Bugs on my chickens! Yuck!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ariel301, May 10, 2010.

  1. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Due to an emergency last night where it got too cold out and I lost one of my turkey poults to hypothermia and had to spent the whole night trying to save the other, I realized they are absolutely CRAWLING with mites. When I laid the poor little half-frozen one on a warm towel, hundreds of bugs came fleeing off of him! So, since they are in the same pen as the chickens (but in a cage in the coop because they are too small to put in the flock yet) I am assuming they are all infected.

    How did this happen? I have not brought in any new chickens at all since I got mine (and they didn't come from the hatchery that way!) and the turkeys were hatched in my house so they didn't bring it in. None of the neighbors have chickens, and if they did, they're all about a half mile away anyway, and the chickens don't go to their land. I have not been around anyone else's chickens at all....could they have caught them from wild birds? We have an abundance of doves and quail that sneak into our run to get water and food.

    And now, how to treat it? I have heard of dusting them with Sevindust, but I don't have any. Neither do I have any money to go get some, I have nothing more than a handful of change at the moment, and don't know when I will get more money, it could be a while. Is there anything else I can use that I might have already? I have some pyrethrin flea shampoo for dogs that I use on my goats, could I wash the birds with it? (carefully so they don't get it in their eyes or mouths) I've also got a flea spray for dogs and cats, don't remember what the ingredient is. Or is there some household item recipe that I could put together? What about water and dish soap, that kills a lot of garden pests.

    One of my hens mysteriously stopped laying a few days ago. Could this be the reason? Nothing else has changed, and she's not broody or too old.
  2. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    If you have Adams Flea and Tick Spray, google Adams in the search feature as several threads have discussed using that product for mites. Mites will kill the birds. Likely a cause for stopping laying as they weaken the bird. About all I know. Good luck.
  3. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    I'm in Kingman, too! I've never had mites, but I have read that dusting with DE (Diatomecious Earth) can help. It's cheaper and safer than Sevin, and Stockton Hill Feed will sell it by the pound. At least they did when I bought a partial bag a couple of years ago.

    I'm sorry for your loss and hope you get the problem under control. I also hope someone who knows more than I do chimes in with more help.
  4. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Hahaha nice to see another Kingman person on here. I shop at Stockton Hill Feed all the time, I live out that way so it's convenient. I don't have any DE now or the Adams...maybe I can scrape together enough change to get something. [​IMG] I had commented the other day that the hen who quit laying was looking awfully scruffy, and I thought maybe she was molting, but I don't see any feathers falling off anywhere. I guess it's from the mites. Yuck. We just finished getting lice off the goats...I guess it's the season around here for that stuff.
  5. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Before you put all your money into DE, I would research it a little more first. I don't think DE will actually get rid of your mite problem. It is great to use as a deterrent but from what I understand, you need something more potent to get rid of those little pests. AND... mites will live in the cracks of your wood roosts, nest boxes, etc so you need to treat it all.... fun, huh!?!? [​IMG]
  6. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Yes, treating it all will be a pain...since our coops are made of pallets that we get for free from the hardware store, maybe I'll just go get another load and burn the ones we've got now. That might be simpler than trying to get all the cracks and crevices treated.

    I looked again at the bottle of flea spray I have for dogs, that I use on my goats, and it has the same ingredients as the Adams, so I guess I can try that. I'll try it on just one first, and have a bath ready to go for it if it starts to show signs of reaction from the spray. Everything looks the same though, so it should be fine I would think. Argh, one more pen to completely strip out and super-clean....I just got through with this with the goats!

    So where did they get this from? Could they have caught it from wild birds? If so, this is going to end up being a problem because we have a ton of wild birds breaking into the pen, as it is the only water source for miles around out here in the desert. The mites wouldn't be living in old bales of hay, would they? We broke open some older bales of hay to use for chicken bedding recently, but they were stored away from any poultry until we spread the hay out in the coops.
  7. Swampwood

    Swampwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2010
    Krotz Springs, LA
    Yes, they coulda been in the hay.
  8. stethomps

    stethomps Chicken Hugger

    Apr 19, 2008
    Franklin, IN
    Don’t use the DE to treat for mites, it just won’t work for an infestation. I’ve used sevin dust, and it works, but I now use Adams, and it works very well and I think it is easier on your birds. I’d research it some because I don’t think you are supposed to eat the eggs after you treat them with Adams or Sevin for atleast a week? I don’t think you can really say where the mites come from, they are mites and you can just get them. I’ve had them before, but now I pre treat a couple times per year to make sure I don’t get them again.

    Also, getting rid of them isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Clean everything very well, and spray the pens with an insecticide that will kill flees and ticks, and the areas and ground around the pens and you should be fine.
  9. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

    May 17, 2007
    The mites came with the hay. Rake it up and burn it. Use pine shavings instead. If you cannot afford the shavings, find a carpenter friend. They always have lots of shavings and saw dust.

    We always put the ashes from the wood stove into the area where the chickens dust bathed. That seemed to keep down the parasites.

  10. northerncoop

    northerncoop New Egg

    Mar 1, 2010
    Years ago an old timer told me to find the area where the chickens are using to dust them self's and mix in some the ashes from my fireplace or woodburning stove into the soil. I started doing that from day one and have had no mites or lice problems. So in the days of the pioneers and before all the chemicals, the people then knew of some great solutions that were safe and readily available. So if you do not have a fireplace or woodstove. possibly you have an outdoor fire ring/pit or maybe a neighbor that burns wood and would gladly get rid of a bucket of ashes. But remember ashes should only be ashes from clean timber no salvaged wood products, as they contain harmful chemicals. Sorry about your loss good luck, and I hope is helps

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