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    • CommentAuthordutchbantam
    • CommentTimeDec 13th, 2008 1:48pm (Dec 13th 2008)
    I wondered whether I could run this feather-growth problem by all you experts please?

    We have three Dutch bantam hens two of which have moulted and regrown feathers normally. The third bird moulted about 3 weeks later than the others. The tail feathers began to grow back correctly and some are fine, but a couple each side have a 'lollipop' appearance such that after the first inch or so there is only the bald white stem of the feather. 'Easy' hen, seems OK in other respects, eating well etc. but she does have a recurring whiteness of the leg scales which we tackle with vaseline and a leg-dunk in surgical spirit. If anyone can shed any light on this condition, I would be most grateful.

    Thanks all
    • CommentTimeDec 14th, 2008 1:22am (Dec 14th 2008) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Hi Mark, :welcome: to the forum again :001_smile:

    Is it possible you could post a photo of her legs and / or the new feathers? Is this her first moult? So on the 'lollipop' feathers, are there feather tufts at the bottom but then the higher up the feather goes it's simply spine?

    The fact she is eating, drinking & acting healthy is definitely a good sign. Do your chickens have access to sand / dirt in order to dust bathe (just wondering if it could be a mite infestation)??

    Sorry for all the questions, and the fact that i'm not very helpful... :)
    • CommentAuthordutchbantam
    • CommentTimeDec 14th, 2008 8:57pm (Dec 14th 2008)
    Hi Red

    Thanks a lot for your welcome & your response. I can answer some of your questions. It is 'Easy's' first moult. Actually, a photo would be worth a hundred words, so I will see what I can do this week. The affected feathers are OK at the tip, then go to bald spine. I am not sure whether they are bald all the way to the root, but I will check. I could be that there is just a bald gap in the feather growth from the spine.

    The bantams are free to roam over beds of soil and gravel. In the Summer they seem to enjoy partially burying themselves each day, but it has been so wet & cold that they're nothing like so active or adventurous. I am worried about mite-control and I understand there are mites that attack feathers. No doubt that of the three 'Ease' has suffered most with scaly leg mite, and the treatment we have tried only seems to keep it at bay, rather than solving it.

    Cheers & I will come back with a photo.

    • CommentTimeDec 15th, 2008 3:22am (Dec 15th 2008) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Photos will be very helpful, thanks :001_smile:

    During the moult, on some chickens the bottom few inches of the new feathers will just be spine, and the 'tufts' of feathers only grow at the top of the feather. Tilly has this quite a bit, I will try and find a decent photo...

    tilly bum 6
    Not sure how well you can make it out here, but the bottom inch or so of Tilly's new feathers are spine

    tilly close-up
    Here's another photo

    Chickens do tend to dust bathe more in the summer / hot weather, and less in cold damp weather. A sever mite infestation will be visible on close inspection of the feathers; running you fingers underneath the chickens' perches can also be a good indicator (if your fingers come away bloody mites are roosting under the perches) Mites are tricky boogers to deal with, but since using DE we have had no problem with them...

    As for scaly leg, the only method i have heard of to heal the problem is to coat the leg in vaseline for a 7 day cycle...sorry i can't be more helpful there :confused:
    • CommentAuthordutchbantam
    • CommentTimeDec 24th, 2008 7:31pm (Dec 24th 2008) edited
    Hello Again and thanks for your photos and comments. I think your second photo shows a similar condition, and it's reassuring to know that this isn't something very unusual. I have been chasing the bantams around with a camera, and have a shot. Trouble is I can't seem to figure out how to upload it!
    I'll come back to it after the Yule, speaking of which Merry Christmas to all!
    • CommentTimeDec 24th, 2008 9:46pm (Dec 24th 2008) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    If it's similar to the second photo, assume it's a moult and there is no reason to panic!! ;) I'll keep checking in for the photo - Happy Christmas to you and your chickens too!

    Oh, there is a very useful thread with step by step instructions onhow to post photos on the forum, created by Diane (thankyou Diane!). Hope it helps!