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Head shaking/flicking - Mites????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tantricdragon13, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. tantricdragon13

    tantricdragon13 Chirping

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    Mar 26, 2014
    Nashville
    In the last week or so, I've been seeing my girls start shaking their heads with a flicking motion. It seemed to start with one, and now it appears that most or all of the flock is doing it. The one who started it was sneezing a bit, but didn't have a runny nose or anything.

    Everyone appears to be healthy and doing fine. Glossy feathers, eating, drinking, poop normal, good weight (They're BAs, so plenty heavy!), and behaviour is normal (Heck, downright friendly! They've taken to jumping in our laps to beg for treats). They are new layers (got my first egg last Thurs), but I've been getting an egg a day from a flock of 6. I found a thread on here that made me think it could be mites. I've grabbed a couple of the birds and inspected them, but can't see anything crawling on them (Checked head, ears, wattles, random areas on body, underneath wings - nice clean skin but can't see bugs). I use DE in the coop, so had hoped that I could avoid the mite problem. The run is still dirt though. We have plans to use sand in the run (I've read it's easier to clean and helps keep the odor down), but have had to delay that step.

    I read that you can dust the birds with Sevin or DE if they have mites. But I wanted to get some advice before I go traumatizing them by coating them in dust. Does this sound like mites? And if it is, how to control them in the environment? I cleaned out the coop about a week ago, and as usual, put in a generous dosing of DE in the pine shavings.I also completely wipe down the interior with vinegar water. Could they be living in the dirt in the run?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    St. Louis, MO
    Doesn't sound like mites to me. More likely gnats, mosquitos, fruit flies or some other flying no seeum.
     
  3. tantricdragon13

    tantricdragon13 Chirping

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    Mar 26, 2014
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    Thanks! My husband and I have noticed that since it has gotten hot and summery our yard has these small bug things floating low over the grass. And they are floating in HUGE clouds! Maybe those things are getting in their faces?

    Or at least, I hope that's it.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    24,575
    7,077
    627
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You may have figured it out. Mites will not be bothering their heads. They're mostly on the vent and under the wings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

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