Should I be worried about these black marks?

ralleman

In the Brooder
Nov 27, 2021
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I picked two birds up from a breeder who was keeping his birds in completely squalid conditions - a very muddy cage with a tarp roof. The chickens were filthy and I washed them both the following day. It didn't help much though.

The older pullet had a very rough looking comb and wattle. I assumed it was because of the squalid conditions it was living in and would start looking healthy as a result of living in better conditions. I thought I had better check with the experts though in case this is pox or something and I need to return it/them and keep them away from the other birds. Both birds are extremely nervous, the younger one less so, but both much more nervous than other birds I've purchased. I doubt I can let them out of the coop before they calm down but they're nowhere near that yet.

Here're the pics of the older pullet:
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And the chick, which also has some black marks on its comb that I assumed was from pecking.
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Wyorp Rock

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Not sure what the black marks on the wattles are, almost looks like they were pinched/bruised. I would keep watch on those over the course of the next several weeks and see if there's any changes - better/worse, swelling, etc.

First bird has some mulberry coloring, so the color looks ok. Maybe a little peck or damage to the comb.

Second bird, tiny scab on comb from picking or possible scrap on wire. Coloring of beak looks normal to me.

Quarantine these newbies away from your current flock. Tend to these birds after you have tended to your existing flocks so you don't lessen the chance of transmitting something until you feel more confident that they are in good health. If you notice any symptoms of illness, then sadly, consider culling. I know it's not what anyone wants to do, but this will help reduce the chances of spreading something to your existing flock(s).

Good food, fresh water, some poultry vitamins once a week...hopefully all will go well for you.
 

ralleman

In the Brooder
Nov 27, 2021
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Thanks @Wyorp Rock. I've attached a much clearer photo. If it's peck bruising, it'll take a week to heal so I'll isolate for a week and see how we go. Since I posted this, I have noticed that the other two hens really dislike this new one and they are pecking at it pretty hard.
 

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Wyorp Rock

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I still think it may be bruising. It may take a couple of weeks to resolve as long as they are not getting re-bruised.

You got a photo of all of the older one. What breed is she supposed to be?
Hens are not always nice. Some birds don't get along at all, so take your time with introductions and see if that helps.
 

ralleman

In the Brooder
Nov 27, 2021
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An update. The smaller birds spots have cleared up and it's looking healthy. The older bird from the clear photo has developed another black spot on its comb. The existing spots haven't cleared up. I'll throw a new photo up over the weekend. It's isolated from the other birds and the new spot appeared while in isolation, but I haven't isolated the chick since it's looking fine.

You asked about breeds. This while hen is the oldest - roughly 6 months and is the only laying hen. It's a leghorn. It's new to the coop as of 10 days ago. The younger hens (nearly 6 months) are australorp crosses. They've owned the coop for 6 weeks. The chick is a light sussex.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
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Could it be fowl pox, maybe? Fowl pox is highly contagious, so the other birds would have it, too. Are you seeing anything similar on the others housed with this one?

Fowl pox is tough on tiny, very young chicks, but older birds seem to recover (like humans with chickenpox, ironically). My flock had it, and it cleared up in about 6 weeks. If others think it might be pox, you'll just need to check in their mouths for cankers, which can be problematic. If it's just the lesions on the comb and wattles, they'll probably clear up on their own.
 

ralleman

In the Brooder
Nov 27, 2021
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I have 4 birds and this one is the only sign of marks. The others are looking pretty healthy right now. It was getting quite badly pecked initially by the australorps, but I think I also inherited the bird with these marks, so it may have been getting attacked previously or it may have picked something up at the breeder's place.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
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Nevada County, CA
I have 4 birds and this one is the only sign of marks. The others are looking pretty healthy right now. It was getting quite badly pecked initially by the australorps, but I think I also inherited the bird with these marks, so it may have been getting attacked previously or it may have picked something up at the breeder's place.
That makes sense.

Do you have a chicken who bites? I have a Naked Neck who bites rather than pecks. That would certainly make bruises!
 

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