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Mange In Chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SilkieChick00, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. SilkieChick00

    SilkieChick00 In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2008
    Des Moines, Iowa
    I posted this in another section and haven't gotten any replies. I thought I'd try it over here also. Hope you don't mind.

    I just had a guy stop by and pick up my two roo's. He looked at my silkie hens and said they have mange? I never noticed, until he pointed it out. I'll try to explain it as best as I can, but please be patient as I'm new to all this (I know pictures would help, but my camera isn't working). So say your looking at just one feather, well that feather looks like it's had a razor taken to it and just shredded it. If that makes any sense... It's like that on about half of their wing feathers. My Orps haven't gotten it yet. But the guy said it would spread if I didn't do anything about it. He said what he does with his birds is take them inside and put hot water on their feathers and then let them dry out inside for a few days? I trust him to a certian extent. He also told me hen's don't lay without roosters... so you see my perdictament! Lol. Any help will be greatly appreciated. I've looked online for mange in chickens without much luck.

  2. Granolamom

    Granolamom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    I really don't know about whether or not chickens can get mange, but I do think that the guy you were talking to has no clue what he's talking about, and I'm wondering what exactly he does to his poor chickens (like, how hot is the water he pours on his poor, rooster-less hens, and how could that possibly take care of a mange- or any other health problem???)
  3. SilkieChick00

    SilkieChick00 In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2008
    Des Moines, Iowa
    [​IMG] The first thing he said was to take them inside and kill them. I just laughed at him. I told him, you don't understand these are our pets, not just chickens!! [​IMG] He looked at me and I could tell he was thinking "these darn city folk".
    I'm freaking out though, what in the world could it be? I don't know if it has anything to do with the below 0 weather we've been having.... I'm just freaked right now. Any other suggestions would be really helpful. Like, could it be mites? I'm going to grab a hen and bring her in now. That way I can look her over in the light.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have Gail Damerow's Chicken Health Handbook propping up one end of my disused laptop at the moment [​IMG], and looked in it, and she has no entry for mange, so I am inclined to doubt chickens get the mange mites that mammals do.

    Mites or lice can make a chicken itchy so it picks its feathers apart/out, and IIRC there is a particular feather mite that actually chews away parts of feathers but I don't think it's at all common.

    Are you real sure it's not just old feathers not yet molted -- they can look very threadbare and worn and snipped up. Not something to worry about. Poor nutrition or other management issues can also make feathers ratty/brittle/mussed.

    Good luck,

  5. This guy ought to give up on chickens. Hens will lay quite well without a rooster, they just will not have fertile eggs. As for the wing feathers, silkies do not have well defined feathers anyway. That is what makes a silkie a silkie. I have had chickens off and on for 39 years and have never heard of a chicken with mange. Mange is for fur bearing animals. I don't think you have anything to worry about other than maybe the advice this guy is giving you. Watch them for any other signs of something that might be going on. Excessive picking or scratching, picking at each other, odd poops etc. Also if your silkies are on the ground they can get kind of ratty looking. Silkies are prissy birds that need elevated pens and shavings with lots of care to look show quality. Give yourself some peace of mind that what you are explaining is perfectly normal for a silkie.
  6. SilkieChick00

    SilkieChick00 In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2008
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Thank you all for your help! I just put my Splash girl back out in the coop. I looked her over really good and there isn't any bugs on her at all.
    It amazes me that people can have chickens for as long as he said he has, and still have no clue about them. I tried explaining to him that hens will lay without a roo, but he insisted it's not as frequent. He also told me to change out my red light for a white one. I told him I know it might cut down on egg production (I had just read that discussion here on BYC 5 mins before he came, lol!) but the fact that my chickens were pecking at eachother with the white light made me change it to red. I don't care about egg production as much as the lives of my chickens.
    The silkies are on pine bedding in a coop for the winter. The bedding stays dry and they mix it well with treats throw on it everyday.
    I'll keep an extra watchful eye on them. This really did give me a scare! [​IMG]

    Thanks again, you guys are great!
  7. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    Chickens DO NOT get mange. The person that told you that was either kidding you or he is badly misinformed about fowl in general. Feathers may be bare for a number of reasons but mange will NEVER be one of the reasons. Try to put some clean sand or topsoil available to your fowl for "Bathing" themseves as this is how fowl clean themselves. Don't overcrowd and be sure to feed nutritius(sp?) chicken feed. A little dog feed or sardines helps feathers grow. Crushed shell for calcium to make eggs and grow strong bones and feathers. Washing chickens takes all the oil off the feathers that the chicken has worked hard putting on them to make them shiny. Washing should be for showing them only. Just My Opinion.
  8. Quote:This guy should have all his chickens taken away by the aspca. This guy is a total idiot. Silkie birds have feathers like, well silkie birds. Mange ? like OMG. You should have gotten at clue when he told ya that hens do not lay without a roo !! I would got down to his house and when you are handing him the idiot award say; Here is your sign.
  9. nwchick

    nwchick Hatching

    Mar 2, 2013
    The gentleman that stopped by and mentioned mange is likely referring to Depluming Mites. His suggestion of treating them in hot (WARM WATER ONLY) water is partially accurate for the treatment of depluming mites. The treatment is typically soap, sulfer, and warm water solution that you dunk your carefully dunk chickens into. The mites live inside the feather and you cant see them with the naked eye. Please look up Depluming Lice and educate yourself. It is sometimes refered to as mange. There are many reasons chickens lose their feathers and this is one of them. http://backyardchickens.yuku.com/topic/12223#.UTKIxY7UD8s
    Jillio likes this.
  10. millyjays

    millyjays Hatching

    Oct 22, 2013
    Mange is a contagious skin disease, characterised by crusty, pruritic dermatitis and hair/feather loss, and caused
    by a variety of parasitic mites burrowing in or living on the skin. The French term for mange is ‘la gale’ (Pangui,
    1994), and in English, it has been called ‘itch’, ‘scab’, or ‘scabies’ (a term that should be reserved specifically for
    mange caused by Sarcoptes scabiei).
    Numerous species of mites cause mange in literally hundreds of species of wild and domestic birds and
    mammals. In fact, approximately 60 mite families have members that live in or on the skin, hair, or feathers of
    homoeothermic vertebrates and are potential mange mites. Specifically, on domestic hosts (i.e. livestock, poultry,
    companion and laboratory animals), about 50 mite species in 16 families and 26 genera may cause mange.
    Humans are host to the readily transmitted S. scabiei, and human scabies occurs most frequently in elderly
    nursing homes and children’s day-care centres. Some other mange mites may cause transient disease in
    humans, but infestations seldom persist.
    1 person likes this.

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