LICE! not Mites.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lelilamom, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

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    One of my four year old Red Sex Links started acting, well, old last week. I figured it was just her time so I brought her into the basement, made her comfortable in our infirmary and prepared for the worst. A week later she's still hanging on. Eating and drinking but with very watery stool. I started looking for a reason. I know it's not egg bound - she hasn't laid an egg in years. I put on gloves and started feeling her for lumps. I pulled my hands away and one tiny reddish brown bug was on my glove. Hmmm, Mites?

    I checked her over for about 20 minutes and found one, tiny little mite crawling around her tail feathers. Where there's one, there's more.

    She had matted yuckiness on her bottom so I figured a bath was in order. I have NOTHING to treat mites and live far from any place that does so I gave her a simple soapy water bath. When I dried her off, three dead mites were on the towel. I put her back in the infirmary with a heat lamp on her and went upstairs to get her some food. When I came back down, a dozen mites laid dead on the newspaper. Can simple soapy water kill mites? Or are these not mites but something else?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    It could be lice. Lice will leave white or grey clumps of eggs at the base of feathers around the vent, and may become matted in with poops. I have found dead looking fleas in the soapy water of my dogs after a bath, but they sometimes “come back to life.”

    You can Google “Poultry Lice and Mites Identification and Treatments” to look for TheChickenChick’s article. It has pictures of lice and mites, and I would recommend getting some permethrin spray concentrate or the garden dust to use. Treat lice every 10 days or mites every 7 days at least 2-3 times to get bugs, and then the newly hatched ones before they lay more eggs. Empty all bedding, spray the coop, then replace bedding.

    It sounds like your hen may be suffering from internal laying or egg holk peritonitis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  3. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

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    Thanks. I took an hour off of work and went to the nearest place and got garden and poultry dust. I dusted her up and dozens of pale red bugs started falling off her dead. I was mortified. I feel so bad I didn't know. She's one of my older girls, I just thought it was her time. How does one clean the coop properly during the winter? Our water is still frozen here.
     
    nerfworthy likes this.
  4. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

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    Thanks for the tip Eggcessive to look at the article. It's lice. So question. Can it spread to the dogs, cats and kids? She's in the basement. And, I'm assuming since she has it, I've got to dust all 30 chickens.
     
  5. Bantambird

    Bantambird Crowing

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    luckily, bird lice are host specific. they only survive on birds. they can be brought in by pests like pigeons and the like making nice with your poultry food and leaving lice or mites as parting gifts.. they are very gross to find crawling on you, however, but they won't survive on mammals.
     
    nerfworthy and m1chelle1 like this.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I have gotten a few on myself just handling a chicken when I was treating for a crop problem, and quickly took a shower. They only will stay on chickens or poultry. Each species has their own critters.
     
  7. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

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    Thank you my friends. That's a relief. Are they cold tolerant? I've never had a bug problem in the coop before and DE the coop regularly as a preventative. As fate would have it, the last time I cleaned the coop, only three weeks ago, I had run out and didn't DE it thinking since it was SO COLD outside, bugs wouldn't survive. Rest assured, I have a 50lb bag now. Though little good it will do me if I have to clean the coop and dust it and rid the bugs first. How can you get rid of them when the coop is old, dirty and water freezes so quickly?
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Many do not use DE because it can be harmful to people and chickens when inhaled. The concentrated permethrin is fairly inexpensive, and mixes many gallons of spray. You can use a spray bottle or garden sprayer—read the label for chickens or coop treatment. The garden dust is more practical to use in cold weather, but you still need to spray the coop.

    You may have a problem more in winter since the chickens don’t get out to dust bathe as much.
     
  9. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

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    I dusted the entire flock but I can't clean the coop until Saturday. As the lice fell off the birds, fellow hens were eating them. Yick. I hope I dusted them enough. I used the entire container and barely had enough to finish. I did around the neck, the back, tail and vent, belly and under the wings of each bird. Some were harder than others. I have a few birds that just don't like to be handled and I was doing it by myself. Some clearly had them and others had no sign of them, probably because of thick down and feather color. Fingers crossed I can get rid of these horrid pests.
     
    nerfworthy likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    When I dusted my birds, I did it in the evening. Took each bird off the roost, held her on her back in a dish pan. Used an old nylon full of the dust as a powder puff to get the dust into all those areas. I wore long sleeves, dust mask, hat, gloves, and took a good shower afterwards.
     
    nerfworthy and Bantambird like this.

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