Some type of feather issue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by deanmarz, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. deanmarz

    deanmarz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Somerset, NJ
    Out of 9 birds I have 3 RIR about 29 weeks old. They are constantly being picked on by the others. One is laying and one is a complete outcast. She sleeps alone, eats when no one is around and follows the flock at a distance. The other RIR is fast and thin and sleek looking. She can mingle if there are other diversions to keep the others busy.

    So I caught the thin one yesterday and as I was helping her preen her feathers I noticed that they were matted down in areas behind the wing, under the wing and down her side. Not much on the belly area.

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    Let me know if I should be worried and / or tell me what this is. The matting does not pull off the feathers without pulling the feathers out.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    29,235
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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    That is clumps of lice eggs. Don't bother buying DE, but get some permethrin powder or spray, or Sevin dust, and dust all of your chickens all over their skin. Then clean out your coop and nest boxes, and get rid of that litter far away, or burn it. Spray permethrin (Permectrin II) on the floor and walls before applying new pine shavings. In 10 days, and every 10 days until the eggs are gone, and no lice are seen, repeat the treatment. Here are some good links to read:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
    http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig140
     
  3. deanmarz

    deanmarz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Somerset, NJ
    Thanks for the reply and the good reading links.

    Yesterday I noticed small little insects on the 3 RIRs. None on the other birds. I dusted all 9 birds just to be safe. I wasnt sure the insect was a mite or louse. I had never seen either before. I also dusted the base of the walls of the coop. One other thing is that the RIRs all have clipped beaks. Now the problem is becoming much clearer. They can't clean themselves as well as the other birds and I dont see them do the dust bath like the others.

    Identification is critical to proper remediation. I will dust them again in a few days and I am going to set up a better dust bath situation. Right now I have a plastic snow sled full of dry sand. I am going to compliment the sand with wood ash and sevin dust tomorrow.
     
  4. deanmarz

    deanmarz Out Of The Brooder

    46
    3
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    Sep 19, 2014
    Somerset, NJ
    Just an update:

    After reading up on the subject I liked the idea of a wood-ash bath. I have a wood burning stove so the abundance of ash is no problem. I collected the ash in a metal bucket and let it sit for a few days. After I was sure it was completely cool, I dumped it in a plastic kids sled. For added protection I sprinkled Sevin dust on the ash.

    Everyday there is a group of dusty hens walking through the coop. The soil is still too wet in the run so they learned that the ash dust will penetrate deeper in the feathers.
     

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