1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Summer scratching

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by unbaked pegga, May 31, 2016.

  1. unbaked pegga

    unbaked pegga Chillin' With My Peeps

    103
    1
    71
    Nov 22, 2014
    Mt Juliet Tn
    I have had chickens for two years now. Last summer they were scratching their faces quite a bit. This summer they are doing the same thing and bruising their eyes ,their waddles and sometimes their combs as well. . They look like they have black eyes. It is not good for their skin I am sure, I cannot see any broken areas but that will happen. Is there any ointment or anything I could do to stop there bruising themselves
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,450
    3,459
    528
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd be looking for the reason behind the scratching. External parasites such as mites come to mind. Have you checked them over carefully?
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,486
    3,372
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat!

    Check them over real well for mites and/or lice?
    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  4. unbaked pegga

    unbaked pegga Chillin' With My Peeps

    103
    1
    71
    Nov 22, 2014
    Mt Juliet Tn
    Well I swear, I had another poster tell me it was gnats and no see ums because it only happens in the summertime
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,486
    3,372
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That is also a possibility....but it's always good to check for external parasites living on the birds to be sure.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by