Chickens loosing feathers...lice or mites possibly! Advice please!!!

ourcoop62108

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 28, 2013
17
0
22
I noticed the other day, that one of my chickens was missing feathers on her back. Though maybe she was being picked on (we don't have a rooster) watched her throughout the week and she seemed to be doing better. Noticed today that I have 4 other's with the same thing happening. Wondering now if there is something more serious. I have 5 different breeds at it just seems to be affecting 3 of them. After researching on here I am wondering if its mites or lice. went out with a flash light to look but that was a chore and I can't really tell anything. I just want to make sure I understand correctly, if it is lice/mites I need to dust the chickens and entire coop with Sevin and then repeat in 7 days. Also want to check and make sure that we can still eat the eggs. We have a flock of 22 and 12 babies in the house so I want to make sure we get the problem fixed before we add them to the flock. I thank you in advance for your tips!
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,514
12,998
707
Southeast Louisiana
No one is paid to respond to you. A little patience can go a long way.

Sevin is one of the products that work. I once asked a poultry science professor about eating the eggs after using Sevin. I did not ask about any other product, just Sevin. He said the eggs are safe to eat.
 

SunPixie

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
4
0
8
Brookfield Ohio
If the problem is mites, then you will want to ensure you have thoroughly treated the coop area. Also, since you are concerned about the safety of the eggs for consumption, have you considered using an organic solution? One of the best explanations and instructions I've seen in one place is this video.


Her advice is spot on and she offers lots of aside tips as well.
Good Luck with your flock ^_^
 

Triple Willow

Songster
6 Years
Mar 1, 2013
4,292
371
238
@Ourcoop... it sounds like you might possibly have the same problem I am having with my birds. Mine have broken feathers just before the tail. A lot of them look like they are chewed off. Some say that it might be mice chewing the feathers off while they are on the roost. I have checked mine and can't find any lice or mites. Still not sure what it is.
 

ourcoop62108

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 28, 2013
17
0
22
Thank you everyone for the replies. I just can't figure out what it might be. I looked over them closely tonight with the help of my husband and I just can't see any signs of lice or mites. I did notice a few of them are now missing feathers on their bellies. The mice are an interesting thought @Triple Willow , I have noticed the other night a few mice scurrying around when I turned on the light. Ended up catching 10 of them. I am just not completely convinced I need to dust them yet! So frustrating. @SunPixie thank you for the video--very insightful! & @Ridgerunner thank you for your response about the Sevin. If I end up having to dust I feel much better. Sorry to make it sound like I was being impatient. I am still new at this and just don't know what to do!
 

rachel9947

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
24
2
24
I am new to this too, but just a couple of thoughts, in case it helps. Because you have several chucks affected I think I would assume that it is something in the coop. Therefore I would empty the coop and thoroughly scrub and disinfect it. Mites are very hard to detect, even under examination. If you have a dry day, the best advice I have had is to paint the whole coop with Creosote, which will kill all the parasites, in the morning. It should be dry by the time the chucks come in to roost. I know its a chore, but it does last and will help also to prolong the life of the coop. The other thing that affects feather growth is stress. I had a chuck who went bald, largely. The avian vet examined her, and couldn't find any parasites. I do regularly use Ivermectin on my chucks for external parasites. In the Autumn she grew a fine crop of new feathers but then lost these again fairly rapidly. I took her to the vet several times, but in the end he decided, since there was no infection, that the hen was just stressed out and neurotic, and that was the cause. None of the other hens showed the same symptoms. Maybe you can assess whether your chucks are stressed out about something? Otherwise, I would assume that it is parasitic. Hope this is of help.
 

Triple Willow

Songster
6 Years
Mar 1, 2013
4,292
371
238
@ourcoop... did you check your birds in the dark with a flashlight.? Did you check under their wings and around their butt? I've been told that is how to find lice and mites. I didn't find any on my birds. I've also been told that cock roaches will chew on their feathers. I can't find any roaches but I'm sure there are some mice out there. I rarely see them but I bet they are there.
 

ourcoop62108

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 28, 2013
17
0
22
I was just out there in the dark and sure couldn't find anything! I have heard they are hard to spot...guess that is especially true since I don't know what I am looking for...I don't know if I should treat just in case or wait it out. Though about giving them more protein in case. Also wondering if they are just bored? We had been letting them out but my neighbor just planted his garden and surprise surprise that was the first place they went when I let them out.
 
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