Strange growth (with photo) - what IS this?!

austradork

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 12, 2010
95
7
41
Seattle
Good morning, everyone,

A few weeks ago I noticed that one of our australorps had a growth on her back about the size and shape of two pencil eraser heads stacked on top of each other. I thought it was strange but decided not to panic (which, as a new chicken keeper, was easier said than done!). But last weekend I noticed our other australorp had an identical growth in the same place. I thought "Darn! It must be some funky genetic thing." But yesterday I noticed that our Orpington had one on her back too! The growths look like they might be really, really ingrown feathers or something. In fact, two out of the three growths appear like they are trying to grow feathers through them (or, at least I see feathers that look as if they have been been snapped off at the base). The growths don't seem painful at all, although I do occasionally see the girls biting them. Has anyone seen anyone like this before? Do these growths need to be removed?

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

bigstack

Songster
10 Years
Jan 4, 2010
1,155
5
174
Texarkana, TX
Sorry! Im too new myself! I wish I knew what to tell you. Hopefully some one will respond soon.

Good Luck and God Bless!
 

caralouise1974

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
590
5
141
Evesham, Worcestershire, UK
Looks just like the preen gland to me! The 'biting' is actually them transferring the oil onto their beaks in order to preen it over the rest of their feathers.

Let's just check - is it on the saddle, where the back meets the tail feathers? If so, it's totally normal, and indeed totally necessary!
 

austradork

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 12, 2010
95
7
41
Seattle
Yep! The "growths" are all right above the tail. They are definitely their oil glands. I feel so much better (and a little sheepish!). Thanks to everyone.
 

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