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 Post subject: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 2:05 pm
Posts: 4
Hi, hope someone has come across this before, and can help.
I am caring for 5 chooks (1 white, 3 black, 1 red) for a friend in their coop.

A few times in the last couple of weeks I found what looks like black soot in the laying box, twice all over an egg. It looks like that chook is depositing it when she lays. The eggs themselves look normal otherwise. I'm not sure which chook it is, however I found 1 black chook dead in the laying box last week - not sure if that is just a coincidence, as one black chook was getting on in years.

No 'soot' for a few days, until today. Again in the laying box.

Does anyone know what it could be, and what I should do about it? Would appreciate any advice, thankyou.


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Newbie
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
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Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Does it smell musty in the coop? Could be mould? how damp is it there?
Try ventilating everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:30 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 2:05 pm
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Thankyou Okaru, good thought but I don't think that's it. The coop is out in the open, all sides, although under cover, so there's plenty of ventilation. It doesn't smell. I've cleaned it all out now, tossed the old nesting material in the trash and replaced the bedding. I'll see what happens tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:16 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Victoria
I guess you could write a list of things to further rule out (or in) if mould isn't the cause.

Do they have any wood ash in their yard to dust bathe in?

How fine is the soot, could they be mites?

Could it be poultry lice related? (their eggs sort of look 'dusty' on the chickens, but I don't know if they shed it)

Are there any plants in their pen that have sooty mould? (some weird transfer thing happening maybe?)

Hmm, can't think of any other random thing that it might be, you'd really think it was mould related but if everything is dry then who knows!

Can you take some photos if it occurs again?


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:47 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Is it definitely a dust? Does it brush off the eggs?
Can you post some pics?


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:31 am 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 2:05 pm
Posts: 4
Tx, it's definitely a dust-like substance, it brushes off. I'll take pics next time it happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:42 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Check the nesting material - shake some fresh and used over paper.
Any spiders/creatures overhead(droppings). From time to time strange dust appears on the back of my mum's couch. That is the only explanation we can come up with.
Could one of the hens be dust bathing in something? Check thru their feathers for crawlies.


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 Post subject: Re: Black 'soot' problem
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 2:05 pm
Posts: 4
None in the nesting box today, all eggs laid normally.

Don't think it's dropping from insects, or dust bathing either, as it's very fine, and covers approx 2 x 20c pieces in area. Think a good shake of icing sugar, only jet black. Weird, I know.

Appreciate your suggestions though :-)


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