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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone!
I have a Sexlink, Minnie Pearl (because she never shuts up), anyway, last summer when she molted she had an area on her back toward the tail feathers that had a problem. The feathers are not normal. Very sparse towards the tip and nothing before that. She has very red and swollen areas. I am going to try and post pics. Because she never seemed bothered we just left her be, but a year later she is still missing feathers and I think it is beginning to spread. We are fairly new with chickens, so I contacted the local feeder who recommended Vetericyn. We have used this but it does not seem to work like it has for other issues. Any ideas what is wrong and what we should do?
Sue
 

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Teach, have you checked her for mites? There is some sort of residue on the base of her tail feathers, I can't really tell what it is.
They usually go for a darker area, by her vent.... flip her over and check her butt.

Also, her girlfriends may be attracted to the bright red color, and picking it.
Watch everyone to rule that out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, we have checked for mites, the other hens don't pick and the feathers came in really thin and fine and only on the tips. This happened when she molted last summer. :confused:
 

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My guess would be a feather follicular mite or an infection. I'm a veterinarian who has treated chickens in the past. If you have a vet who will give you a very small chicken dose of ivermectin, or you could use 1-2 drops of feline revolution to address any mites. There is a product called Dr. Harvey's healing cream that works wonders on humans, pets and is safe for chickens. I would also try that topically on the area. Dr Harvey's has a website: drharveys.com and the healing cream is about $10 a jar. Buy 2-3 as I promise you will want them in multiple places (bathroom, kitchen, bird medicine box.). Healing cream is made of tea tree oil, calendula, Vit C, Vit E and is safe even if they eat it. If you use the revolution or ivermectin I would discard the eggs for 10-14 days just to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for the advice. I am actually go to look closer now that I see what you are talking about. The dark area next to the skin. I am going take a closer look and see. She is not bothered by it at all, but I don't like my babies not being 100% healthy and I will remember not to use her eggs. I will keep you posted. Headed to Dr. Harvey's.
Sue
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh no, I just completely inspected her and she is completely red and has dry skin all underneath her. :) I guess it is a vet visit. :*(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just ordered it. I couldn't find any locally. I read that an epsom salt bath might help. What do you think. I am going to try and take more thorough pictures. I will keep you posted. It is night where I am now, so tomorrow on with the new.
 

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Epsom salt may not be pleasant to red skin. The other thing that might help is feeding flax seed. It will boost the immune system and really help heal skin and coat. Or feathers in this case. This is long term healing. You need something for the crisis. A&D ointment is also good if you have it in the house. If you're going to the vet, I'd leave the lesion as clean as possible do they can evaluate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought about the Epsom salt too. I don't think I am going to do that. I just went out again with flashlight and did a complete assessment. Her tail is the worse which is pictured here. the breast and belly are very thin with feathers. The skin just looks red and swollen. I heard (a couple of times now) that increasing protein helps skin and feather reproduction. Can I feed her sardines with flax seed? I thought about Neosporin too, but I think A&D is good. I would like to stay away from meds because I can't monitor whose eggs are whose and I would have to throw them all away :*( Oh, my husband read something about yougurt.
 

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Yogurt is fine and has protein and will also support a strong immune system. I'm guessing you're using a laying ration which should be pretty high in protein and the sardines should also add omega fatty acids like the flax seed. There are no known toxic levels of omega FA so whatever she doesn't use she will just eliminate. I just wish she was in front of me so I could do a better exam for you. All these things are very general treatments and will help over time. She just may be special and need special nutrition.
 

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Iteach2008,

I've very interested in what you find out. Could you please keep us posted? Also IF it does turn out to be mites your whole flock and enclosure will need to be treated. At this point it doesn't look like mites or lice to me but have you checked the rest of the chickens to be sure they don't have any?
 

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I seem to have a similiar problem. We got all 4 of ours (full grown) from a friend that needed to get rid of her dozen or so. The group got split up, so I would think if one had mites they all might but we only have one with an issue.

Here's the issue.
She has a similiar bare spot, it is by her vent and she sometimes does this backwards bu++ scratching thing. She will squat down, put one leg out and shove herself backwards a bit. Kind of the opposite of a dog scratching on a sidewalk thing.

Any ideas would be appreciated. I am not even sure how to describe this so I can google it.
 

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Chickens (birds) have an oil gland at the top of their tail. I'm guessing that she is oiling her feathers to keep them water proof. Ducks will do this a lot if you watch them on the water. Not to say that an oil gland can't get inflamed or infected but there is a natural oil gland that is normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The A&D Ointment, Dr. Harvey's did nothing but make it worse, so I have just left it alone. I thought about butt rash stuff but didn't want to keep messing with her.
 

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What about Aloe? Or you could try homeopathic calendula known as the healer of all wounds. I'm sorry the other stuff didn't help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am worried that I we are just going to keep making it worse. She doesn't seem bothered by it, and I am thinking that she is going to need an antibiotic. And as you know, I am sure, how much do you invest in chicken. :( I just hate seeing her with this irritation that isn't going away. The A&D just caused a bunch of dirt to cling and now she just looks dirty. I was thinking butt paste?
 

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I thought it was something veterinary that I'd never heard of. Lol. Well hope she's going okay. I was wondering about dust baths and her access to them. Lack of access could be the cause of distress.
 
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