Hi enola, it is not red blood that you see. If you crush them they are all black. I don't know what happens during their digestion, but they are not like the normal tick. They don't puff up after a feast of blood, they stay flat. The vaseline is so that you don't hurt the chook whilst trying to get the things off. The eye lid is very delicate, as you will aready know. Never scrape them off as they are hooked onto the chook. You need to suffocate them or poison them, which wouldn't be too good for the chook of course. These tick fleas were originally found in upper Queensland where it is tropical, now they are all over the place. Honestly enola, IF your chooks get them, the first sign will be the black blotches on the comb and wattle. The blotch is the give away. Treat the blotch and nothing else will happen to the chook, but the tick flea will have multiplied and travelled. That is why you treat all of them in the same coop, and also treat the coop. It is a pest to get rid of if left. In the late stages, the chook will look really depressed and huddled up, she will not lay, she will not be able to feed and she looks generally sad. This goes together with the eye lids which looks like eye shadow, you can see it clearly. IF you see one chicken with a blotch on the comb, remove her immediately, away from the others and you probably wont get too much of an infestation. As I said, this does mimic Marek's but you can save the flock easier. I am so sorry if I have inadvertantly started a panic. I thought everyone knew about tick fleas if you've got chooks. I will honestly answer any posts on this subject to put minds at rest.
Hen - Occasional eye bubbles, stopped laying, change in comb - Page 4
To me they look more like scabs than pox or bugs, but as I said earlier, no harm in treating for bugs.
Straight tick fleas
Quick update: we have 4 very dusty and irritated hens, wondering why their nap was disturbed - I'm happy the bug angle is covered, at least for now.
We got a few of the black bits off last night after the first vaselining and the remaining ones looked a bit more scab-like close up this time.
The others on close inspection have some small black areas but nothing like Tikka. With my five minute googling of pox, I don't think they look like that - there is no white on the combs, its all either red or black.
If we get to the end of the week and it turns out they're scabs, and just coincided with a pause in laying for the winter, I'll be happy we at least reacted with speed. Otherwise will keep checking her daily and checking for any changes.
Hi AlexChat, I am pleased that you are seeing this. The tick fleas do look like bits of scab I must admit, but that is how they look. I have crushed many of them and they all look the same. I am also pleased that you have done all what you have done. I am looking into seeing if kitten flea drops can be used on chooks, if so, the application would keep the nasties away. Just to let you know, chooks always take umbridge for anything that you try to do for them. They can give really surly looks, but it is just that they do not understand that we are trying to help them. Just hang in there and don't give up. You are doing a good job.
Hi enola, those pictures show a different infestation, they are stuck tight fleas and are in discussion on this sight. Those pictures are on google. They are not what I am talking about. The eye liner on eye lids is as I said. There is such a collection of tick fleas on the eye lid that the chook looks like she has eye liner on. These stuck tight fleas are visible with the naked eye, but you need a magnifier to see the ones that I am talking about. I wish I had taken pictures of chooks with the tick flea, then everyone would be able to see it. Those fleas are also brown to red. TF's are black and very flat.
Because I love the snipping tool, here is one last close up just in case anyone ever sees something like this: