Big red & purple rash between legs

by Jayde
(QLD Australia)


My hen is 3 years old. She has a big red & purple rash between legs! .

This morning, it was very small and pink but it has gotten worse. We have washed it in salted water to see if it could help but it hasn’t done anything since.

What can we do and what is it? (We hypnotized her for the photo)

Salted water will not help or cure a rash. Has she been pecked by the other hens? Are there any pieces of splintery wood that she can be getting scraped on?

I would suggest that you go to the feed store and get an antibiotic gel to apply to the affected area.

It would also be wise to pick up a water soluble broad spectrum antibiotic for her. She should be isolated until she is well again.

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Red and purple "rash"

by: Sharon

Red and purple "rash": Judging by the picture, I don't believe this is a rash. What I have noticed in some of my chickens, over many years, is that areas of their skin without feathers seem to turn bright red (the same color as combs and wattles).

I've never noticed bumps other than the feather follicles, where feathers have been plucked (usually by other chickens).

I've taken in rescue chickens that have lived in over crowded conditions, possibly had poor diet and had been picked on by others.

They had this kind of red patch on their back, vent area, or neck). I've been unable to find information about this to back up my thoughts, but have noticed that once the feathers grew back the red skin vanished.

Another thing I've noticed in birds other than chickens, is that some hens pluck their breast area.

It's called a "brooding patch". Hard feathers and sometimes all down is removed by the bird herself in order to make better contact with her clutch of eggs.

Often the feathers are used to line her nest and direct contact with her skin can help keep incubating eggs more moist and warm.

Feathers are designed to insulate and keep body heat in, so it would make sense to me that removing some or all breast feathers, where the hen's body makes contact with eggs, would help her more efficiently share her body heat.

(Other animals make use of their breast covering to benefit their young. Rabbits, generally within 24 hours of giving birth pull amazing amounts of fur from their bellies.

They line the nest and make a "blanket" they cover the babies with. As well as a soft warm nest, this exposes the rabbits teats, making it easier for her young to nurse.)

A rash is usually raised and may have weepy moisture or blisters. To me this looks like skin exposed to some sun light, much like when we get a tan.

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