Elusive Mites??

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,064
2,662
246
NW, OH
Just a question or two...do they shake their heads once or twice as you approach or talk to them? My Buckeyes shake their heads real quick and light whenever we talk to them or walk up to them. They don't shake their heads like they are irritated, just a quick flick of the head like, as you said, they're trying to get their bangs out of their eyes. The adults do it and so do the chicks (but none of the other breeds), and they are housed separately. They are completely free of parasites. I think it's just an odd behavior some birds exhibit. If you've eliminated all other possibilities, which it sounds like you have, then you have to start looking at other possibilities. I wonder if there is a bird behavior expert out there who might have an idea? My son thinks the quick head shake is a sign of recognition. I really don't understand it yet, but I think he might be on the right track.
 

Krisitne

Songster
Feb 17, 2016
171
256
151
British Columbia
Just a question or two...do they shake their heads once or twice as you approach or talk to them? My Buckeyes shake their heads real quick and light whenever we talk to them or walk up to them. They don't shake their heads like they are irritated, just a quick flick of the head like, as you said, they're trying to get their bangs out of their eyes. The adults do it and so do the chicks (but none of the other breeds), and they are housed separately. They are completely free of parasites. I think it's just an odd behavior some birds exhibit. If you've eliminated all other possibilities, which it sounds like you have, then you have to start looking at other possibilities. I wonder if there is a bird behavior expert out there who might have an idea? My son thinks the quick head shake is a sign of recognition. I really don't understand it yet, but I think he might be on the right track.
So it’s my Silkies, and then I have 4 polish and 2 Cochins and they all do it. I’ve been going over and over it. This all seemed to start when I brought a few Orpington pullets home a couple years ago. (Owl got them, sadly.) Next thing I knew, my flock started this head shake and never quit. And I gave my dad a couple of my birds from my flock. Then HIS flock started the head shake too. So that’s why I hint it has to be a parasite that I’m missing somehow. I checked the coop again tonight for mites and came up empty handed.
 

Krisitne

Songster
Feb 17, 2016
171
256
151
British Columbia
Ear mites maybe? I have no idea how to check for that. And if they did have them, wouldn’t the pour on Ivermectin have killed them?
 

StaffordshireLady

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Feb 1, 2019
127
552
162
Cannock Chase Staffordshire UK
I am following this thread with interest as I have the same problem but worse. I have used Red Mite Powder & I brought some Red Stop Solution from Ireland. It said to put it in the drinking water for 9 days. It's been 4 weeks and whatever it is, is still there. I am also being bitten. (not hubby though fo some reason) I had not thought of the fly spray but I will give it a try if it is safe for the hens. I strip the bed every day and shower with clean clothes. I did see red mite a month or so ago but now only tiny little grey crawlies that I can't get rid of.
I have three hens. One has no feathers on her neck and very sore 'ears' which I put vaseline on.
 
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Krisitne

Songster
Feb 17, 2016
171
256
151
British Columbia
I am following this thread with interest as I have the same problem but worse. I have used Red Mite Powder & I brought some Red Stop Solution from Ireland. It said to put it in the drinking water for 9 days. It's been 4 weeks and whatever it is, is still there. I am also being bitten. (not hubby though fo some reason) I had not thought of the fly spray but I will give it a try if it is safe for the hens. I strip the bed every day and shower with clean clothes. I did see red mite a month or so ago but now only tiny little grey crawlies that I can't get rid of.
I have three hens. One has no feathers on her neck and very sore 'ears' which I put vaseline on.
The little grey crawlies are also red mites. They turn red when hey feed and are full of blood and then turn grey again after they absorb the blood. Nasty little creatures!
 

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