Do you get chicken mites on you often?

bigzio

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 20, 2007
5,145
913
381
Wisconsin
Northern fowl mites can't survive very long unless in contact with the birds...they are transmitted by wild song birds, and have nothing to do with where you bought your birds (unless they have them). Even folks that have excellent management practices going, can result with having these vermin. One can go years and years with never a problem....however it can happen, making good management a good thing by catching the problem when it arises.

bigz
 

gsim

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,997
36
196
East Tennessee
As Bigzio says, anyone can have an infestation occur no matter the precautions taken. Someone could be visiting you and simply track them into your coop or run via their shoes. It might be even that some sorts of pests can be delivered into a chicken run via the poop from a wild bird. That would be a digestive tract type of parasite though, but it is possible. Big hatcheries practice bio-security measures and one is to forbid any but designated employees to have any contact with the birds and then only after passing through a facility designed to eradicate/eliminate any hitchhikers and putting on booties over their shoes.

Best to never allow anyone outside of yourself inside the coop and run. Kids love to see chickens so that can be a hard thing to do. We have allowed others into our run in the past, but we won't do that anymore. It isn't worth the chance, and I only have a flock of 10. (Half of those are on Social Security now at age 5 1/2 yrs.
)

And as others have said on this forum, always expect to do a follow up from 7 -10 days later just to get all of the eggs that hatch. Same procedure as used to treat an animal or human for worms.


BTW, when we built the house we now live in, I thoroughly dusted beneath all vanities and cabinets before installing them. I did all of the baseboard trim that way too. Reason was to kill any future critters which would try to set up shop in those places, whether roaches, ants, etc. 10% Sevin dust kills mice too. It irritates their feet and they try to lick it off resulting in their death. I found one once under our dishwasher. Looked like a taxidermist had done their best on him. He was standing upright with his eyes open. Wish I'd take a picture!
Seriously though, in 26 years here we have yet to see a single cockroach in this house.

Have read on this forum of others who raise roaches in their house in Roach hotels just to feed to their chickens.
Definitely not something I'd want to ever try! Hell, chicken feed isn't expensive enough for me to resort to that!
 

jbs

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
141
6
116
Maryland
It wasn't easy but I managed to dust all my chickens with poultry dust, then I sprayed down my coop walls and ceiling with Pyganic. Catching the birds and dusting them was actually much harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be hard. It would have been much easier with someone to help me. And next time I definitely need to get my two roosters FIRST, because they made the whole process extra chaotic. I wanted to sit down and cry by the time I was finished.

I really don't like using a potpourri of insecticides on my birds, but I don't feel like I had a choice. My sick hen has improved and is eating and drinking, tossing her feed around like a normal chicken, but still not 100%. Not sure if she's going to make it. I have her on white paper towel now so I can check for mites and there were TONS of them last night, but all dead.

My flock free ranges and there are a lot of wild birds in the area that I'm worried will re-infest my flock with mites. I raked up the straw that I had put down in the chicken run, and won't use it again. I also added wood ash to the chickens' sand box. I'm going to re-dust the flock in a week - and god willing I'll have some help next time. I guess I'll just have to monitor for mites in the future. I never in a million years would have guessed that my hens had any mites at all, much less the mite load that my poor sick hen was carrying. The mites are so small that unless you really know what you're looking for I think they're easy to miss.

Anyway, thank everyone. I certainly got schooled this week.
 

bigzio

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 20, 2007
5,145
913
381
Wisconsin
Good job on your own jbs....lesson learned...much easier treating with the 5% sevin dust on a regular basis and eliminating the problem completely. This is all about the welfare of the flocks we choose to own and manage. Again..good job without help.

bigz
 

jbs

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
141
6
116
Maryland
Thanks Bigzio. People in WI are so nice, but I'm from WI so maybe I'm a bit biased, ha ha.

My poor sick hen is still alive, but barely. I took her to an avian vet yesterday who I really liked. If anyone is looking for a vet in the MD/PA area, I would highly recommend (*removed name of vet office*) in Gettysburg. The vet spent a lot of time with us and I thought the fee was very reasonable, $130.

Despite my having dusted my hen twice in one week, the vet found live mites on her, so she administered an injection of Ivermectin to hopefully kill the last of the mites. I may treat the rest of my flock topically with Ivermectin. I've read elsewhere on BYC that Ivermectin is no longer a very good dewormer, but it does seem to be effective still against mites. I can't imagine that it would be any harder than dusting them with poultry dust.

With my hen, we don't know if the mite infestation weakened her and made her susceptible to other illness, or if she had some sort of existing issue and the mites are a secondary thing. The vet said my hen's crop was fairly empty and her gizzard felt empty, but she did feel something in the other organ - I'm sure people on BYC know what it is, but I don't remember the name of it, some sort of second stomach. Without an x-ray there's no way to know if it contains normal stuff or if there's straw or something stuck there.

The vet administered an injectable antibiotic, Albon, and gave me 5 days' worth to give orally. She also administered subcutaneous fluids. Yesterday my hen couldn't stand and had very labored breathing. We talked about just having her put down, but we decided to try the antibiotics and see what happened. Today she has definitely perked up a bit. She took a few sips of water on her own - for the first time in 4-5 days - and she also nibbled at her food. But then as she was bent over her feed dish, she threw up some brown, foul smelling liquid, so I took the food away for now.

What I have learned from all of this is that mites are very serious. I need to screen for them routinely and treat my flock as needed.

* Edited to remove name of vet office, because I wasn't very happy with follow up.
 
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bigzio

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 20, 2007
5,145
913
381
Wisconsin
Hope your hen makes it through jbs....when you say poultry dust, I' thinking you are referring to something other than 5% sevin dust?
Nice to have a avian vet that you are happy with. Here we have to travel over a hour to the nearest only choice.
 

enola

Crowing
11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
13,143
1,427
378
Irwin, Pennsylvania (Pittsburg area)
You can also use EPRINEX for mites. I had a rooster that got scaley leg mites, EPRINEX knocked them out. After cleaning his legs weekly with soap and water for one month the new scales started showing up. After the first treatment, i treated him AGAIN IN 30 days with the EPRINEX. There is no egg withdrawal either. No more mites in my coop.
 

jbs

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
141
6
116
Maryland
Everything that I've read about northern fowl mites indicates that they won't survive long without a bird host. They will bite humans if they get on you, but they can't lay eggs or complete a life cycle, so they will not infest your house. I had mites on my hands and wrists and never noticed any bites. I was itchy, but think the mites just creeped me out. Even if they are in your hair or something, they wash away easily in the shower.

My vet told me that mites COULD infest my home, but I'm not sure that she knew what she was talking about. She had never heard of northern fowl mites before I walked into her office with my mite-infested hen. I like the vet, but I'm not super happy with how things have gone since my appointment. I've been scrambling to obtain a fungicide on my own (for sour crop) because the vet said she'd have to have one shipped to me and it would take a few days anyway. This thread is about mites so I won't get into it too much here; I've been posting on a separate thread and have received some good advice from others on BYC. I'll never again be without some basics like Sulmet and nystatin. And I'm not sure that I'll take a chicken to a vet again unless I'm dealing with a hen that needs surgery or something that I know I can't do myself.

Eprinex does seem a good choice for mites, and from what I've read it's a better wormer than Ivermectin. I stood in the aisle at TSC for 10 minutes trying to decide if I should buy Eprinex or Ivermectin to treat my flock, and walked out without buying either. I read somewhere that Eprinex can kill a chicken if it's got a large worm load, and since my flock has never been wormed, I'm thinking I might want to start with something milder. I think I'm going to get the Ivermectin.
 

enola

Crowing
11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
13,143
1,427
378
Irwin, Pennsylvania (Pittsburg area)
Neither Ivermectin or Eprinex will worm chickens. Worms have become resistant to both. Valbazen is a good choice if you are worried about a worm overload. You will probably have to order Valbazen on line. Eprinex works great for mites.
 
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