Itchy Chicks

Love My Chickies

Songster
May 24, 2021
202
313
136
Texas City, TX
My 11ish week old chicks seem to be very itchy and scratching a lot, although these are my first so I'm not sure how normal this is. At any rate, I've ordered some food grade Diatomaceous Earth and it should arrive tomorrow. Do I just dust it over the pine bedding in the coop and on the dirt in the run or is there something specific I need to do? Sorry if this is a silly question, I've never done this before. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Love My Chickies

Songster
May 24, 2021
202
313
136
Texas City, TX
I would send it back.

Do the birds have a dust bath available to them? That is what they need.
Yes, always.
IMG_20210713_093602264~2.jpg
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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Well then check for mites or lice. Do they just scratch several times a day - or are they digging at themselves until nearly causing or causing a sore?

If they are just scratching - that is pretty typical, they are getting rid of dead skin cells, and preening themselves. If it becomes excessive, or they attack the same spot over and over again - generally a sign of bug.

If it is bugs- either lice or mites - then you need real medicine. Not all natural DE. There is considerable evidence, DE does not act as a pesticide, and can cause lung issues.

Mrs K
 

Love My Chickies

Songster
May 24, 2021
202
313
136
Texas City, TX
Well then check for mites or lice. Do they just scratch several times a day - or are they digging at themselves until nearly causing or causing a sore?

If they are just scratching - that is pretty typical, they are getting rid of dead skin cells, and preening themselves. If it becomes excessive, or they attack the same spot over and over again - generally a sign of bug.

If it is bugs- either lice or mites - then you need real medicine. Not all natural DE. There is considerable evidence, DE does not act as a pesticide, and can cause lung issues.

Mrs K

Well then check for mites or lice. Do they just scratch several times a day - or are they digging at themselves until nearly causing or causing a sore?

If they are just scratching - that is pretty typical, they are getting rid of dead skin cells, and preening themselves. If it becomes excessive, or they attack the same spot over and over again - generally a sign of bug.

If it is bugs- either lice or mites - then you need real medicine. Not all natural DE. There is considerable evidence, DE does not act as a pesticide, and can cause lung issues.

Mrs K

What do you think?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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At 11 weeks they are probably growing in a new set of feathers, that takes lots of preening.

Here's my advice for a Bug Check:
Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.


Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).

Good post about mite ID by Lady McCamley:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-chicken-has-mites-now-what.1273674/page-2#post-20483008
 

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