What to do, what to do?

I write here today in a large amount of stress. I’ve noticed about myself that I tend to take a small symptom from my chickens and morph it into a disaster requiring immediate medical attention. Now I can’t tell if my flock has potential issues, or if it is all in my head. I know I have a few chicken-keeping readers, so I address you now- if you have any advice/experience in the following matter, I would love to hear it. It would ease my stress tremendously to hear another chicken keeper’s opinion.

So here is the deal.

For a while now, Cora has been having a messy bottom. Its been happening for a few months- I clean it, it gets a little messy, life goes on. There aren’t any sores or raw spots, just some (for lack of better term) crappy feathers.

Recently I noticed Mabel’s bottom isn’t all that great either, though not nearly as messy as Cora’s. Tonight I checked Edith’s vent, and the same thing, dried excrement stuck to feathers.

For the past two weeks, Cora’s eggs have been messed up. They have gotten chalky and pale, or even shell-less. The other two hen’s eggs are completely normal. They have constant access to calcium

Mary has been fighting Scaly Leg Mites for the past month or so, and her feet are improving a little bit each day

This week I noticed Edith has a developing bald spot by his comb, which prompted this frenzy about parasites.

Its a mystery to me. I have no idea what to do! The procedure for mites is as follows: buy poultry dust or other harsh medication, apply to chickens and entire coop, clean out coop, repeat in 7 days. Its a hassle, and stressful for the chickens. What to do??

chikWho would have thought that a bit of missing feathers could cause all this anxiety…


6 thoughts on “What to do, what to do?

  1. Anna Smith says:

    Good luck–I haven’t had to deal with mites so I don’t know what would work best. A couple of my hens have tiny bald spots behind their comb, but it hasn’t grown so right now doesn’t look like anything.

    For the shell-less eggs, I found good info here: http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/causes-and-cures-for-soft-shelled-and-shell-less-eggs/ I’ve only had couple shell-less egg here and there, so with my flock it seems to be just a fluke.

    I hope they all get better!

  2. Belladonna Took says:

    Go ask Mother Hen at http://motherhendiaries.com/ – she’s a sweetheart and very knowledgeable. And take a deep breath, girl, and calm down! I read up on chicken poop at Backyard Chickens and by all accounts it can be pretty much as varied as human poop without meaning anything problematic. The eggs indicate some sort of problem, but I’m sure it’s just a mineral deficiency, and once you figure it out you can bring her back to full health.

    Oh …maybe you should also google the chemicals you’re using for the mites, and see if they can have side effects…

  3. CastIronDan says:

    I don’t believe that Edith has any parasite problems. He probably just spied something tasty on the other side of the fence and wore some feathering off trying to get to it! I’ve seen the same pattern on a few of my chickens too…

    • caitlinmlew says:

      I didn’t even think about that! That makes perfect sense too, since they ate all the grass in their run so they want to eat the green stuff on the other side. Thank you! I wish someone had brought that up before I went into full freak out mode 🙂

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