Itchy & scratchy chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Screebert, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Screebert

    Screebert In the Brooder

    Nov 28, 2007
    Oregon City, OR
    The chickens at my parents' house are "itchy & scratchy" all the time. This is new. We don't know what had happened, as no new chickens have been introduced. They are completely free-range, and they love to hang out under the wild bird-feeder. I'm thinking they might have picked up bugs from the wild birds? That, or the squirrels.

    So, I read about "dusting" the chickens with Sevin dust. Is this what I should do?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Itchy scratchy. Can you describe further the problem? If you pick them up and can see crawlies on their feathers near the shafts on the necks, backs or bum, you can use seven dust and powder them. Be careful with the dust though as some people can be alergic to it... and with anything ment to kill other things, isn't too good to get on yourself.
  3. Screebert

    Screebert In the Brooder

    Nov 28, 2007
    Oregon City, OR
    Well, my mother doesn't seem to think there's a problem at all.
    I see her chickens constantly scratching themselves with their beaks & feet. I have seen the chickens "grooming eachother", like they are finding and eating bugs on their fellow chickens.

    So, do we have to grab chickens and ruffle through their feathers?
    Whatever it is, I would definitely do it, if I I thought the chickens would be rid of pests.
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    The easiest way to check them would be at night. Go in the coop with a flashlight, and check thier bums. If you see crawlies...ewwww...they need to be dusted. I grab my chickens by the feet...hold them upside down. This makes them spread thier wing,(very helpfull) and dust them. Try NOT to get it in thier face. If they have lice/mites...the bugs are sucking the hens dry. Eventually they will start getting very sick, and possibly dieing.
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    some bugs can be seen in the day..
    if you see any bugs, or any get on you while handling the chickens..good possibility it's lice.

    most likely they need to be treated.

    corral the birds into the coop or other confined space..
    dust with Sevin or poultry dust with permathrin..down to the skin, not just the tops of the feathers.
    if you have a problem catching them..
    then do it after they go to roost and are sleepy and more docile. you can use a towel to wrap them in to keep from flapping their wings.'s most likely that the coop will need to be cleaned and dusted also, and new bedding.

    chickens should be getting chicken feed.
    wild bird seed is not particularly good for them if they are eating a lot of it.
    they can catch diseases from wild birds.

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