Originally Posted by tarahharlin
Originally Posted by TwoCrows
I am not sure, but I believe my hens all have depluming mites to some degree. They all have a lot of feather loss on the breast and some are getting feather loss below the vent area. The skin in these areas is red. One hen has a scab or two on her breast around all this red skin.
I have visually checked them over and I am not seeing any other symptoms but the red skin and feather loss. I have cleaned out the coop, dusted with DE, sprayed the floors, walls, roost bars and nest boxes with premethryin (sp) spray.
Everybody was wormed a few months ago.
What can I apply to the skin of my hens to kill off mites or eggs that might be in the feather shafts, help clear up the red skin and allow feathers to regrow?
This is not a feather plucking issue between them. It seems they are pulling out their own feathers to relieve the irritation.
Thanks so much!
I am dealing with this right now with my RIR. Just curious if you ever found an effective treatment?
You will know you have depluming mites of you see completely stripped stalks of feather shafts, with no feather left on the stalk. Or at least partially feathered. Look closely at tail and wing feathers...you will see horizontal lines where the feather is very thin. Sometimes the feather breaks off or gets chewed off at this line. These are from depluming mites.
They live up in the shafts of the feathers and feed off newly growing feathers, hence the horizontal barring of the feather. These mites are very difficult to treat, however I found that Ivermectin Pour on for Cattle, 6 drops for a standard sized chicken, behind the neck on the skin only, once a week for 4 to 6 weeks really helped. These mites live most of their lives up in the feather, only getting on the skin to move to another follicle. So it takes many treatments to kill these things. They do not lay eggs, but bear live young up inside the feather. Sometimes you can split a feather down the middle with an exacto blade and see hollow portions inside the feather, if these mites are bad enough. They are too microscopic to see but if the infestation is bad enough, you can see their damage inside the feather.
After a month of treatments, I gave the birds a month off, used vitamins and probiotics to help with immune system repair, and then I did another round for 4 more weeks. I got most of them and my birds stopped chewing. You will never get rid of all of them. All birds have them, but learn to control them for the most part. As the bird gets older or their immune systems get weak, they let these mites over populate.
Spraying your hens around the base of the tail and under the wings with some natural oil based poultry spray (Manna Pro makes a good natural Poultry Protector) will help in the future to keep these things at bay.
Good luck! :-)