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Scaly Face Mite

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi All, I'm quite new to chicken keeping but so far I'm loving every minute and I don't know why I left it for so long!! I have 4 Pekin Bantams who are approx 24 weeks old, only one of which is laying so far. However, the smallest, a lovely lavender, has had a swollen scaly face for almost 2 weeks now. The first morning I saw her, her eyes were closed and I thought she was still sleeping. (It was a little earlier than usual so thought little of it). The next morning her eyes were closed again so I brought her into the house and bathed them open with warm water. The same again the following morning. She is eating ok and seems fine once her eyes are open but she is constantly shaking her head and scratching at her face. I took her to the vet who took a sample of the flaky skin and said she had scaly face mite. She was given a few drops of something behind her head which was repeated the following week. None of the other girls have any symptoms. I am scrupulously clean with their coup, it is washed and bedding etc changed every weekend. Can anyone tell me more about scaly face mite and suggest ways to get rid of it please. Also how long will it take for it to clear up completely and will my girl have any lasting side effects. I'd also love to know if it was caused by anything I have done and shouldn't have or that I haven't done and should have.  :he

post #2 of 9
Scaley mites are pretty common, especially the leg mites in chickens and the face mites in parakeets. Never had the face affected in chickens but did have them in a couple of pet parakeets we bought, they were fine once we treated them. Sounds like the vet has her on Ivermectin of some sort, which seems to be the go-to drug for face mites. I would consider treating all of them with Ivermectin, not just her. Sounds like you have cleaned the heck out of everything which is pretty much what they recommend in disinfecting everything. A couple of good links.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks Kelsie, Just feeling a bit guilty in case it was my fault. This particular girl is my baby, she thinks she's a parrot and rides around on my shoulder and looks so sore and itchy. I think it is Ivermectin that the vet gave her but didn't suggest treating the others. Should I insist they are treated too or wait an see? She lets me scratch and pick off the loose bits which sounds gross I know but she seems better for it. Where do the mites come from? :rolleyes: x

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Kelsie, I've just read through these sites and it was really useful thanks. My little lavender Pekin Bantam also had a toe missing when I got her and her toes are very black on one foot which seems in line with necrosis of the toes after long exposure. She has also always had a white, dry face compared to the others pink and reddening faces. This seems to show that she was perhaps infected as a featherless chick and has had the mites since I had her. At least I know it wasn't my fault. Thanks for your help, I think I'll discuss these possibilities with the vet next time I pay them a visit.

post #5 of 9
She sounds like a cute spoiled little girl, the bantams make such good pets, I sometimes think they almost are parrots, so maybe she isn't that far off in her thinking, lucky bird. There seems to be some disagreement or confusion about the life cycle of the mites and how long they can exist off the host if at all. In general they seem to think it requires contact with an infected bird, but they also seem to think that birds can carry it silently and/or be exposed to it for a long time and not have an outbreak. So at some point in time she probably came in contact with an infected bird.... but that bird may not have been showing symptoms. In parakeets they definitely think the predisposition to have an outbreak it hereditary to some extent, and related to problems with the immune system. I have not heard it suggested that scaly leg is hereditary in chickens, but it is related to condition of the bird, birds that are in bad shape are more likely to have an outbreak, so it is related to the condition of their immune system in that way (as is about everything else). My main reason for treating everybody else is that if you have a silent carrier, and for some reason your girl is more susceptible to them than normal, she may get reinfected from them.
post #6 of 9

Hi, I have been advised by my vet that Ivermectin will clear this problem up as I have it on one of my Lavender Orpingtons.  Hope this helps. Lesley

post #7 of 9

I have one with matted eyes and scaly looking face, as well.  Do you know the dosage for the Ivermectin?

post #8 of 9

I got my Ivermectin from Wells Poultry and my vet advises that for my hens (large fowl Orpingtons weighing 2-3kg) 4 drops directly onto skin (back of neck is a good place). Hope this helps. Lesley

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all, I took my baby to the vet and she dropped a dose of Ivermectin on the skin behind her head so not sure of the dose. 

The dry scales started to come off and she let me pick the loose bits off for her. I started to rub olive oil all over her face and neck to loosen and moisturise her dry skin. She appeared to enjoy this luckily and it seemed to work too. The scales started to come off easily. I have since been away for a week and come home to find she is almost back to normal. She does have quite dry skin peeling off though on the back of her neck and head. She let me give her a good scratch today and most of it has come off, I will try again tomorrow as I don't want her to get too sore. She loves a good grooming and moves her head for me to get to different areas and closes her eyes and makes a soft cooing noise! A bit like my dog really!! She is one very confused chicken!!:cd

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