Don't let this happen to you. Confessions of a Chicken Killer.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jimnjay, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I lost my Buff Silkie a few weeks ago. I took him in for a necropsy and the results became available to me over this weekend. He died of anemia and weakness as a result of Mite Infestation.

    I check for mites and I have not see them. After the lab results I went out to closely examine my birds. Look on the bum but not just the vent. Sometimes the sign is not the mite which is almost impossible to see but a sort of nest like tangle in the feathers. If you own Silkies, these mites love the head as well. Check carefully and use a magnifying glass if you can. When the infestation is bad you will see crusting on th skin. If you see any extreamly tiny dots watch them for a bit they will move slowly. Don't let your birds go with these nasty killers.

    I am buying Frontline with instructions for use on chickens and I will never be without it again. I have used DE and I hang strips called Die-No-Mites at the opening of each coop. Apparently that is not enough. I always thought that if you had mites you would see them on your clothes if you held you chickens against you. These little mites did not transferr to me until I started to ruffle feathers and really get up close and personal.

    As you can imagine I am just sick about this and I wanted to share so those of you who assume like I did that you are ok if you don't seem them, then they aren't there.

    Look for the tangled feathers and any excessive dry skin. Look again and again very closely. These things kill your birds.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Wow, thanks for the warning, Jaynie! Sorry about your bird. I thought what you thought, too. Think a bum check is in order now. Do you think Eprinex Pour On that I use to worm them will kill mites? I'm about to use that. Like you, I've never seen any evidence of mites or lice on my birds.
  3. tnkinhunting

    tnkinhunting Songster

    Feb 7, 2008
    East Tennessee
    Jaynie, so sorry about your buff silkie! I will do a thorough check on my birds tomorrow. I had a problem with leg mites and treated them with Bag Balm and it took care of it and I dusted them back in the fall but I had better just take time and check each one. I only have two showgirls - roos but will closely inspect them along with all the others.
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Crud, Jaynie...I'm sorry for your loss...
  5. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Jayne - I sent you a PM
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Thank you TNKIN and SC. Cyn, I used Eprinex on all my birds except the Buff ones about 25 days ago. I worm in the Spring and Fall and I was seeing troubling poo so I wormed a bit early. Buster had already gotten sick at that point. Today when I checked them all out, I found some in each pen with mites. Not all had signs of infestation the young birds seem to be much better off. Eprinex may have taken care of those birds who had not yet had a chance to get a heavy load. I don't know if Buster came to me in December with Mites or if he got them here. His coop mates were the least affected of all my other birds. I have two Blue Silkie Roosters who have them and a Splash Sizzle who has them very badly. If you use Eprinex, which is very good as a wormer, make sure to check you birds carefully. I was told to check under the wings. There is not a sign of anything under the wings. Eprinex may be good in pest control too but a follow up treatment would have been necessary to take care of the eggs that hatched. I used safeguard as a second wormer in accordance with what I have read about switching meds from one worming to the next.

    Something else I noticed was the feather shaft seemed really dusty around the area. I was thinking it was from them dusting but now as I think about it, people have said that they can tell if there are mites because they leave a gray dust.

    Another thing that has occured to me is, egg production is off and I have had some soft shelled eggs. Things were going very well with all my birds but it has slacked off. If for any reason your birds that otherwise are good layers suddenly stop laying. Think Mites! I remember last year asking about just that subject and someone told me to not worry, Silkies were not production chickens and did not always lay. They will stop laying or have soft shelled eggs because they are anemic and lacking in nutrition that is being sucked away in the blood these beasts rob from them.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
  7. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Sorry you lost your bird, poor thing.
  8. Jillylam

    Jillylam Songster

    Mar 16, 2007
    Kingwood, NJ
    I'm so sorry for your loss. And I really appreciate your posting this information. What struck me in your description is the dust. One of my RI Reds has just started showing a dry patch on her head and dust on her feathers. First I thought she was just going through some sort of mini molt or something, then I thought it was from the dust bathing box. But now after reading what you wrote I'll definitely check her over better tomorrow. Thanks again and sorry.
  9. Cheekon

    Cheekon Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your bird. [​IMG]

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