I need somone to manage my flock for me. I am doing something wrong.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HeatherLynn, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok I don't know what the heck I am doing apparently and I need to figure out how to get us back on the right track.

    Ok so year one I bought 16 chickens and then 8 more. 8 barred rocks, 8 ees and 8 golden commets. Yes I like variety. Ok I never got an egg and all the barred rocks were definitely roos. Some hit the freezer, the others were sold and I started over. We moved. We converted a calf barn into a chicken coop, had everything set up and ready this time before I got the chicks. Feed, cans for feed, nesting boxes, roosts, brooder. Read the books and the forums and I thought I was prepared.

    So 2 roosters were given to me by a family friend. One died shortly after introduction to the hens. His comb turned purple and he died pretty sudden. I bought 4 adult hens. One died just recently we think due to snake. One has bumblefoot and another has scaley leg mites BAD. I mean bad. Also we have mites. I treat with DE, I treat with 7. I put oil on legs. blah blah blah you get the picture. Anything I see that I should be doing I am doing. The one with the swollen foot is getting worse despite treatment. Nothing seems to be working and even though she was sold as a year old hen I have this bad feeling I was also sold old birds. Never buy birds because you feel sorry for them and expect good things. These girls take the majority of my time. The leg mites I started scarlet oil because I read that would work. I hope it does. I even considered putting tea tree oil into vasaline and seeing how that works. I do love tea tree oil. I feel bad because they seem to be uncomfortable at this point and I hate to cull for what I think is a small thing I should be able to fix. So why can I not fix this? The leg mites are not going away. None of the other birds seem to have them but I assume it can spread and I cannot keep one hen in quarantine forever.

    Of course I have added other birds. All seem healthy. Everyone went through quarantine. I checked and checked for problems but found none at the time. All that should be laying are and some of my teens have given me a couple tiny eggs so far. We don't seem to have a huge mite problem I guess other than I don't seem to be able to be completely free of them. I treat till I can find no more and then I treat one more time and I swear the second I turn my back the mites are back. I clean the coop once a week. I treat it once a week. I put DE and 7 dust in their dust bath and throughout the coop. When I put it into the coop I kinda stir it in and then put a bit more on top to make sure everything is getting treated. I really have to search for the mites but I know they are there hiding from me. Always I will find them on the really feather footed or fancy ones. I treat them every 3 weeks with 7 dust and in between with DE. Is there something more I can do. One problem might be that wild birds do congregate in their run area. It is a huge open fenced in ranging area for them. There is no way I could cover it. Its an acre.

    I also was an idiot and bought polishes. Deal lord someone slap me. Nightmare. Bought 6 and I have 2 left. One died as a baby, another died for no apparent reason, another died a day after I rescued it after it got itself trapped in a tiny hole between the walls. How it ever got in there I will never know. We had to do some deconstruction to get to it and I thought it was pretty close to dead already. Dumb dumb dumb birds. Another dropped dead in a mud puddle. Just dropped in the middle of it. It had a huge cone head. I mean HUGE. Of course they get the mites the worst. I cannot seem to get them over it and they are probably the cause of the rest of the flock getting them over and over.

    I need some common sense stuff to fix these issues. I feel like I am failing my chickens. They provide me eggs, I should be providing a better, safer environment. I can't even fix a sore foot. Frustrated. I really want another type of chicken and I am wanting it bad but I need to get my ducks in order before I do that. The mites maybe I am winning on because I really only find them on the fancy feathers and even then I now have to really search. I feel like I am losing the battle on the bumblefoot and the one with legmites. I am failing my hens.
  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I'm sorry you are having so many problems. It seems you have had it tougher than most.

    I don't know about the sore foot.

    The leg mites I can help with. The mites get under the scales on the leg & foot & live there. The only way to get rid of them is to suffocate them. The oil you are using is probably too thin (my guess) & isn't killing them - if it doesn't touch them it doesn't work.

    Vaseline is thick & will stick to the legs cutting off the air to the mites. I've even used axel grease when I didn't have vaseline. You will need to re-apply about 2x per week until they heal.

    Your larger mite problem sounds like it isn't coming from the coop. You have obviously treated it consistantly. When I treat with neem oil or 7 dust I hit the entire run too. You may need to go larger?? I use neem oil in a large sprayer for my apple & pear trees to control pests. It works on mites too so I spray around the yard too.

    I don't think you are that far off of right - other than all the sudden deaths. I like to tell people chickens are like light bulbs. Sometimes they just burn out. I too have polish - they are quite a bit dummer than the average chicken! & that is saying someting! I have to keep mine locked up in a seperate pen because they couldn't see the other birds coming to pick on them.

    I've heard that you can trim the feathers around the eyes & that makes them instantly smarter. I haven't tried it yet.

    Don't give up -& don't buy any more old birds - you need to get young ones so you know how they have been raised & what they have gotten in to.

    Good luck - hope this helps.
  3. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    I reads many posts here of folks trying to be green or environnmental etc AND A SIMPLE ISSUE I.E MITES GET OUTTA HAND mites are easy to get rid of I personally have used 7 dust for the last 20 years it was once actually on the lable to do so the 5% stuff before the fair it was actually mandated by the 4H groups to dust all poultry with 7 or else you need to get some pertherin based stuff poultry dust its called now TSC has both also reccommend you clean all of the litter out of the coop bleach the walls and floor (10 percent solution with water) let it air dry and go get some ortho home defense spray the walls and ceiling roost and floors let it dry and cover the floors with ag lime and then new bedding.. Keep the dusting up for a few weeks and if you want to be really sure a bit of a yard insecticide sprayed arount the coop will help... There are times when a good pesticide is a must IE bad mites or rodent issues... As for the leg mites try udder balm in the green can put it on liberally... and dust them birds!!!! Dont be worried to use a stronger treatment if the greener one doesnt work...
  4. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    OH we also used to shampoo the girls before the fair with a dog / cat flea and tick shampoo in the fair the judges docked for mite holes in feathers.... talk about a whizzed off bird try shampooin one!!!!!!!
  5. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I do use 7 dust. I am very careful with it just because I know any chemical can be dangerous if used too liberally. I try to do a balanced method. I am not big into being green so thats not my issues. I have been doing DE and 7 dust. On the leg mites I just wondered if the scarlet oil was doing anything. I had read it worked great but her legs are not looking any better for the treatment. I think tomorrow I will mix tea tree in with the Vaseline and smear like a mad woman.

    I think I might need to switch to biweekly coop cleanings too. Maybe I have too many birds. In the large coop there are 28. That is roughly 18 x30 and then an acre fenced run area. I have not treated the outside run so maybe that is where I am missing. Something to think about. I will try the shampoo on the fancy feathers. They are just the toughest to treat so maybe this will be the key for them since they are my problem children. I could trim those head feathers on the polish while I am at it. An IQ jump in them would be great. I swear mine have no brain. Soooo dumb.
  6. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    scarlett oil is too dry to sufficate them mites try the udder balm it will also help with the wounds... and give that pen a good cleaning you know I was thinking perhaps let the girls outside for the day clean and bleach that coop and maybe a bug bomb and a good yard insecticide to clean em outta the coop.... after a liberal dusting of 7 apply the udder balm 2 times a day or as needed it is nice and gooey itll sufficate them mited...
  7. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    So sorry to hear about your problems, especially with the Polish. I have 15 Polish and yes we have lost some, but they are great birds. We recently acquired 5 more and one had mites on his head when we bought him. We were told by a great friend and awesome chicken person to try Frontline spray. Yes, the stuff you put on dogs and cats, but it has to be the SPRAY and not the spot treatment. Take it our of the original container and put a drop on the head, a drop under each wing, and a drop near the vent. Check again in a couple days. We only had to do one treatment on our guy, it worked that good. (we did treat all 5 since they were in the same coop).

    I would totally empty your coop, wash it down with bleach solution, let it air dry, and then put everyone back in once they had been treated for the mites.

    Hope everything works out well for you! [​IMG]
  8. Staceyfeindt

    Staceyfeindt In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2009
    I use mite drops from the cat/dog section of a store. I just apply several drops TO THE SKIN under the wings.

    "Bag Balm" is what I think some are refering to when they say udder cream in the green box. We find it at our pharmacy on the shelf, people also use it for freshly done tatoos. One can will last forever.

    That's all I can help with, sorry! But best wishes!!
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I use Eprinex for mites. It's expensive, but so worth it. It's a topical liquid that is measured out using a syringe and squirted on the back of the neck or under the wings. You may want to give up the Sevin and try it. There is no egg withdrawal time for it, so you don't lose any eggs after treatment. It's very effective and easy to use. So much more pleasant to do than dusting and bathing.

    Everyone has been suggesting Bag Balm for scaly leg mites. I love this stuff, too. It works well for a variety of slices and dices on chickens, livestock and humans. It's also great for dry hands in the winter. You should get this just to have on hand. I am never without it.

    Sometimes owning chickens is easy and sometimes it's not. It always seems like problems travel in groups. This is your tough time. Tough times make the good times look all the better when they come. Without the bad times you have nothing to weigh the good times against. Remember that this too shall pass.

    Good luck. I am sorry for all the bad luck you seem to be having.
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You know, I think that the wild life is bringing in the mites. You treat the area, and they bring in fresh mites.

    I think you need a smaller run that you can enclose and keep the wildlife out. Once you do that, the wildlife will leave the immediate area, as they cannot get to your chicken feed. This will save you money on feed too.

    Then you will be able to get your mites under control, your flock will get healthy, and you can probably do some free ranging again.

    Also, sometimes a poor diet will enable a parasite problem to get worse. If an animal is already stressed, they are more prone to parasites, but I really think that you are treating the problem, it is just being continuallly reintroduced.


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