Help for a newbie! Could my brand new chickens have mites??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by erinnyes, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    3
    91
    Sep 28, 2011
    Hi! I hate for this to be my very first post here, but I am in need of some expert opinions. I recently just got started raising chickens and bought 7 birds from different sellers at a local chicken swap. I was very happy with them - but now I am worried. Two hens that I bought from a single seller seemed to have sort of dingy, broken feathers in places. Being inexperienced, I thought naively that they must have been kept in a crowded coop or something and that they would recover. But today when I was collecting eggs I looked and saw a small tick-like bug on my hand. It was tan in color and the size of the head of a ballpoint pen approx. I was worried about it since I had just collected eggs, so I went to the internet and looked up poultry parasites. It seems to match the description of chicken mites... could that be the reason those two hens I bought have bad feathers? They DO have spots where the feathers appear to be broken off and damaged, near their back end and legs. However, there is no sign of eggs or white stuff on their feathers or skin, and their vents appear to be clear of junk and scabbing, except that the fluffy feathers underneath are a tad dirty from waste. Of the two hens, one has so far laid an egg every other day, and one had laid none at all, although I only got them 5 days ago so this could still be normal.

    Is it possible I am jumping to conclusions as well? Could someone help me identify what's going on? Is there a surefire way to tell if these birds have mites? I can post pictures if needed.
     
  2. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,711
    14
    163
    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    If you think they have mites then use sevin dust on all of them,or poultry dust.Depending on how old you were told they are will depend on how many eggs you get.They will need to adjust to there new home to.Also you can do a search on here,go to the top of the page and see where it says search type in mites and that might help you.Google is great to for info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  3. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    834
    0
    119
    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    sounds like they could have mites, I would dust them and the rest of the chickens with Sevin dust, it will kill the mites. Dust again in a few days to kill any bugs that hatch after the first dusting. Good luck!
     
  4. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    Could be the hens are just moulting, this happens about every year but can be brought on by stress or illness. Egg production also goes way down or stops durring moulting.

    Hard to say if the bug you saw was a mite from chickens or a common tick. Giving them good feed and a little extra light this time of year can help get them through moulting.


    On a side note, getting into chickens picking up chickens from different unknown people can be a tough start. Some people bring unwanted or unhealthy birds to sell, not always knowingly either. Worming can be a good idea with new birds from an unknown source but you may want to hold off on that if the are moulting.

    Check into biosecurity, picking up birds hear and there can be risky.
     
  5. flashover1969

    flashover1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    91
    0
    83
    Apr 13, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    Did the thing that got on your hand look like this?
    [​IMG]


    Or this?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    3
    91
    Sep 28, 2011
    Thank you all for the advice! [​IMG] Just confirming, the Sevin you are talking about is this stuff?

    http://www.gardentech.com/sevin.asp

    And when you say "dust them" with it, how thorough do I have to be? One of the topics I read on here just said I could put it in their favorite dust-bathing areas, would that do or is it more intensive? I am very much in favor of not having to excessively handle my brand-new chickens, since they are under enough stress presently due to their change of homes.

    Also, if they are moulting, wouldn't the feathers be completely gone? In some places my chickens are completely nude, but in others it kind of looks like the feather broke off at the shaft, with it still in the skin. Could that be some kind of incomplete molt?

    Sorry for all the questions! I have a book on chickens but the chapter on diseases is upsettingly short and not very descriptive. I guess now I will think twice before getting chickens from unknown sources, which is a shame, since the others I've gotten the same day have been awesome and lovely animals. [​IMG]

    @Flashover - Definitely more like the first one... I think. It looked kind of like figure A, and I'll admit I only got a short look at it before I pinched it between my nails, but I seem to think it had a wider body and shorter legs. That one seems a little narrower than what I remember. But that could be it?
     
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
    36
    213
    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I have a bird with broken feathers presently. I suspect mites, although I have not seen a bug. I cleaned out their coop completely and shook a good portion of poultry dust around, paying close attention to the cracks in the joins. I also tossed it with the clean bedding. I also shook it and DE onto the floor of the run for them to dust bath in. I haven't actually dusted the chickens themselves as of yet. I can see no bugs on them or eggs on the feather shaft. I should probably dust them, but I'm waiting for my back to feel a bit better. They seem to know when I want to do something to them they are not going to like and they run under the coop [​IMG]
     
  8. flashover1969

    flashover1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    91
    0
    83
    Apr 13, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    Some mites feed at night when no one is looking and hide during the day.

    I use a Permethrin powder (poultry and garden dust) on my poultry and it works really good. Make sure that you retreat in 2 weeks when the eggs hatch.

    You can also use Ivermectin
     
  9. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    3
    91
    Sep 28, 2011
    Thank you! [​IMG] Is there a forum topic or how-to guide somewhere I can use to find out how to "dust" a chicken properly with the stuff?
     
  10. flashover1969

    flashover1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    91
    0
    83
    Apr 13, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    You can do a search of the forums or the internet on how to do that.

    One method for dusting is placing an amount of the powder in a plastic garbage bag. Then put one of your chickens in the bag, leaving only the chickens head sticking out of the bag then agitate the bag( and POOF you now have a treated and agitated chicken). [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by