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Little brown bugs in my hens feathers! How do I get rid of them?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
While examine my hens vent to see if she was laying, I noticed a TON of little brown bugs crawling in her feathers deep down near her skin. I want to get rid of these ASAP!!! Live or mites, I don't so much care what they are but want to get rid of them today! Help!!h
post #2 of 23

They are lice - don't panic, they won't infest you! Poultry dust from the local farm store works best. You will have to dust each bird around the vent under the wings etc. - dust thoroughly and repeat treatment in 7-10 days to get the newly hatched. You will also have to change out bedding, nest boxes etc. sweep and wash down the coop. Once dry, sprinkle poultry dust liberally in their coop.

Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.

Blogger for: www.thehappychickencoop.com

 

    We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.     Mother Teresa

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Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.

Blogger for: www.thehappychickencoop.com

 

    We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.     Mother Teresa

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post #3 of 23
Seriously, i am 4 months now trying to get rid of black lice/mites. Not sure which, don't care. My one polish roo keeps getting re-infested somehow. Probably the wild birds i think. Good luck tho. I know exactly how you feel! I get itchy even talking about it!
2 game bird hens, 4 gold laced Cochin, a half polish Rooster named Elvis, and a conglomeration of their offspring numbering about 20 which is down from the 60 something birds of last winter. Also 7 Pearl Guineas, and 2 month old Turkeys
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2 game bird hens, 4 gold laced Cochin, a half polish Rooster named Elvis, and a conglomeration of their offspring numbering about 20 which is down from the 60 something birds of last winter. Also 7 Pearl Guineas, and 2 month old Turkeys
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post #4 of 23

There is a difference between lice and mites. You sound like you have mites if they are under the skin. Regardless of what it is clean your coop thoroughly because the eggs are there. They will just re=infest. Shovel out any hay or wood shavings etc. Wash whatever you can down with bleach. The farm supply store sells PROMETRYCIN SPRAY. You will have to read the caution label and follow directions. You generally have to spray the entire bird and also the nesting boxes and henhouse. It is contagious to other birds and sometimes other animals.

post #5 of 23

Be careful where you buy chickens. If you go to a flea market or chicken auction etc these things can be transmitted. Examine your birds feathers before you buy them because they can bring these pests to the rest of your flock. You have to treat them all and also the henhouse. These insects can carry germs in their bodies. They bury up in the skin of the animal. There is a difference between lice and mites. You sound like you have mites if they are under the skin. Regardless of what it is clean your coop thoroughly because the eggs are there. They will just re=infest. Shovel out any hay or wood shavings etc. Wash whatever you can down with bleach. The farm supply store sells PROMETRYCIN SPRAY. You will have to read the caution label and follow directions. You generally have to spray the entire bird and also the nesting boxes and henhouse. It is contagious to other birds and sometimes other animals.

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you all! I took another look and they look exactly like the lice photos. Only one hen out of 11 seems to have them! I caught everyone and examined them except two I couldn't get a hold of (even tonight in the coop). I am going to try again tomorrow. I did get 5 hens from an auction recently so I bet that's where they came from. I got all of the new hens dusted and the coop is cleaned. The one I couldn't catch though can fly and is constantly out roaming with the ducks and enjoying life completely free range. She is so happy to come and go as she pleases o haven't wanted to clip her wings. Could she be part of the problem? The only supply store open today had poultry dust so I used that! Planning on doing this every weekend for the next few weeks!
post #7 of 23

Yes she can be part of the problem. Just like kids in a daycare swapping lice around, they all need to be treated at once. Permethrycin spray will kill lice too, I think, it is usually in a blue pump spray bottle. I have never used it. Ask the farm supply store what they recommend. Also, you can buy oregano food supplement made for chickens. It is sort of powdered, I have heard of gringing up green oregano leaves and feeding it to them. In humans, oil of oregano and garlic help make you more immune to these kinds of vectors as well as mosquitoes and are said to fight infections. I have seen the oregano for chicken products for sale but have not used them. They also have a natural antibiotic quality.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just heard that about oregano somewhere! Someone was telling me to just put leaves in their water or oil of oregano in their water. I feel bad taking away her freedom but their health means a lot to me! I want to believe it's part of the reason they aren't all laying. I'm getting 2 eggs a day out of about 6 hens of age.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChxLadyCass View Post

Thank you all! I took another look and they look exactly like the lice photos. Only one hen out of 11 seems to have them! I caught everyone and examined them except two I couldn't get a hold of (even tonight in the coop). I am going to try again tomorrow. I did get 5 hens from an auction recently so I bet that's where they came from. I got all of the new hens dusted and the coop is cleaned. The one I couldn't catch though can fly and is constantly out roaming with the ducks and enjoying life completely free range. She is so happy to come and go as she pleases o haven't wanted to clip her wings. Could she be part of the problem? The only supply store open today had poultry dust so I used that! Planning on doing this every weekend for the next few weeks!


My hens are free range and they have few/no lice - check your ducks..

 I have heard good things about oregano oil, whether or not it treats 'cooties' effectively I don't know.

Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.

Blogger for: www.thehappychickencoop.com

 

    We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.     Mother Teresa

Reply

Expat Brit living the dream - 40ish chickens, 2 Beagles, 2 cats, rabbits........and counting.

Blogger for: www.thehappychickencoop.com

 

    We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.     Mother Teresa

Reply
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately they aren't my ducks so I will ask my brother in law to check them! He's on clipped 2 of 3's wings so I'll let that be his chore lol. I think some oregano couldn't hurt! Anything to spoil my girls!
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › Little brown bugs in my hens feathers! How do I get rid of them?