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My chooks are suffering .....  from redness and feather loss on their backs and underneath around their bottoms and between their legs.  There is one cockerel with them and his legs are very red and sore looking.  I have treated them with lice powder however would ask if anyone can recommend a spot treatment that I could use which would be more effective. 

Having lost two hens in two weeks -  today we decided to catch the rest (14 hens and 1 cockerel) and treat them for lice and check their condition.  All but 2 hens appear really skinny and have no body weight to them.  They are housed in an 8ft x 8ft wooden shed. Feed is poultry mixed corn and layers pellets and they have oyster shell - available continuously throughout the day. They also have free range of a paddock.  Living is a very windy area we have allowed the paddock to grow a bit wild to allow some shelter against it.  

The hens are 2017 POLs.  Any suggestions would be gratefully received. 


  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    i sometimes use ivermectyn in the form of hypermectyn used for pigeons . it kills lice, mites and worms
    hens bared skin is naturally redder than ours but if theres any sore patches with them then you can use sudocream or colloidal silver on them
    What breed are they? what symptoms were the 2 that died showing? Can you keep one or two in for a few days to check for symptoms as it seems theres something else going on , not just lice for you to lose 2 youngsters so close together . check their poo and also check for any respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing , discharge from nose or eyes etc
    come back if you notice anything
    keep us updated
     xx Kath
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    I also use Hypermectin for pigeons as a spot-on against ectoparasites.

    Assuming that they have plenty to eat 9sounds very much as though they do), then are they up to date for worming? I usually use Flubenvet 2-3 times per year as my hens free range large areas and parasites are more common in hens with access to a lot of land. Yours sound like they have a large area to roam, too.

    Adult birds who are sexually mature often do have red legs. Other areas of exposed skin can be bright red, too. I have Naked Necks who have brig ht red necks and a ring of bright red skin without feathers around the body. Pictures may help (if you are able to post them, not sure I know how to).
  • Thank you undautri and sandiesbrahmas for your helpful suggestions.  I have contacted our vet for some Hypermectyn and some Flubenvet as our local farm supplies does not sell the Hypermectyn. As I am in Orkney they have said that they would like to take a look at the chickens and I will let you know how we get on.  Many thanks
  • Vet happy no serious problem with the chickens and left Flubenvet.  Hadnt registered with a vet in Orkney until today hence the visit prior to  leaving Flubenvet. I asked also for Hypermectin however vet said to use the Flubenvet and then contact in 5 days if no change. Thanks so much for your help Kath and sandiesbrahmas .. will let you know their progress. xx

  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    Thats really good news
     lucky you living on Orkney but i bet you get some rough winters . Both Sandie and myself are in "sunny" Wales!
     just to let you know that ivermectin also kills worms thats why the vet was unwilling to give you both at the same time
    x Kath

  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    Sounds like good news. Hopefully they'll do well after worming.

    Orkney always looks such a lovely place to be.....albeit a bit 'challenging' in the winter months.

    Kath has become something of an expert on chicken diseases over the years, so is always going to be helpful with your birds.

  • Thank you Kath and Sandie for your support.  The chooks are happily munching through the Flubenvet and thanks for the info regarding Ivermectin ... Sure life can be challenging here in Orkney, when the suns out it is beautiful and when the cold wind and rain is here you wonder why you moved from mainland UK.  The problems we have is also the midges and wild birds.  I have a solar fly blitzer on the chicken house door and feed the ladies inside their house as the starlings are fierce thieves ... I think this help to an extent however as the food is available 24/7 I do still get birds inside the house which is a pain.  Im currently experimenting with an umbrella contraption over the hanging feed tubs in an attempt to stop the birds swooping down to get feed.  I've a mix of chooks, Bluebells (my favourite), Scots Greys, Rhode Island Red, Black Rock and a few cross breeds.  I keep chickens mainly for the fact that I love them but when eggs are in abundance I sell a few boxes up our lane.  Its lovely to hear from you both. x

  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    hi youve got some laying machines there in those breeds
     i was given some bluebelles a few years back but they were really timid and didnt come out of the coop for 3 days . when they did they were really aggressive . i found out later that their last owner had been keeping them in one of those tiny two tier combos not big enough for 2 bantams let alone 3 large adult bluebells . i was never able to integrate them with my others because the 3 of them would gang up together against my bantams until they were down to one - Zena settled down in the flock eventually when she didnt have her 2 minions helping her! i cursed them on times but was happy that i was able to rescue them from their cramped life and they repaid me with lots of big eggs bless them
     im down to 6 at the moment - head hen is a pekin , 3 silkies- a hen, a cockerel and a sex change and ive recently bought two blue egg layers - leghorn x araucanas
     ive never been able to sell eggs , ive given some away to friends and family but we're 4 adults here so eat most of the eggs
     we never see scotts greys for sale down here, are they good layers?
     thanks Sandie for your nice words - ill pay you later - i dont see myself as an expert as theres always something new to learn in the world of chicken keeping
     Sandie however is definitely an expert on breeding especially when it comes to breeding cockerels - she owns the record on here for hatching so many cockerels
    x kath
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    I've never kept true Bluebell chickens, though I have a hen who looks just like one. Genetically she has descended from Warrens, so some of the elements are there. 
    I have mainly Brahmas (what a surprise!) and Naked Necks......I go for 'lookers'.....Brahmas are very showy, and Naked Necks just look seriously weird.
    Brahmas are usually big and placid, but my head hens are a very stroppy Gold Brahma who fights like a cockerel and a nasty old black Naked Neck who will peck anything that tries to get near to 'her' food.
    Kath is completely right about breeding expertise. What are the chances of getting 11 cockerels out of a hatch of 12? Being vegetarian, they were of no use to me. Took ages to regime the majority, whilst getting OH to despatch the aggressive ones and feed them to my spoilt dog.
    I seem to go through 'feast and famine' with eggs. The ravens steal them from the coop if they hear the egg song, so I have had to devise ways of emptying eggs and replacing contents with gravel over a prolonged period to give them terminal indigestion.
    As always when I have rather a lot of hens, I refuse to count them. I do have two cocks though (sorry if that sounds 'wrong'), a Blue Partridge Brahma called Mr Glas......alpha and a big sweetie, and AJ,Gold Brahma and  son of A, with J standing for Junior. He's nasty and his days are almost certainly numbered.

  • Sorry for late reply Undautri and Sandiesbrahmas ... Ive changed locations during the past week and a half and am now currently in Portsmouth.  I've a pal who checks my chooks whilst I am away and works in one of my outdoor buildings. In answer to you question re: Scots Greys (Kath) I bought 3 hens from mainland Scotland about 20 months ago.  I had read that they were an old breed that was raised as a table bird back in the 1600's .  Unfortunately I lost one and the two I have are very timid and I wonder whether they would be better off by themselves.  I am not convinced that both are laying and the one that is seems to lay large, white soft shell eggs albeit that they have 24/7 access to oyster shell.  I do love them though and they are gentle birds and easily catchable.  I'm visiting my sister-in-law next week; she has just taken 7 chooks that after 14months are deemed past their best. She does not know the breeds only that some lay very dark brown eggs and some green.  I will be very interested to see what she has got .. and I know they will have a great home with her.  I will keep you posted.  It is great to hear what's occurring with your chooks.  BTW: Managed to grab our cockerel, Poldark II, and removed his spurs ... so hopefully this will also help the ladies with their feather loss.  Take care  x 
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