Chickens Moving Feet Constantly on Roost at Night - Mosquitos?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by smalldog, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. smalldog

    smalldog Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    My two hens usually settle down at night in their coop and sleep on the highest roosting spot all year long. I live in FL and the mosquitos are especially bad this summer. We have had lots of rain over the last month and the canal behind my home was also drained this week. The drained canal has created some decomposition and I'm sure that's not helping the insect population to decrease, only increase.
    I live in a rural area, and when I come in from outside once the sun sets I am covered in blood-sucking mosquitos. I think we're having a bit of a swarm going on. I'm worried that the mosquitos, or perhaps some other type of insect, are swarming my hens at night. That's the only thing I can think of that seems to explain them being unable to rest on the roost and have to constantly move and shift their feet around. Tonight it was really bad and I'm very concerned for their health.
    Does anyone have any idea what may be causing their behavior? Do you think it is mosquitos/insects? Or could it be something else? Is there anything you can suggest I do to protect them. I'm really concerned because if they are being swarmed then I worry about anemia.
    Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    Lisa
     
  2. bayouchica

    bayouchica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi, I can understand about having a mosquito problem [​IMG] We have them bad here at night. I have box fans hanging in my coop,that's the only way I know to keep them off of my chickens.They would be carried away from all the skeeters,lol.
    If you can try to rig up one in your coop,I'm sure they would appreicate it.
    Not to scare you, but chickens can get fowl pox from mosquitoes.There is a dry & wet pox, it will not affect humans from what I understand. Wet pox is worse & can be fatal.( Someone correct me if I'm wrong. )
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's really easy to hang a no-pest strip in a coop, just get it up where the birds can't peck it and avoid area over food and water. Black Flag, Vapona and various makers supply these and the pyrethins eliminate most flies, mosquitoes, buffalo knats (black flies) fleas, ticks and mites. You could also dust your roosts with food-grade DE until the problem subsides...[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  4. AhBee01

    AhBee01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    yo. ohio
    could be spider mites, and can only be seen at night, from what I've read!
    Brenda
     
  5. smalldog

    smalldog Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks, all. I really appreciate your suggestions more than you can know. [​IMG]
    Bayouchica, do you worry about them getting too much wind from the fan to make them sick. My two hens sleep so close to the ceiling of the roof of the coop. And I've been told not to fan them from below because of "breezy butt" syndrome (and of course the other obvious dangers). Just wanted your thoughts on that.
    I use DE already but have been told it's useless against skeeters -- don't know if that is true or not -- but I'm hoping that it is eliminating the possibility of the spider mites.
    I will definitely try the no pest strip in the coop - do you mean like the fly/bug strips they sell at Wal-Mart?
    If anyone has any further ideas, they are welcome. Thanks again.
    Lisa
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    The no-pest strips, priced at $6-11 are waxy rectangles in a plastic frame that hang high in the coop. You'd need only one. You can also use them in your homes. The wax is impregnated with pyretins. We've used them for years and our barn and coop is free of all flying insects, mites, ticks or fleas. Pets in home that use this never have fleas...
     
  7. smalldog

    smalldog Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    LynneP, thank you. I will get one today. Also, will check the chickens' legs to see if anything is bothering them there (mites). Maybe I need to re-dust with DE. That should cover all of my bases. Thank you. Lisa
     
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    It's worth a nighttime check with a flashlight to see if you have lice or mites; they can be dangerous to your hens' health, and will drive them crazy.

    That said, here in Mid-TN we have mosquitoes now too, and we just bought a roll of door screen from Home Depot. We attached it over the coop vents and other openings (even though some are already covered in heavy wire mesh). I wanted to make sure no skeeters were biting the girls at night when they went inside. I imagine one or two could make their way into the coop before I shut it at night, but that's a small inconvenience compared to a swarm!

    Hope that helps. Good luck!


    Jen in TN
    ~:<>
     

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