Dead hen has egg cluster around base of feathers!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by buffkota, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. buffkota

    buffkota Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    I just found one of my 2-3 yr old RIR hensdad under a shad tree. There were fire ants all over her face and when i picked her up by her feet, her underside had what appear to be tiny eggs all over the base of her feathers in clusters. I will check all of my other hens today, but do not know if these are fire ant eggs, nits of some other creatures, etc. Can anyone enlighten me spand tell me how to treat them if I find more? I took a picture with my phone, but cannot get it on the iPad at the moment. My computer is down.


  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Sorry about your hen. It sounds like mite/lice eggs. The adults can suck the blood out of a chicken if heavy infestation. I would either dust your chickens with poultry dust or apply either 1/2 cc of cattle pour on Ivomectrian under wing where there is skin or dogs Adams flea & tick mist and spray a spritz under each wing and vent area. If they have never been wormed I'd go with the Ivomectrian as it kills Lice, Mites & most worms.
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Or mites.........sorry about your hen [​IMG]
  5. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    if one has had them, you may want to look at the others.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I agree, lice/mites, and the fire ants showed up after she died. We have lots of them and you never see their eggs unless you disturb the mound.
  7. buffkota

    buffkota Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Thank you so much. I am going to clean and disinfect both coops and then treat the hens and roo. Thank you!
  8. Laigaie

    Laigaie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Fayetteville, AR
    I've never seen a chicken do it, but I've seen wild birds dust themselves in my fire ant mounds. I asked an old-timer birdwatcher at church about it, and she said they're getting the fire ants to kill the mites on them. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, it could be why your chicken was snuggling up with ants (assuming they hadn't simply showed up for dinner). The eggs at the base of her feathers are definitely from the lice/mites you're seeing.
  9. emrldgrn1

    emrldgrn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Vass, NC
    Definatly lice and or mites. I also leave a pan of diatomatious earth out for my flock to dust bath in. It helps to kill and control bugs on the skin like mites and it is harmless to the chickens.
  10. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Quote:I'm a birdwatcher too and magpies/eagles do this soo often! It's called 'anting' and is popular with wildbirds. They 'dust bath' for a bit to make the ants come out then just sit with their wings spread over the ant hill (no fire ants in aus!) getting swarmed over. The ants pic out any food debris that's fallen between the feathers, and take the lice & mite eggs to eat.

    Heres a link about it

    Their position makes them look injured so it's quite amusing when you see people going over to 'help' the bird and it explodes looking really ticked off they interrupted its cleaning session!

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