What is this? Blood scabs/mites/???


Nov 9, 2018
Geelong, Australia
Relatively new chicken owner here :)

We have just moved our two chickens (one light sussex hen & one australorp rooster) into their new coop and did not notice anything untoward with them before this. They are both about 18 months old.

I have noticed some black marks on the rooster's comb since we have moved them across to their new coop. There also appears to be some greyish scrape marks(?) lower down on the rooster's comb. There does not appear to have been an increase or movement in the black marks over the last week. The hen does not appear to have any similar issues at this stage.

For the first three or four nights after their move we had to catch them and put them in their new coop, and this was a bit of an exercise for both us and the birds, so I'm hoping that it may only be blood scabs as a result from me trying to catch them and them running into the coop run wire walls, etc. as we tried, resulting in the rooster being stressed.

We are also in spring here in Australia, so the rooster is strutting his stuff around the hen at the moment. So possibly blood scabs it could also be related to this?

Both birds are behaving normally and happy now after their initial stress of moving to the new coop (although they are not yet sleeping on their roosting perch ... which is very different to the one in their initial tiny coop). Both birds are once again comfortable to feed from me (although they don't want me to touch them ... something I am planning on working on more now).

Checking on these forums and wider on the internet, I'm not really able to come to a definitive diagnosis although narrowed it down to (perhaps) blood scabs from injuries caused by us catching him, mites or fowl pox. Obviously hoping for blood scabs.

I've attached the best photos that I've been able to take so far without catching them again & getting them all stressed once more (although I will do this if needed obviously). I'm hoping that I will be able to get some advice on what these marks are and if we need to do anything.

Many thanks in advance

Rooster-comb.jpg Rooster-comb-IV.jpg Rooster-comb-III.jpg


Isaac 0

Waterfowl Fanatic
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
Looks like dried blood to me. What will happen on occasions is the bird gets pecked/ or injured on the comb which cause's an open wound, they don't tend to like the feeling of blood going down their comb so they shake their head rapidly, and it fans all the blood off including onto their comb which cause's these little black specks like you're seeing.

The lower portion looks to be a little dry. The only thing that looks abnormal to me is his nares, they look to have an excess amount of dirt cached on which may affect his breathing abilities. I would try to moisten it down with some warm water and try to pick some off with a sharp-tipped object like a toothpick until it's gone.

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