've heard the suggestion to mix 5% Sevin dust with the DE, so I'll try that again and retreat after a few weeks. I just really want them to be healthy and happy.
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I clean and mop my coop weekly and when I do, I spray all of the roosts to kill the mites. Chickens seem to be doing fine.
  9. Pauline

    Pauline In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    my male has red legs and feet, none of my other chickens do, i clean my pens every other day with disenfectant and i dust with powder for mites, the pen and the straw, can anyone help please. there not as red every day, it started last week, he had a couple of days when they were ok, yesterday they were ok, today there red.


  10. ella

    ella Songster

    As far as I know there's no withdrawl for pyrethrin use because it's topical but definately check the label on the product your using.

    Dosage for Eprinex it 1/2 cc for large fowl 1/4 for bantam on the back of the neck on the skin where they can't reach it, that is for the oil not the injectable. No withdrawl time for Eprinex with use on cattle for meat or milk, it's your choice when to eat the eggs after using. I've always just kept collecting them.

    Here's a page on Eprinex you might find helpful

    Pauline [​IMG]

    Are you sure it's something weird going on with your rooster? They do naturally blush when they're excited or hot. It shows up as red lines along the back of the leg and between the toes. Hopefully that's what you're seeing.

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