I think I have mites or lice or something icky

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NewChickenMama, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. NewChickenMama

    NewChickenMama Hatching

    Jul 5, 2008
    I am, as my login states, a new chicken mama. I'm trying to be a good chicken mama but I'm afraid I am just don't know what I'm supposed to do and you guys seem to be complete experts.
    I have 7 hens and 1 rooster and everyone has a name. Ralph the rooster was given to me and I had to get him some girlfriends. I bought my chickens from a variety of backyard chicken owners so I'm not sure how old my chickens are. When I first got them, they were very good layers. Since the weather is nice here and they love to do it, I allow my chickens to free range all over the property (I have over 7 acres) but they stay within the area around the barn, coop and house. They have nice soft dirt in front of the loafing shed to bath in and they seem to do that each morning. They come back into the coop at nightfall and I lock them up for the evening to keep them safe from predators. So my problem? I think we have a serious infestation and I'm not sure what to do. It seems to be affecting only 3 of my 7 hens - the black girls and the black and white speckled girls seem to be OK and Ralph seems fine). Here is what's happening:

    1. Decreased laying - I'm not finding them around the property and they aren't laying in the coop
    2. They seem skinnier so I'm wondering if they are losing weight
    3. Very dirty butts. How should I clean a chicken butt??
    4. Losing feathers. I can see red skin where they have lost their feathers. In some cases I can see the shaft of the feather and all the little feathers are gone

    They don't seem to be lethargic - they run all over the place and run from Ralph when he's feeling particularly saucy.

    I also seem to have a pretty bad fly problem in the coop. I have a couple fly traps on the ceilings but the flys are everywhere on the ceiling. Any suggestions? If I need to do something serious to the coop for the flys and nasty bugs, I can move the group to the barn for the night for a while but I don't know what to do. Based on what I've read so far on the site, I think I need to treat the coop and the birds but I don't know where to get the stuff I need, what to ask for, whether I should eat the eggs produced after treatment, if I need to take everyone to the vet, etc. [​IMG]

    Any and all help you can send to me would be MOST appreciated.
  2. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *Worms, maybe?? I would rig a temp pen and slightly clip the wings of the worst affected to keep them in it for examination, and observation and special treatment. Watch for itching, scratching, plucking, pecking, droppings, amts eaten, fluid intake, exam for external parasites, check crops, get a dropping sample for a fecal float, etc.. They can be washed up and rinsed individually in cheapy dishpans or plastic tubs, which will *definitely* allow you to determine any external parasites. I would start the three on electrolytes and vits in case of dehydration or anemia, get the fecal done and go from there. Ed: Hang more (a lot more)fly strips or a several fly bottles (better) in the coop to cut down on the flys until you figure out what is going on.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  3. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio

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