Oral Canker (Avian Trichomonosis) is caused by a protozoan parasite (trichomonas gallinae) commonly found in pigeons and doves.
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Every time a hen lays an egg she pushes out the inner lining of the vent slightly. In 99% of cases this shiny red protruding flesh immediately pulls back inside the hen.
In a small number of cases it doesn’t, resulting in a prolapse.
Lice are often found on hens that are debilitated or unwell, and live their entire lives on the body of the host chicken; adult lice shun sunlight and will quickly scatter when feathers are parted. They cannot spread to humans or other species.
The depluming mite (knemidocoptes gallinae) can infect most backyard fowl including chickens, ducks and geese. The mite burrows into the feather shafts and the skin surrounding the feathers.
The Northern Fowl Mite’s entire life cycle is spent on the host where it feeds on blood and is a source of irritation to the bird. Eggs are laid in masses at the base of the feathers, usually in the vent area.
Mycoplasma (Gallisepticum and Synoviae) is a bacteria not a virus. Both can affect the kidneys and hens are not routinely vaccinated to prevent them catching it. Infected birds become carriers, remaining infectious for life, although some birds may become immune.
Occasionally you may come across an abnormal object in the nest box that is neither egg nor dropping. This may be yellow or flesh-coloured and may look at first glance like a lump of sausage meat – this phenomenon is commonly known as a Lash.
Does your hen look as if she is wearing over-large carpet slippers? If so she might have Bumblefoot.
Vent gleet is the common name given to a cloacal fungal infection caused by Candida albicans; it presents in a similar way to thrush.
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