BROKEN FEATHERS - DEPLUMING MITES-MANGE- ANSWERS!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by canyoncito, May 12, 2016.

  1. canyoncito

    canyoncito Out Of The Brooder

    46
    5
    24
    Apr 26, 2012
    I'm starting this new thread in hopes of helping more hens and reaching out to stymied chicken owners. The original thread title is below and contains 8 pages of posts including photos.

    Basically, if you have never seen a mite on your bird, yet it has broken off feathers or is being steadily deplumed from the the tail to the head, your bird might have mange. Someone on the previous thread posted the name of it which escapes me now. I am hoping my lengthy experience will help someone. There's just not enough information out there.

    It's been about 4 years now for my poor chickens with the mites. I just wanted to give an update for whomever is interested or needs more information. This thread can be found under "Broken feathers mites if you are experiencing this please read."

    1.Our hens were treated for mites (that I never saw) for 2 endless years. You name the product, I've tried it. No relief.
    2. culled 15 hens who had mites, left 15 who didn't, to see if they'd get it anyway. (checking to see how it was spreading)
    3. the ones who didn't have mites wound up getting them eventually.
    4. treated with lime sulfur dip weekly and was terribly discouraged that it didn't seem to do anything.(but keep reading)
    5. Made two separate flocks: the "older" girls who always had mites, and the "new" girls who never had them, in 2 separate coops.
    6. the "older girls grew new feathers in the winter and now look beautiful! They've been mite-free for 6 months, hallelujah. These are the same hens who were dipped weekly.
    7. the "new" girls (28 of them) now are the mangiest bunch of chickens you've ever seen. Sigh. The only contact they had with the other flock was the roosters fighting through the fence. But I did see Juncos in their feeders a lot. No mice like in the other coop.
    8. I am convinced the LimePlus Dip from Dechra on Amazon is the key and am going to dip and re-dip all 44 birds next month when it warms up.
    9. If you've never seen a mite, yet your chickens are being deplumed, I guarantee it's mange. SULFUR DIP MAY BE YOUR ANSWER.
    Look back on previous posts in the above-mentioned thread and you will see photos I posted of how to dip the birds.
    I am interested in hearing your stories, hopefully success stories! I'll get notified if you reply to this thread.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    67,676
    21,427
    886
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The most common cause of plumage loss in chickens is feather plucking/eating.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    32,425
    6,195
    621
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Nearly all birds have depluming mites. It's one of those annoying issues that healthy birds learn to control. As a bird ages or becomes ill of health, their feathers become more and more raged.

    You will know you have depluming mites if you look at the feathers and especially wing primaries and tail feathers and see horizontal barring across the feather. This is where the mites were feeding on the blood and newly growing feather as it was emerging during a molt.

    These mites live up in the shaft of the feather nearly all of their lives and only come out of the shaft to find a new source of food. Once they have devoured a one feather, they briefly get onto the skin as they move on to the other feather, entering through the follicle.

    They also bear live young, unlike other mites that lay eggs to reproduce. Young are born every 17 days.

    When a bird has an over load of depluming mites, the feathers are irritating to the bird. The bird will preen and preen and over preen the feathers to the point of stripping off all feather material leaving just the shaft. It is common for a bird to chew feathers off right at skin level giving the appearance of very large areas of plucked bald spots, however on very close examination, you can see the stubs of the feather at skin. Along with bare spots on wing shoulders and legs, above the tail around the preen gland and the fuzz on the birds flanks are common areas to look completely bald of feathers. These large areas of bald skin will remain very red until the next molt and the feathers grow back in these areas.

    Last year, I had a bird with a bad case of depluming mites. I tried all kinds of powders, sprays, bathing her in flea and tick dog shampoo, even tried NuStock, (main ingredient is Sulfur) however none of this worked. The only way I found to get this under control was Ivermectin Pour On for Cattle. I dosed this bird, a standard sized Barred Rock hen, with 6 drops on the back of the neck, on the skin only. I dosed her once a week for 6 weeks. I then gave her a month off to heal, I am sure this stuff is toxic used as I did. I gave her liquid vitamins and lots of probiotics, then a month later I repeated this dosage for another 6 weeks. Unfortunately she only mini molted herself out last fall, however all of her flanks, legs and breast grew in a very nice set of feathers. She has not pulled or chewed these off as she did last year. Since she did not molt out any primaries or tail feathers, I can't tell if she is over loaded with them anymore, but I suspect not, since she did not destroy these new feathers she molted in last fall like she did the previous year after her molt. She no longer over preens any of her feathers and she is even gentle when preening her stalks. LOL
     
  4. canyoncito

    canyoncito Out Of The Brooder

    46
    5
    24
    Apr 26, 2012
    Thank you for that info. The mite I speak of is called knemidokoptes laevis var. gallinae and affects the chicken very much like mange.
     
  5. canyoncito

    canyoncito Out Of The Brooder

    46
    5
    24
    Apr 26, 2012
    Thank you for all that information! I will take it into consideration. The mite I'm referring to is called knemidokoptes laevis var. gallinae and affects the chicken like mange. My flock of 28 has it and they are less than a year old. They have destroyed feathers all the way up to their necks.
     
  6. PenelopeRose

    PenelopeRose Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    26
    Feb 18, 2015
    [​IMG]

    I noticed these broken feathers on my hen’s throat. I have not read a post that mentions this a particular area that mites like...I have not noticed itching nor I have I seen any bugs. I live in the heart of the city so my birds are not exposed to any wild birds.

    I read on this blog that ??rats/mice?? will eat feathers on chickens while they are sleeping. This hen has a broken (half-missing) wing (she was like that when I adopted her) and the leader of the pack does not let her upstairs to sleep – she sleeps on the ground floor. My coop is surrounded by chicken wire that is buried 8” deep and I don’t see any holes but I guess anything is possible.

    Any other ideas what could be causing these broken feathers? I do believe she is going through a soft molt but don’t think that is related (??). I am not experienced …but my other hen lost entire feathers during her molt – not half feathers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  7. PenelopeRose

    PenelopeRose Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    26
    Feb 18, 2015
  8. canyoncito

    canyoncito Out Of The Brooder

    46
    5
    24
    Apr 26, 2012
    As far as I know, when a chicken molts they lose the whole feather.
    Other chickens could be picking at her. I was shocked to catch my chickens in the act once.
    The mites I've dealt with always start near the vent and work their way up.
    I have mice and a disabled hen who also sleeps on the floor, but she does not have broken feathers.
    You can try putting out mouse traps that are tied into place and covered by a board so the hens won't get their beaks snapped.
    Whatever you do don't use poison. We lost a chicken once from eating a half dead mouse full of poison pellets.
    Good luck!
     
  9. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    26
    86
    Mar 17, 2015
    Billings, MT

    I believe my barred rock hen has these infuriating depluming mites. She's so sad looking :( what kind of dropper did you use? An eye dropper or a syringe or a needle? I'm going to get some ivermectin pour on this weekend and start the treatment. How long did you toss her eggs? Mine is due to go into a molt, so I'm hoping I won't have to many wasted eggs, and that she will be able to grow in new feathers without the mites.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    32,425
    6,195
    621
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    Yes they will get to looking hideous before they actually go through a complete molt. I use a medicine dropper. My bird is a BR too. About 6 or so drops right on the skin on the back of her neck aught to do it. Make sure to contact the skin as it does no good on the feathers. The skin will absorb it and into the blood stream it goes. I dosed my BR once a week like this for about 6 weeks, gave her a break and dosed her again for another month. Lots of vitamins and proboitics afterwards to help her immune system. This stuff is no doubt hard on their systems but these mites are not easy to get rid of. And you will never rid her of them all, but you can atleast knock down the village colonies! Dont eat the eggs until 2 weeks after the last dose.

    Good luck and keep us posted! :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by