I'm covered with itching pink welts right after holding a chicken.


Not Dutch!
11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
What bit me?! I've held them often. I am covered from ankles to face with 100 or so pink, itchy welts. I'm thinking flea bites, but I never saw a thing.

I showered twice and washed all my clothes and sheets, but don't know if I'm still getting bitten. The itching started on my legs under heavy jeans, in the daytime while I sat at the computer, after I turned her over on my lap( to check her Polish eyes.) Then I kept finding more and more.

Months ago, I saw a light colored louse on this chicken and thought it was a feather mite. At the time, I bought seven, but didn't want to use a powder while chicks were around, so put it off.

What is biting me, and what should I do to rid them? We have had a nightly raccoon visiting, who may have brought fleas to the coop area.
Sounds like contact dermatitis which is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance or hives which is usually an allergic reaction to food or medicine.

Doesn't sound like insect bites.
Whatever it is.........probably hives if you have benedryl...........take it right away. They liquid works faster than the pill. keep taking it as often as you can. Calamine lotion would be nice too if you have any.
If you develop labored breathing or swollen tongue...........go to the ER.
Keep us posted.
Benadryl good... itchy welts bad. Do you have chiggers in your area? They have that effect and are invisible. Keep us posted, and don't hesitate to head for the doc if it doesn't improve soon.
We had the same problem. Turned out to be some nasty little gnats that were hatching out in my wife's plants. She has a jungle in this house. Anyway, they turned up flying around the computer screen. I couldn't see them otherwise.

Bug bomb the house. If you have birds, send them to live with a relative on the day you bomb the house.

Hmmm...this happened to someone we know. She used to carry her rooster around under her arm and she developed red, itchy whelps. She went to the Dr. and he said that mites from her rooster had caused the whelps. Of course, every case is different, but your case sounds similar to our friend's.
In coops, houses, restaurants, stables and barns many of us use a hanging wax strip soaked with pyrethins. It's called a no-pest strip and is available at tack shops, hardware stores, feed store and co-ops. You hang them far above the birds, avopiding spots directly over water/food. They will kepp a coop or home free of fleas, lice, ticks, gnats, flies...amazing really and you don;t have to apply anything to the animal...though using them after a cleanup would prevent future infestation if that's what it is...
Do your chickens free range? If so, they could be getting into poison ivy or poison oak. The oil will stick to their feathers and rub off on you when you touch them...same thing happens if you let your dogs and cats roam and they come in contact with it.

The oil can stay active for months on stuff like fabric (shoes, pants, etc) and keep 're-infecting' you each time you touch that object. The good news is that water rinses off and 'de-activates' the oil. You just have to know what has come in contact with the plants and give it all a good rinsing.

Of course, if it is a pet that is bringing the plant oils to you, giving them a bath is only a temporary solution as they will go right back out and touch the plants again unless you kill off the plant itself.

Whatever you do, don't burn the vines after you have them pulled up, as this will send the oils airborne and cause even more problems!

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