Feather Loss - Molting? Mites? Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mommajac, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. mommajac

    mommajac New Egg

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Colorado
    This is my first year in raising 8 girls (now 10 months old) in Colorado. Today while it was a beautiful 58 degrees I let the girls roam. While they were out I noticed a bit of pink on one of the Bards. When I took further notice I saw she had feathers missing on her underbelly and under her wings.

    Their dusting has been limited to only a few times a week because of the snow covered ground. They live in a good size coop with sand on their floor that is cleaned twice daily. After seeing the loss of feathers I immediately white washed the nesting boxes with DE, changed the shavings, and sprinkled more DE with the pine. My girls live on a gourmet diet of organic fed, BOSS, yogurt, organic kale, and dried meal worms (plus of course adequate leftovers when available).

    I called my local feed store and was told I could turn my girl upside down and sprinkle her with ore DE. Another possibility would be to pick up some Permethrin (not too sure what that is) and sprinkle it all around. I did call some neighbors with chickens and heard that one neighbor had to put their bird down because of feather loss and a distended belly (UGH!!!).

    How I ended up caring so deeply for 8 chickens I will never know!!! I appreciate any advice!!! Thanks!!!


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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If there is a lice or mite infestation, DE will not do the trick. The usual treatment is Sevin 5% garden dust. you can also use a permethrin/pyrethrin dust or spray, available as poultry dust in feed stores or flea/tick spray (Adams'.) You should be able to see them if you know what to look for.

    Molting generally starts on the head and neck and moves down. I don't know that that is from lice or mites, but it's a pretty safe bet it's not from molting.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
  3. mommajac

    mommajac New Egg

    9
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    Jul 7, 2012
    Colorado
    Thank you for the article! I will check this morning to see if I can detect any lice or mites.
     

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