Lice, mites or ? **Warning--gross pictures** Any help appreciated

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Gldnrose, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Gldnrose

    Gldnrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope someone can help me with this. This morning before I went to work I noticed that one of my hens had a scabby area right above her vent and then saw that she has a bald patch below her vent. I went to work and started researching what it might be. During the day my husband went out to change out the water and collect eggs and noticed she had blood on her in that area. he brought her inside. I got home and checked her out. The blood was dried in her feathers but seemed to have come from that "scab" area by her vent. I went out to the other hens and inspected everyone thoroughly. Another hen has that same "scab" above her vent and everyone seems to be losing feathers under vent area, in what I call the "skirt" area (they are Buff Orpingtons).

    I had to actually move their feathers to see the bald spots. They are not as bad as the first mentioned hen. I saw no bugs of any kind. The only thing I can say I noticed was the shaft of the feathers looked dirty, like they had taken dust baths, which maybe they did. But maybe its a sign of a type of bug too? I've seen pics with lice congregated at the shaft of feathers and it did not look like that.
    I use DE, but not enough? This is my first time having chickens. maybe I wasn't liberal enough with it through the winter, thinking these things don't live in extreme cold? I don't know, but I'm learning the hard way I guess. I have seen posts where people suggest permethrin dust or even ivomectrin pour on to treat each bird.

    I had to wash said bird to get the crusty blood off and inspect more. She is in the house for the night. Its supposed to get to negative 18 tonight, I couldn't put her back being wet. I'm hoping more experienced chicken owners can help and point me in the right direction. At this point I am only guessing that it is lice or mites. Any info is greatly appreciated.

    The first two pictures is before washing. You can see the "scab" on upper part of her vent.
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    This next picture is of her bald spot. I tried to get most of the blood off that had dripped down into her "skirt" from the area by the vent. It didn't look this bald until I had washed her.

    Edited to add last picture:
    [​IMG]


    Thank you in advance!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  2. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said it's your first time with chickens... how old are they? Did they just recently start laying? Similar to women when they have babies and need stitches down there, chickens kinda stretch and tear a little bit when they lay their first few eggs. So it could simply be a little bit of blood from that stretching and tearing, that merely dried up around her vent. I've had blood covered eggs from first-time layers before.

    If they've been laying for a long while but this is the first time you have seen blood, then it could be either a problem with the cold dry weather (similar to how our lips crack in winter) or a problem with worms. It isn't prolapse, since all of the inside parts are still on the inside. So whatever it is, it should be easily treatable. But it really looks like the problem of a hen who has just started to lay.
     
  3. Gldnrose

    Gldnrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, they have been laying since November 2013 so I don't think that its that.
    As for them being dry and cracked because of cold, I guess that could be a cause, but what would be causing the baldness below?
    I also noticed that I forgot to add the last picture of the bald spot that she has and they others are getting. You can look at that again if it helps.
    Thank you for responding.
     
  4. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said it's going to be negative 18 tonight. Has it been in the freezing zone for a while? Now I'm starting to think her own poop is getting frozen to her bottom, and her feathers get yanked when she pulls it off. Or, if it happens while she's roosting at night, and her bottom rests against something, it might happen when she stand up in the morning, and her bottom is frozen to whatever object is behind her.

    At those temperatures, I don't see mites, lice, and most external parasites, living long enough to get ON your chickens.
     
  5. Gldnrose

    Gldnrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it has been bitter cold here again.
    I thought the same thing about any of those things living in this cold, and the entire winter has been brutally cold.

    I have been racking my brain all night trying to figure out what is going on. Remember, all the birds are showing "signs" of the same thing. I never saw any bugs on them, but I guess from what I have read they can be pretty sneaky, especially the mites.
     
  6. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd suggest going forward with an external treatment for them. At the very least, it couldn't hurt! But it's possible that the bugs aren't dying because they are staying ON the chickens and getting their heat from them.

    Ivomectin pour-on would be my choice. Birds in general are already vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, and powder tends to turn itself into a dust cloud very easily! And whatever bug doesn't stay on the birds, SHOULD die from the cold.
     
  7. Gldnrose

    Gldnrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just went and looked them over again. They do all have scabby (crusty) area above the top of their vents. I am beginning to wonder if it isn't indeed poop that got stuck there. One of the girls has poop stuck in her feathers in that area too, more on the outer most part of the feather, whereas the scabby thing is right on the skin. I wish it was warm enough to wash everyone up back there and see if it comes off. Or I'll have six chickens in my house because its so cold. I'll be going back out there to trim that poop off so it doesn't pull at any skin. This is so hard with such frigid temps :eek:(

    Ivomectrin pour on....I read about that last night. Is this the cattle stuff? Tha'ts as far as I got last night in my searches. In the google search it looks like there are different kinds of it? On the boards I found people use .08%, three drops on back of neck. Will the bottle clearly state its .08%?
    what are your thoughts on permethrin dust? As far as it working I mean, other than the dust problem it can cause.
    And lastly, with either one of these things, do I need to not eat any eggs and if so, for how long?
    Thanks again.
     
  8. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since both of these are external, you should be okay with eating eggs. Some of it will be absorbed into the skin, but it won't actually be anywhere NEAR enough to harm you when you eat the eggs. The only thing you would have to stop, is feeding the eggs back to your chickens, since depending on the strength and length of dosage, it could build up more in their own systems. Permethrin dust has worked for me. It's just been the issue of inhalation. I don't want my chickens to get permethrin in their lungs so I stopped using it. I've never had a PROBLEM with it doing so, it's just personal preference.

    And yes, the bottles will usually state clearly what the percentage is. Although for some reason I am thinking Ivomec only came in .05%. I could be wrong on that one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  9. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nevermind, just researched the Ivomec. It comes in .05% for cattle, but .08% for sheep and goats. So you'll want the one that is sold for sheep and goats.
     
  10. Gldnrose

    Gldnrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I will be going to farm store tomorrow. I dont want to even wait that long but I work all day today and they will be closed when I get out.
    I've read people post they use the cattle one, but also mention the .08%, which you say is for sheep and goats. I will talk to people at store too.
    thanks again for all your help.
     

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