Watch the chickens before you purchase them. Make sure nobody is sneezing, has clear eyes, no discharge from eyes/nose. Look at their poop and make sure its normal. Check them for lice/mites/scaley leg mites. When you get them home quarantine them for at least 30 days. Treat them for mites/lice as soon as you bring them home. I would suggest Pour On Ivermectin. Make sure when you feed/water your chickens, the new ones are the last ones that you mess with. You could add some vitamins & electrolytes to the water to help with the stress of being in a new home, for the first couple days.
Quarantine quarantine quarantine. Plus, if you already have established birds and have one that is expendable, put it with one of the new birds . . . it is just as possible that your birds may carry something that will be new to the new birds. Try to keep stress to a minimum as that can also make birds more susceptible to infections that they would otherwise resist. Good luck!
The two previuos posts were great, Pay very close attention to the birds, talk extensively to the individual offering them and learn as much as possible prior to th epurchase about the birds, breeding history, prior imunizations, vacinations, any known disease suseptability of teh line.
Basic Control Plan For All Parasites in Poultry
For all parasites in poultry the most effective method of control is to treat the cause as well as the symptoms. Having a precise plan and establishing a routine is the key to success. Although your area of the country may require some additional steps the following is a basic plan for the control and treatment of all internal and external parasites found to infect poultry.
The importance of cleanliness cannot be stressed enough. Establish a regular cleaning routine.
Consider these things when setting up pens.
Use wire with small enough mesh to keep wild birds from coming into contact with your poultry, their feed or their water.
Make door size large enough for you to be able to comfortably reach and clean inside.
If pens are set up on ground, make them so they are easily movable to fresh ground.
If indoors all metal cages vs. wood will give mites less places hide.
Build enough pens to comfortably house the birds so you do not over crowd or mix age groups when growing them out.
If birds are kept on litter, remove wet spots immediately.
Spray equipment and pens with an approved insecticide every 6 weeks.
Control rodent population. Rodent control baits are usually seen in 2 forms. These are pellets and bars. I use a product called Just One Bite. It is in bar form and will cut them about 1 inch long and place them in areas around my pens. They can be placed in a small box with a hole that is small enough for mice and rats to go in but poultry cannot get to it. These can be place in pens if desired.
Never allow poultry to forage on freshly tilled ground where they may ingest earthworms or other insects that could be carrier hosts.
Never overcrowd. Change litter when it gets too high of a content of fecal matter or when moving a group of birds out and bringing a new group into the pen.
Always feed clean fresh feed and give clean fresh water daily. Clean water containers as needed (Usually weekly for me).
During the molting stages of your birds be sure and remove feathers that your bird have dropped. Leaving these hang around is like putting out a vacancy sign up for mites. They will move in.
Treatment of Birds
Handle every bird once a week to feel and inspect them for signs of parasite infestations. By knowing what your bird normally feels like, it could tip you off to an otherwise unnoticeable problem.
My preferred method to remove internal parasites is using a water soluble product in their drinking water. Upon initial treatment repeating it in 10 days will rid them of any parasites that may have hatched from the eggs the first treatment did not get. After this initial treatment I usually set my routine to every 30 days. Upon application, never leave in drinking water more than one day so the next day provide clean fresh drinking water. Some parasites can build up immunity to certain drugs and it would be a good idea to have 2 different products and alternate them from application to application.
AS mentioned in above section poultry wormers are usually effective for round worms only so by using a product like Ivermectin (either in a pour on or an oral formula) between the worming through their water can serve as a prevention for both internal and external parasites.
For external parasites I will dip my birds every month, when weather allows, in a 5 gallon bucket with a solution of water and malithion 55%. I mix it 1 tablespoon to 5 gallons of water. Remember, I am using the 55% and it is concentrated so it does not take much and is economical to use. There are other products like permethrin that can be used. The reason I choose malithion is that I keep it around to rid my vegetable garden of pests and see no need to keep an extra chemical around when I can use the same thing. I also use it to spray pens mixing it at the same ratio as I do when I dip. If birds are molting I will dip them once a week. This serves as not only a external parasite control but the extra moisture really helps them put in nice plumage.
Upon inspection of the bird, if lice or mites are noticed I will apply Adams flea and tick spray. Two pumps at the vent, one under each wing and one behind the neck at the base. I do this early in the day as I have birds that like to sleep with their head tucked under their wing. By doing it early I do not run the risk of birds being harmed by fumes when they go to roost.
Treatment of New Arrivals or Birds Returning From Shows
Most people will provide for a treatment plan or quarantine for new birds that are purchased to be added to a flock, however you should treat any bird returning from a show the same.
While at the show your birds were exposed to the conditions, bacteria, virus, fungus and parasites that may have existed on every bird the judge handled which may be hundreds. The following is a simple and cost effective method I use when either acquiring new brood stock or when returning from shows and has worked well for me.
Prepare two dip solutions; the first is a mix of water and oxine. Oxine is known to kill 99% of all bacteria, virus, and fungus it comes in contact with and will insure you are not introducing a pathogen into your flock.
The second dip I like to use is water and Adams shampoo or dip to bath the bird and rid it of any external parasites. You will want to repeat this treatment 7-10 days later and prior to re-introducing the bird to your flock to insure you have not introduced any external parasites.
Both of the products listed are very cost effective and a critical part in the care of your entire flock. One infected bird can be very costly and time consuming to rectify, prevention is the best cure.
Keep in mind no one treatment works for everyone or for every region and problem but we will all deal with both internal and external parasites to some degree in our dealing with poultry. No one is immune to the effects or infestations of parasites the best we can do is try to minimize the effect.
That is the tail end of a 4 page program a friend and I wrote for one of the breed clubs.. Since he is from LA. and we are in OK. it provided a for a very well rounded plan from two points of view and experiences.
The full article details every known internal and external parasite, symptoms, affects, identification, and treatment.