How to check for parasites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nkacerek, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. nkacerek

    nkacerek In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2009
    Morris County, NJ
    I picked up my first 6 RIR's last week and they look more caramel in color than that birch beer dark red/brown color they are known for. Someone on BYC said it may be mites, lice or some other parasite. how do I go about checking these on my birds? What am I looking for exactly?
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Bug checks are pretty easy to perform, but I am not quite understanding why you are doing it. Their color is wrong?

    Anyways- lice are easy to look for. Lift the feathers up and look at the skin focusing on the area around their vents. Any bugs seen? They are large enough to spot pretty well. If no, then look at the bases of the feathers where they surface from the skin. Are there any white or gray clumps of eggs? These are actually even easier to see than the bugs themselves. They will be stuck to the feather bases and be hard to remove. See any of those? No? Then they are free of lice at this time.

    Mites are a bit more challenging to see because they are active at night, so you need to use a flashlight to check for them. They are also tiny. They look like specks of reddish brown dirt, but they move around. They will also be visible on the skin. Check carefully around the vent area for these as well. If you see none of those, then you are in the clear.

    Good luck. I hope they don't have any bugs.
  3. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    Hello nkacerek. I have 3 RIRs and their color varies somewhat. Don't really know if this is normal or if it means they are not purebreds. Lice and mites may be hard to see and chickens need to be examined closely to spot them. Check the feather shafts, especially around the vent area closely for the lice, mites, and their egg clusters. The link below describes what each looks like, what the general symptoms are, and how to treat for them. Good luck and have fun with your RIRs!
  4. nkacerek

    nkacerek In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2009
    Morris County, NJ
    Thanks! It is a combination of things: pale in color (could be do to not being purebred...very possible)and they are a year old but only about half the size of my 5-6 month Ameraucana and Barred Rock. Just trying to be a good newbie chicken owner and cover all my bases! Have been adding ACV to the water and will be adding some food grade DE and cracked corn at the end of this week for weight gain and external/internal parasite control. Was also interested in the cleanse post with raw pumpkin seeds, buttermilk, wheat bran and yogurt...
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Quote:FYI; DE will not prevent nor treat internal parasites despite what you've read or heard about about it....ask any vet.

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