Crusty feathers???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VerginateChicks, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    One of my hens has crusty dirt on the base of her feathers near the skin. But it is only on her tail feather area and under her beak and the upper sides of her neck. Today she has been sitting in the run, not sun bathing or anything, just sitting and sleeping, which is unusual for her. Any ideas of what it might be? Please keep in mind, I live in Italy. Here, chickens are looked at as food, not pets. There are no vets for chickens, no medicines, nothing. At least, not for individual chicken owners. I have to try and take care of my chickens with all natural things. If you have any advice on ways to better my chickens health as well as what might be causing the crusty feathers please share! I need all the help I can get. I'm still very new at having chickens, but I love them to death!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Sounds like poultry lice…does it look like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    You could be dealing with lice or mites. Lice eggs look more like whitish balls at the base of feathers with tiny tan fast-moving bugs crawling around. Mites can be light or red, slow-moving, and can leave dirty areas on skin. In the US, permethrin and sevin dust are both used, but in the UK, permethrin may be the only effective treatment. Here are 2 excellent links to read with pictures and recommended treatments:
    http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
     
  4. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    It's definitely mites! I'm freaking out now! =( What can I use to clean out the coop and rid it of these nasty pests? I have ordered some mite and lice powder on amazon. Delivery time says sept. 13th-19th. Hopefully it will get here quick. What can I do in the mean time while waiting for it? Today I'm going to clean out the coop. Should I be cautious that the bugs will get on me? Will the mites get on my cats?
    Thanks for all the help!
     
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Don't know if you have it in Italy, but in USA we have garden dust sold in garden centers or hardware stores that is safe for vegetable gardens and dusting poultry. It was recommended to me in the past from our state poultry experts, but be careful how much you use. Don't know if I can find their email with amt to use, but if you are interested, I'll see if I can find it and add to this post.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Permethrin comes in sprays and powder for dusting, and can be found in garden centers and feed stores. Yes the mites can get on you. There are 2 common mites in chickens--the ones that only come out at night, and the ones that are on them all of the time. They are very hard to get rid of compared to lice, and you have to re-treat every 7 days for a few treatments to get the eggs. The birds need dusting (sometimes done using a pillowcase up to the neck with dust inside,) but the coop also has to be cleaned out of bedding and carried far away or burned, then walls, roosts , and nests sprayed, and new bedding put down. Straw and hay can be one way that mites are introduced, since they can hide inside the straw.
     

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