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I noticed one of my hens had what looked like plaques on

it's skin (legs and face)...
I noticed one of my hens had what looked like plaques on it's skin (legs and face). She moves her head and neck sideways at times when looking at something on the ground. She has since lost her feathers on her head and underneath her neck. She eats and drinks normally. My other hens are fine.
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
5/16/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,746
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Can you upload a photo(s) of these plaques to our conversation? You can upload photos by using the paperclip or add file icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see those icons on your particular device) or you can use an external app such as dropbox.com/

I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I tried to send a photo using the add file icon in your reply. Please let me know if you received it. I'm having trouble downloading dropbox. Thank-you!

No, nothing has arrived. If you need help please contact customer service at***@******.*** or http://ww2.justanswer.com/help

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Hi Tracey,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I sent 3 photos to the support group to be forwarded to you.

Thank you. I'll watch for them.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,746
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Hi, Have you received the photos yet? Best, ***** *****

I haven't, Tracey. I'll ask my moderator to look for them.

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I finally received the photos, Tracey. Such extensive damage to her head suggests aggression by your other hens. An initial skin lesion is well-masked at this time. My initial thought would be mite infestation but not if none of your other birds is affected and she's not preening excessively. Have you looked at her vent area for skin lesions? External parasites should also be identified prior to treatment but in most cases a poultry permethrin-containing dust or, preferably, Elector PSP (spinosad) spray as well as environmental control should suffice. Elector PSP is sprayed into a clean and empty coop at a rate of 9 mL (2 measuring teaspoons) per gallon of water. There’s no egg withdrawal necessary. A recent study showed that mite populations could be controlled with dust boxes containing either diatomaceous earth, kaolin clay, or sulfur. All hens using dust boxes with any material showed a reduction in ectoparasites (mites, lice, fleas) by 80-100% after one week when compared to control groups. Ectoparasite populations recovered when dust boxes containing diatomaceous earth or kaolin clay were removed; however, sulfur provided a residual effect up to nine months post removal. Sulfur powder should be found in your local feed store. Provision of dust boxes may be a simple and effective method of ectoparasite control for backyard flocks.

For now, I'd isolate her away from your others and treat her for ectoparasites - mites, lice, fleas - although I'm not convinced that ectoparasites are the problem. I'm going to forward the photos to a friend of mine who is a specialist veterinary pathologist with a special interest in birds. I'll get back to you after I hear from her...usually within 24 hours.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank-you for the info. None of my other hens show any signs and this particular hen has had this for a few months. I do think the other hens are picking on her which is why she has no feathers on her head. However, I do think she is preening excessively as she now has no feathers on much of her chest, She cocks her head in an odd manner and I have not heard her vocalize any typical chicken sounds. My flock is free range so they take dust baths in a few places around the house. I can treat those places with the products you suggested. Look forward to hearing back from you. Best, Tracey

Thank you for the additional information. I'll return to our conversation shortly.

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The pathologist "would really want to check for parasites" (mites, lice) and believes that this hen is being cannabalized as well. My recommendations, then, stand. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Okay, thank-you. Can the hen be treated individually with sulfur (i.e. dust her with the sulfur)?

Certainly. That's a good and safe approach. I'd like all of your birds to have access to a sulfur powder-containing dust box. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank-you. You have been very helpful! I just dusted her with a permethrin containing powder, as that was the only product our local feed store carried. I'll continue looking for the sulfur. I also put out a dust box with kaolin clay.

You're welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. Please keep me posted.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,746
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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