Is this lice? Mites? Something else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by poppyflock, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. poppyflock

    poppyflock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Hoping I can get some advice...this is Sprinkles, our 16-ish week old Speckled Sussex. This evening while I was holding her, I noticed she has this white, crusty stuff under her beak and neck area! It's hard, crusty white stuff and stuck to the feathers. I have no idea what it is. Maybe lice or nits? I've noticed a lot of head shaking and scratching, which I'm sure is related to this.

    A little background: we got her when she was about 8 weeks old. She's always been sorta "sickly"... looking lethargic and puffed up, having diarrhea and other strange poops, fluffed up with droopy wings, and shaking her head ALL the time. She's also underweight and just doesn't seem to be thriving. Unfortunately I don't have the money to take her to the vet right now, but we've tried Duramycin, Corid and most recently piperazine de-wormer. Nothing has made a significant difference for her.

    Has anyone experienced something like this with one of their birds? Any ideas of what I should do to try and treat it? Thanks in advance!

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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  2. wildernesschic5

    wildernesschic5 Just Hatched

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    My chicken has mites right now and they are little tiny red bugs crawling on her skin under her feathers. It doesn't look like that. What I have done when I have questions besides posting on here is calling the place where I got her from. I'm from Minnesota, but Anoka Ramsey plant and Garden is where I got my chickens from and they are super informative 763-421-0223 .
    Good luck with your chicken! I hope it's nothing serious.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  4. poppyflock

    poppyflock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks @Wyorp Rock and @wildernesschic5 ! After doing some research, @wildernesschic5 , I think you're right that they're not mites. And @Wyorp Rock , I agree they look like lice nits. I did get some poultry dust at the feed store today and dusted her with it. Hopefully that does the trick! I also bought permethrin 10% liquid. I'm going to hold off on using that though, and see if the poultry dust and a good deep cleaning of their coop/run is effective. Thanks for the advice you guys! I'll let you know how it turns out. :)
     
  5. wildernesschic5

    wildernesschic5 Just Hatched

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    How is your chicken doing?
     
  6. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would agree with lice nits. You can check her vent area for signs of lice. Be very careful using dust near her face. You don't want it in her eyes or lungs. I recently had a very mild lice problem but couldn't get rid of them. In the end I bought Elector PSP and it worked great. Prolonged lice exposure can be fatal. Good luck!
     
  7. poppyflock

    poppyflock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    She's still pretty lethargic and sickly looking unfortunately. Thanks for checking on her though! She's been under the weather for the last couple months (probably due to having lice!) so I think it's going to take at least a couple weeks for her to really start feeling better, even with the lice gone. She's so underweight at this point, that she was blown over by a strong gust of wind yesterday! It was so sad. :( I cleaned out their coop and dusted it very well with poultry dust. And I dusted her really well too. She wouldn't let me get a close look at her vent, but I dusted it really well so hopefully any lice that were there are gone now. I'm going to dust her coop again in a few days for any nits that hatch. I also bought ivermectin pour on, which I plan to put on her in a few days. I've read that it's really effective against lice. I've been putting coconut oil on the nits under her chin because I read that "suffocates" them. It seems like there are less nits than before, so I think that's good.

    I've been feeding her plain yogurt with her crumbles a couple times per day to help her gain weight. I've also read a lot about using Poly-Vi-Sol to help sick chickens, but haven't been able to find it without added iron (which I read is toxic to birds). I might have to order it online.

    I really appreciate everyone's advice and support! It's scary dealing with something like this. I'll definitely keep you updated on how she's doing!!!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you have a local feed store look for Poultry Nutri-Drench or Rooster Booster Poultry Cell, both of those are good to give. If they don't have those you can use Durvet Vitamins and Electrolytes (usually found in the cattle section of a feed store).

    Add some scrambled/hard boiled egg, tuna, mackerel or meat to her chick starter. If she is not eating well, you can make a wet mash out of her crumbles like the consistency of oatmeal. Chickens usually love wet feed, this may help as well. Limit treats to no more than 10% of her daily intake and give things like sunflower seeds, meal worms or a little fresh fruit/veggies. Make sure she has a source of grit available.

    Here is a list of vitamins and what they do as well as foods/products:
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2014/03/vitamin-deficiencies-in-backyard-chicks-html/
     
  9. poppyflock

    poppyflock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the tips @Wyorp Rock ! I actually have the Durvet Vitamins and Electrolytes at my house, so I just gave that to her. I bought it a couple weeks ago but stopped using it because it didn't seem to be making a difference. But I'm guessing it wasn't helping because she still had lice...hopefully it'll make more of a difference now that I'm treating the main cause of her illness, too. Now that I'm looking at the bottle, it seems like it has a lot of the same vitamins as the Poly-Vi-Sol, so that's cool! I've tried feeding her hard boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, meal worms and other garden veggies, but she's always just ignored everything. It seemed like she just didn't have the energy to try new foods. She does really like when I add water and/or yogurt to her chick starter, so I'll keep doing that, along with the Vitamins and Electrolytes.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. poppyflock

    poppyflock Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    @FlyingNunFarm how do you use Elector PSP? I've never heard of it before (at least in my research on BYC, haha). It seems expensive ($150 when I googled it) but if nothing else works, I guess we might have to invest in it. I'll see how the Poultry Dust and Ivermectin work first though, since I already bought them. Did you try either of those when you had a lice infestation? If so -I'm assuming they didn't work for you? Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. It's really hard to know what to do in a situation like this, so it's nice to hear about how other people dealt with it successfully.
     

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