Rooster w/ red back, blood feathers?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FamilyOfChickens, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Hello all!

    One of our Ameracauna roosters, Red, is having some problems...

    First off, he just has stubbly feather shafts on his lower back, near his tail. (His tail is also kind of scraggly looking right now. ) Lots of these are dark blue, and when squeezed blood or a clear-ish golden goo/liquid comes out. Are these blood feathers? What can cause them?

    I put pine tar on the area about a week ago, in the hopes that he was just being pecked at. (Oh, he is the alpha roo most of the time. We have one other roo with 17 pullets. They just turned 5 months old a few days ago. [​IMG] ) Just about 2 days ago now, the skin in that area turned red. It looks awful. Normally his skin was normal color, pale, but now that area with the feather shafts is a raw-looking red. It's almost as if he's being mounted, but I've never seen that and the area isn't bare, it has shafts.

    Now, just in case, I don't want to hear anything about me not caring about my animals, or that I'm a bad pet-owner and can't handle the responsibilities, okay? [​IMG]

    Also, not as serious a question, but his wings always look kind of 'droopy'. He does it even when he isn't hot, and he doesn't hold them away from his body. Is he trying to make himself look bigger?

    I'm going to try and get pictures up later on today.
     
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Moulting can be a hard time for birds.
    The prickly looking waxy things are the new feather shafts. Squeezing them does produce some liquidy stuff, I don't know what it is. But it's normal.
    A chicken's skin turns red when there's no feathers there. That's normal too.
    Unless you hang a sign around his neck saying EAT ME!, noone's gonna say you're a bad chicken parent.
    Some birds do hang their wings down anyways...
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    I agree with spotted crow......sounds like he is moulting. I know mine are...they look AWFULL!! Almost mangy! LOL This too will pass....untill next year, when they moult again! LOL Just the fact that you are asking for advice....proves you are NOT a bad owner....you a goooooood chicken owner! [​IMG]
     
  4. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Quote:I thought that birds normally moult at around a year, though? [​IMG]
    And it's not all over, just in the are on his lower back. Our other rooster, the same age etc., grew in some nice hackle feathers, but nothing's happening on his back.
    Quote:I feel better. [​IMG]

    Is there anything I ought to do for the monster, though? Even if he is a bit of a spook, I feel rather sorry for the guy. [​IMG]
     
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    If no one is pecking on him, I would say...let he be. He will grow them back in soon. IF the others seem to be pecking....I would get some Bluekote.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Most birds will do at least a partial moult in the fall to ready for winter. At 5 mo he might still be "changing" into his adult plumage. I suspect that he is being pecked on if you can see all these "blood feathers" which are technically called pin feathers. The redness is due to sun exposure without feathers. All sounds normal otherwise.
     
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    They have 3 moults before they're a year old.
    First is down to feathers
    The second is to "teenage" feathers
    The last is what they're gonna look like as adults more or less.
    Jerry, my Black and White Leghorn mix cockerel started out as a black and yellow chick.
    His teenage feathers were white with black speckles.
    His almost adult feathers grew so that he looked like an Exchequer Leghorn black and white all over.
     
  8. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    383
    1
    149
    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Thanks so much, guys! I'll give him a while and see what happens. [​IMG] I DO really hope he grows out his feathers a little, he hasn't been looking very nice. [​IMG]

    Appearances aside, it just looks like it hurts a whole lot. And I called them blood feathers because I'd read about them before, but couldn't remember what they were really called or what caused them. Thanks for giving me the right term! [​IMG]

    None of our other birds have done/are doing this, like I said. I expect our gold sex links will be moulting very soon, though. *sigh*

    It seems pretty silly that they moult right when it starts getting cold, doesn't it? [​IMG] You'd think they'd do it in July/August when they would be a whole lot more comfortable. Do they do it so the feathers are new and soft, for more insulation when its cold?

    Jerry sounds like a very handsome fellow!
     

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