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wierd bump, protrusion, ingrown feather... actually preening gland

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by akawka, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. akawka

    akawka Hatching

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Dalles Oregon
    This morning I learned something new about hens.

    Have you ever noticed a strange protrusion under her feathers, near the tail? It looks like an ingrown feather, or something. I didn't know what it was when I saw her poking herself this morning. It looked like a huge pimple on her back. I thought she had a tick or something, and she was scratching it with her beak....

    So I looked it up on Google and I learned that its an important part of her anatomy! This wierd alien finger sticking out of her back is her Preening Gland. DON't Cut it off! Don't treat it for impaction! I was looking on this forum this morning for information on an impacted feather, because I thought that's what it was. I hope this post helps others who think they have an ingrown feather.
    ! [​IMG]

    Chickens keep their feathers waterproof by preening. A chicken gets oil from a gland located at the base of its tail feathers. This gland is called the uropygial gland, or preen gland.

    The preen gland secretes an oily/waxy substance which the chicken spreads over its feathers with its beak. If you watch your chickens preening, you will see them periodically rub their beak on an area by the base of their tail to get more oil from their preen gland.
    Miss Ayame and ChickLizzie like this.

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I'll have to look and see if my bantam frizzle has one. when she gets wet she looks like a drowned rat. poor thing! [​IMG]
  3. 5Leepy!

    5Leepy! Chirping

    May 17, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Thank you so much for posting this... I was positive it was an ingrown feather. lolololol
  4. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chirping

    May 3, 2011
    Northern Utah
    WOW, who would've thunk such a thing... very interesting and good information. I would've freaked out if I had noticed something like that on one of my chickens. Now I won't have that rush of anxiety if I ever notice it... Thanks for sharing!!
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I LOVE BYC!!!

    Then hens were free ranging last night and my JG reached around and began to nibble on this growth just above her tail. I was FREAKING out that something was wrong and even contemplated taking her to the vet. How embarrassing would that have been.

    That bump is definitely her preening gland and that makes perfect sense.

    Love this group.
  6. Atomic Ranch

    Atomic Ranch Songster

    May 7, 2011
    El Cerrito, So Cal
    Ohhhh thank goodness. I saw this on my Ameraucana hen today and was like, [​IMG] Figured an ingrown hiney feather! Thank you!!!! [​IMG]
  7. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    Quote:My sentiments exactly! [​IMG]

  8. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chirping

    Jun 20, 2011
    really interesting stuff, thank you for sharing!
  9. nickie

    nickie Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    I remember the first time I noticed that on one of mine. I checked another bird for reference found it again and again so I quit worrying about it. Sorta figured if they all had it then it must be for something. I hadn't thought about that until I ran across the thread title. Good for you for thinking to post this to help out.
  10. rumblebug00

    rumblebug00 In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2012
    I just noticed this gland on my 4 week old Australorp. I'm SO thankful for this post! Saved my bacon...I was about to freak out! Thank you for sharing the information. :)

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