Help! What are tiny bugs the size of dust speck?

Oct 14, 2018
70
97
77
Upstate New York
Hello friends,

I am nursing a sick chicken. She's currently in a dog crate in a spare room in the house. While giving her water/vitamins/ etc. with an eye dropper, I began to see tiny specks, REALLY tiny specks, appearing on my hand supporting her head. They are about the size of a gray dust speck, really. And they crawl. What the HECK are they? Does anyone know? If you do know, what is the remedy?

Now that I've seen them, I'm concerned!

Could these be contributing to her lethargy/illness?
Is it safe to have them in my house?

I'm creeped out by them! And I want to do what's best for this sweet hen. Can anyone shed light?

Odd thing: she was shaking her head a lot. I thought it was her "normal." Perhaps not...

Thanks so much,
Cheryl

***

Backstory, in case it's helpful:

This hen is called Jett, she's an all-black cochin, very sweet and friendly. Less than a year old (guess). Joined the flock here in June/July-ish. Lap sitter. She has appeared healthy all along. Just yesterday, she was lap-sitting, perching on my shoulder and so on. I saw her eat and drink yesterday. Never seen her in the nest box/laying...

Only odd thing: she was shaking her head a lot. I thought it was normal for her. Now I'm thinking perhaps not.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,148
269,552
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NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Hello friends,

I am nursing a sick chicken. She's currently in a dog crate in a spare room in the house. While giving her water/vitamins/ etc. with an eye dropper, I began to see tiny specks, REALLY tiny specks, appearing on my hand supporting her head. They are about the size of a gray dust speck, really. And they crawl. What the HECK are they? Does anyone know? If you do know, what is the remedy?

Now that I've seen them, I'm concerned!

Could these be contributing to her lethargy/illness?
Is it safe to have them in my house?

I'm creeped out by them! And I want to do what's best for this sweet hen. Can anyone shed light?

Odd thing: she was shaking her head a lot. I thought it was her "normal." Perhaps not...

Thanks so much,
Cheryl

***

Backstory, in case it's helpful:

This hen is called Jett, she's an all-black cochin, very sweet and friendly. Less than a year old (guess). Joined the flock here in June/July-ish. Lap sitter. She has appeared healthy all along. Just yesterday, she was lap-sitting, perching on my shoulder and so on. I saw her eat and drink yesterday. Never seen her in the nest box/laying...

Only odd thing: she was shaking her head a lot. I thought it was normal for her. Now I'm thinking perhaps not.
Mites or lice or ??
No matter. If she were my bird I'd treat her with permethrin dust or spray ASAP.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
28,268
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Florida
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I suspect mites too. I use permethrin. It works. I had a severe infestation of mites primarily in one coop which I attribute to wild birds that had tried to build nests in the coop. My birds were ugly. I thought they were molting but they didn't seem to be getting their feathers back in so upon closer inspection I discovered they were covered with mites. You may want to check out your other birds because there is a chance they all have them too. I did spray the birds, as well as their nest boxes, ceilings, walls, floors, on and under the roosts, any crack and crevices with a gallon sprayer so I could reach the hard to reach areas with the wand and repeat weekly for awhile because it doesn't kill the pests eggs. I use permethrin dust on my birds and in their nest boxes. If you have a TSC they carry the permethrin powder, premixed spray bottles and the concentrate. No egg withdrawal period. I bathed the infected birds using flea shampoo. It did help get rid of some of the pests but not all. The birds actually relaxed and seemed to enjoy being bathed. It took awhile but since treating the coop and birds, no more mites and the birds are beautiful again.
 
Oct 14, 2018
70
97
77
Upstate New York
I suspect mites too. I use permethrin. It works. I had a severe infestation of mites primarily in one coop which I attribute to wild birds that had tried to build nests in the coop. My birds were ugly. I thought they were molting but they didn't seem to be getting their feathers back in so upon closer inspection I discovered they were covered with mites. You may want to check out your other birds because there is a chance they all have them too. I did spray the birds, as well as their nest boxes, ceilings, walls, floors, on and under the roosts, any crack and crevices with a gallon sprayer so I could reach the hard to reach areas with the wand and repeat weekly for awhile because it doesn't kill the pests eggs. I use permethrin dust on my birds and in their nest boxes. If you have a TSC they carry the permethrin powder, premixed spray bottles and the concentrate. No egg withdrawal period. I bathed the infected birds using flea shampoo. It did help get rid of some of the pests but not all. The birds actually relaxed and seemed to enjoy being bathed. It took awhile but since treating the coop and birds, no more mites and the birds are beautiful again.
Fantastic, thank you! I'm sorry to report, that my sweet little cochin hen just died. I can't believe it's because of the mites... perhaps something else? But it could be mites I guess, and I'm feeling just terrible about this. Broken hearted. DH has gone to TSC to get the permethrin dust, and I"ll get the flock dusted, coops cleaned and treated. Perhaps it will help mend my broken heart a bit...
 

MANNA-PRO

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