Lice or Molt?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by grammaC, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

    65
    1
    96
    Jan 8, 2011
    SE Minnesota
    I have 10 RIRs and 9 SLWs. All but one of the Wyandottes have picked their feathers around the oil gland. One of them now has a naked & red bum as well. I've read all about lice, but I can't see any, even at night. A couple of them seem to be thinning feathers around the base of their combs. But here's the weird part: none of the RIRs have any feathers missing, though a couple of them also seem to have thinning feathers on their heads. The food trough has one of those bars that turns so the chickens can't perch on it...could that be rubbing head feathers off? Everyone shakes their head when sitting on the roost under the heat lamps, until they go to sleep.

    These girls are about 9 months old and have not yet gone through a molt. Here's my question:
    Is it lice or molt (or none of the above) causing one breed to pick feathers?
     
  2. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    11
    143
    Mar 29, 2009
    columbus ohio
    I did not know we had mites until we started to give one a bath for the fair. We put in a tub of water and they all ran toward her head. Look around there ears. If you see little white beads on feathers around ears those are eggs. These are smaller than a piece of salt. After ee treated no more head shaking;)
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,234
    12,627
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    When in doubt, dust them with poultry dust. Lice are very good at hiding in the feather shafts, so whenever I catch one of mine, it gets dusted, even if I can't see any bugs. FWIW, DE did not work for me, I now use the poultry dust from the feed stores:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  4. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    11
    143
    Mar 29, 2009
    columbus ohio
    Easiest to dust them wjile they are roosting or sleeping. I tried a bunch of ways and a pantyhose foot full of powder and use like a powder puff while they are roosting :)
     
  5. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

    65
    1
    96
    Jan 8, 2011
    SE Minnesota
    How do you keep track of who has been dusted and who hasn't?
     
  6. Cknldy

    Cknldy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,489
    87
    158
    Nov 6, 2012
    Appalachian mtns
    Do your chickens have a regular dust bath area? Even in winter they need one. It helps them control critters themselves as well as taking away extra oils. It's a dry bath in other words. You can mix a bit of sevin dust in with dirt/sand. (Some put in DE but I haven't convinced dh to spend money on buying 'special dirt') I had a couple of freebies given to me and discovered they were full of lice- I'm talking head and neck covered in eggs so bad it looked like feathers! Giver was slick and knew I was a newby;-) sevin dusted each day for 1st week, once a week after that for a month. No ill effects, no more lice and they are now beautiful shiny laying pullets!
     
  7. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    11
    143
    Mar 29, 2009
    columbus ohio
    If I dust them all while they are roosting I just go down the line and do them all :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by