Do my chickens have mites???

Bacongirl27

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 23, 2010
48
1
24
Arizona
For awhile now my chickens feathers have been fraying. Some have told me that it might be mites. I've put DE Diaotamasious Earth or how ever you spell it all over the coop and run and have dusted my birds in it. I do it about every two weeks and their feathers are continuing to fray. I asked the local feed store for advice and they recommended Permecterin II to spray on them and this does not seem to help much either. A few times I have seen dirty bottoms but this does not happen often and is usually fixed with a dusting. I do live in the desert and it is very dusty, but any recommendations on how to stop this? I also have one bird that her feathers a coming apart altogether and the shaft is just left ( the white one on her tail, I am grateful that her new feathers are coming in) . I also wanted to mention that I have a 7 chickens all different breeds. Here are pictures of the white one and then of one of the others but her's do not seem to be as bad as the others. If it's not mites any suggestions as to what is causing this and how I can get rid of it? I also wanted to mention that other wise they seem to be in good health. Good poop and good egg production and are very active and curious!



 
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dawg53

Humble
Premium member
11 Years
Nov 27, 2008
25,990
9,117
746
Glen St Mary, Florida
They could possibly getting ready to molt. If you suspect mites, pick them up and visually inspect them. Check around the vent area and at the base of their tail feathers. Mites looked like black pepper and move very slowly. Lice move faster and are white or off white in color depending what type of lice it is. I recommend using sevin dust if they have them. You'll have to redust them again in 10 days. Also, dust the inside of their coop, nests and roosts and repeat again in 10 days. Here's a couple of links for you to help you identify lice/mites and treatments: Good luck.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig140
http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
 

Bacongirl27

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 23, 2010
48
1
24
Arizona
Thanks for the resources but I do not see anything like that on them and I handle them daily. The one pictured on the bottom is less than a year old. How often do they molt? I have only had chickens for a little over a year now.
 

nurse_turtle

Songster
8 Years
May 28, 2011
3,518
91
201
Foothills of NC
The chicken that only has feather shafts left I would suspect she's being picked on. Are they crowded in their coop at all? Maybe provide them with a shallow water source to walk around in? I don't know. I would try a 40-50# bag of game bird feed. It has a higher protein level and is good for feather health. It takes quite some time to see a difference because you'll have to wait til the new feathers come it or a good molting cycle. Check the protein levels in the food and you may be able to give chick starter to them to boost their feather health. You could also consider adding vitamins to their water for a while. it'll be interesting to see how things work out.
 

Bacongirl27

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 23, 2010
48
1
24
Arizona
I never thought of vitamins. I feed them layer feed in the morning and scratch for a treat in the evening and I feed them veggies, cooked eggs and yogurt from our scraps as well. I will try the game feed or the starter feed. Also they have quite a bit of room and I often allow them to free range. The white one is picked on more than the others. Sometimes I wonder if it is because she is white and the rest are dark or buff colored? I dunno. But thanks for the advice, I am going to take it!
 

nurse_turtle

Songster
8 Years
May 28, 2011
3,518
91
201
Foothills of NC
Consider letting them have their regular feed accessible at all times. I wish you and your girls the best. They will be beautiful in no time!
 

Bacongirl27

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 23, 2010
48
1
24
Arizona
I am sorry to post after such a long time, I hope that the conclusion might help someone else. I still continued all of the suggestions above and nothing worked. Over the summer my rooster died due to a bad storm and since then the girls have molted, sprouted beautiful feathers and they have stayed that way. It seems to be that all the damage was due to the rooster. Thanks for everyone's input!
 
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