Lice, Mites, or something else

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mehchickengurl, May 27, 2008.

  1. mehchickengurl

    mehchickengurl New Egg

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    Could you guys please help me? My chickens (10 in number) have some type of feather eating/destroying pest on them. it leaves patches of feathers gone and the skin is red and rather itchy looking. I don't know what it is. Have any of you ever experienced this?
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pics would help, and Moderator Miss Prissy is very good at knowing what these things are. Do you have some DE (diatomaceous earth) and Sevin? No-pest strips containing pyrethins can also be hung in the coop away from food/water. You'll need to get this knocked down fast before your birds' immunity is knocked down. Once you get the birds treated you need to address treating the coop on a long-term basis.
     
  3. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  4. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, are you sure it's a pest? Patches of missing feathers and red skin (on the back especially) can be caused by an overzealous rooster. Do you have a rooster? Are the hens molting and getting a lot of sun?

    That said, if you do have mites or lice, have you seen them? What do they look like? Either way, you'll probably need to apply Sevin (carbaryl) or permethrin dust to the birds once per week til the bugs are gone, clean the coop thoroughly and put down some Diatomaceous Earth.

    Here are some links to some information on poultry pests:

    http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf

    http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/issues/2/2-5/Laura_E_John.html
     
  5. mehchickengurl

    mehchickengurl New Egg

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    Here is what I've noticed:
    First, we don't see any lice or mites,
    Second, its only a patch close to the tail feathers on the back,
    Third, the feathers get dry and brittle before they fall out or the chicken pecks them out,
    Fourth, we do have a rooster, however he is very, vERY old,
    Fifth, we don't really use any internal/external medications for parasites,
    Sixth, we did buy some medicated stuff but it has not worked, it is:
    Permethrin Garden and Poultry dust from Prozap,
    we used this after we noticed the feather-patches,
    Seventh, the two other chickens are showing signs of brittle feathers,
    Eighth, do you know if the product listed above is bad for the birds?
    Ninth, the chickens don't get alot of sun,
    Tenth, no, the chickens aren't molting either

    Would you reccomend those items you listed, dixygirl.

    Thanks for helping me out guys, i'm pretty new to the world of Poultry.
     
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it's chicken lice, you will see clumps of whitish, almost powdery-looking egg masses clumped at the base of the feathers where the chickens are preening/pecking. These hatch, then adults crawl around and lay more eggs. if you google chicken lice eggs you may be able to find pics of them.
     
  7. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ten hens should be adequate for a geriatric rooster. How old is he? But the pattern you describe: on the back near the tail is the pattern associated with roo wear. I've seen it many, many times.

    If you've dusted with Permethrin, then you've pretty much treated for pests. You should probably apply it again in a week to be on the safe side. It is safe and legal for use on poultry. I've used it to treat Northern Fowl Mites and it worked fine. Don't know if it was that specific brand name, though...
     
  8. mehchickengurl

    mehchickengurl New Egg

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    Yeah, I have tried the permethrin and I'm going to try it again, I think its chicken lice. Thanks for all your help, but one more question, Is chicken lice transferable to humans?
     
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    No, chicken lice are host specific, they can't live on humans.
     
  10. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Easiest way to confirm lice is to check the feathers right around the vent area for the clumps of white eggs at the base of the feathers.
     

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