Missing wing feathers on my silkie. Mites or Lice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NewchickieLTJ, May 19, 2019.

  1. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    C023E5AA-AE34-4541-ACA1-20B78E17DA34.jpeg C31BBE91-50D8-4087-8FB7-42423EB8AF3A.jpeg I’ve only had this hen for a few weeks. She just went broody a week ago, and before that she was spending a lot of time doing dust baths. I put DE in the dirt for her baths, because I was worried with all her bathing she might be itching. Now I’ve noticed this...missing feathers and there’s a red sore on her skin.

    She’s a skittish hen, and completely panics when someone tries to pick her up or touch her. She’s become even more skittish since going broody, plus she’s sitting on a few eggs that may be fertile. What should I do? My other hen looks fine, but I’m assuming I’ll need to treat her too because they sit side by side 24/7. My healthy hen has a 2 day old chick underneath her, and this is her first baby, so she’s equally skittish. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

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    1)very cute silkie, reminds me of my daisy (profile picture)
    2)Are you sure it's not the other hen picking on her? That could explain why she's skittish.
    3)If not, it's probably mites. Look for little tiny white spots on her skin.
     
  3. DelaneyMGB25

    DelaneyMGB25 Songster

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    This happened to one of my hens. I wouldn’t pin it as mites right away, but it looks more like new feather growth, or, as said above, picking. When hens go broody, they pull feathers for their nest, and it’s possible either one of you birds have been picking at those wing feathers for their nest.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Was she with a rooster before this?
    You may want to wait until after dark, gather her up and give her a very good examination. The feathers looked stripped, so she may have something like Depluming Mites, but it's hard to know, you can't see those. Is she picking at herself as well?
    The red sore on her skin need to be watched as well, if you can get a picture when you treat her tonight that would be good.

    Treatment for body lice and poultry mites is by using a permethrin based poultry dust or spray. Depluming Mites require a systemic treatment like Ivermectin since those live under the feather shaft.

    If you feel that she is infested, then yes, you will probably at least want to check your other hen. Clear out the bedding and treat that with poultry dust as well.
     
    NewchickieLTJ, aart and Kathy Golla like this.
  5. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

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    It could be rooster damage.
    Depluming mites usually aren’t totally localized to the wing feathers, is there feather loss else where?
    But the overpreening and over dust bathing sounds like depluming mites. You won’t be able to see those.
     
    NewchickieLTJ likes this.
  6. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    Thanks :) It’s definitely not the other hen pecking her! Actually, I think this hen is higher on the pecking order and I’ve seen her peck my other hen before. I’ll look for mites. I was reading that sometimes if you put a white sheet in the coop at night, you can see them crawling on it...I may try that trick first, so I don’t have to bother her too much.
     
  7. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    We don’t have a rooster at my house, but she was with one at the previous house and that’s why she has some fertile eggs. Depluming mites would make sense, as she is the only one effected and I read they can be on one chicken but not another. The dust bathing behavior didn’t start until she was in my yard for a couple weeks, so I must have something going on in my yard. It’s kind of wooded, and we have a lot of wild birds that live in the trees and shrubs, so I wouldn’t be surprised :/
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  8. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

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    I think if she was with a rooster that’s the source of the wing feather baldness and the sore. You won’t see the wing feathers get better until she molts in the fall.
    Depluming mites, you would see other baldness on her body. Don’t preventively treat for those as the treatment can lose its effectiveness the more you use it.
    She may be taking dust baths cause your space is better and she’s trying to get rid of poultry bugs.
    If she came from somewhere else, checking her for poultry lice and mites would be my first stop.
     
    NewchickieLTJ likes this.
  9. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    Ahh, ok. Maybe it was from the rooster. Do you think it would be ok to just peak around the coop to look for mites with a flashlight at night, so I don’t have to disturb her? I know that wouldn’t help for lice though :/ I already took her off her eggs yesterday to inspect her better, and she was so upset that I couldn’t get a good hold of her, and I let her go back. That’s also when I discovered the baby chick in there, and I didn’t want to disturb my other hen and her chick with all the ruckus. I obviously don’t want her to get sick though, so if I really need to remove her and check her over I will. I have food grade DE I can dust on her.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  10. Kathy Golla

    Kathy Golla Songster

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    I don’t love DE cause I think there are better more healthy ways to get rid of lice/mites. DE gets into chickens respiratory system. Not good with a chick around either.
    I think it depends on how badly you want to know right now if she and the other hen have bugs. If you want to know, I’d agree with Wyorp Rock, check at night by picking her up.
     
    NewchickieLTJ likes this.

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