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Mites, lice, and questions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sundance300, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. sundance300

    sundance300 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    I've read several posts on how to treat the buggers. But i have a few other questions/concerns. Lengthy post.

    A sketchy deal at an auction, I bought two roos, both with severe scaley leg mite (and I found lice earlier this morning).
    The 'helpers' threw the two infected roos in with three healthy silky (older) chicks.
    They rode together for 30 minutes. Mom threw the three chicks and the white roo in with my original chickens. I caught her before she threw in the red roo..and found the mite issue.
    I took both roos and moved them into a pen far away from my flock. The chicks on the otherhand ran in with my other black silky chicks. Figuring out which were the auction birds and the home birds in the dark, impossible.

    So I'm gathering my whole flock has mite issues now right?

    The carrier I brought them home in, will spraying it with bug spray kill any mites?

    I have the roos in a wire cage across the yard. I sprayed the roos feet with wd-40, dusted them with sevin, and wormed them with the piperazine (sp?) stuff. Some scales came off, the skin looks relatively healthy underneath. Some minor bleeding.
    Are the scales infective?
    How much so?
    I know some are going to fall through the bottom of the wire cage. I rotate the cages through the yard. How likely is this to cause problems?

    My fear is my free range flock. They're trying to investigate the roos now, climbing the cage and making themselves nuisances.
    I do believe they're the reason I haven't been able to completely eradicate the louse infestation I have. So a mite infestation is a nightmare. Catching all of the free spirits has proven to be impossible as some just disappear before dusk and refuse to be lured to the coops. Is there something I can put in the water to kill these? I can limit their water during dry spells?

    Is there something I can put on the wire of the infected roos cage bars to keep them from climbing up and onto my curious birds?

    The Ivermectin you put on the backs of their necks, is that like Advantage for chickens? XD sounds like it from what I read. If I put it on them, do I have to continue worrying about the birds or can I focus on eradicating the pests in their run/coop?

    A little info about my coops. Two are dog kennels. They're almost completely metal.

    One six foot high, with a large dog igloo. It's where my crippled roo lives, hens go in to lay. Also where my catchable free-range roost at night. This is permanent in where it's at. The mixture of clay/gravel/maybe a bit of cement has cemented it into the ground.
    I'm planning on getting a top this late fall and locking all the catchable free range in there, taking out the igloo and cleaning/pesticiding it to heck. Forcing them to dust in there.

    Second one we are able to move around. It's a four foot tall dog kennel. Fencing welded to the bottom to keep out diggers, the top has heavy partition fencing on the top.
    Their shelter is wood ontop of the partition fencing, a large, plastic run-in dog box, and a chicken laying box (wood). All but the silkies prefer the perches to the box/house. Perches are wood. Flooring is the fence/dirt.

    Third one is a wood framed/chicken wire pen. Partition on bottom, fencing on top. Dirt floor. Covered with heavy-duty canvas tarp. Shelter is a small igloo (it has my littler chicks in it).

    I'm going to assume the dirt floors are going to hinder my getting rid of the mites/lice?
    I figure I can insecticide the plastic dog boxes easily enough. But the wood box and the wood frame of the third cage, what is the best way to treat those?
    Can I take the wood box out to the woods, douse in insecticide, wait a week or two for the pests to die out there without worrying about the birds?

    We made two more wood boxes for this winter...I'm thinking of waiting to see if I can nip this in the bud before putting them in with the chickens. Am I right in thinking this?

    Is it easier to treat them in cold weather?

    Sorry for the length, I'm frazzled and sick.
  2. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    For the scaly leg mites, I coat the feey with bag balm every night until they are gone. No need to treat the other chickens unless you see the telltale bumps on their legs too.
    For body mites & lice, dust whatever chickens you can catch with food grade DE (stay away from the face), mix some DE in with the litter in the coops and sprinkle it on the roosts. For the birds who wont come inside, you could try a bag or two of play sand mixed with a little dirt for them to dust in.

    Mix some DE in with the dirt in the runs/coops.

    You'll want to keep your flock away from the new roos for a while.....
    maybe a small piece of fencing around the cage?
  3. sundance300

    sundance300 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    I remember my mom rescuing a parakeet with this (or a similar form) and it took her several years to get rid of it. Bird was really messed up from them. She was so frustrated with all the work she did to get rid of them.
    Only she had it though, which I found odd considering there were three other birds there with her.
    Do they attack the chickens' faces? Should I be treating that too even without signs? I remember the parakeet not being able to see out of the one eye at one point.

    I think I have some old bag balm under my sink. Not much though. I'll have to see if I can find some at the feed store. I know it's expensive at walmart. Is that much better than Petroleum Jelly?

    Where does one usually get food grade DE? I'm only familiar with the kind for pool filters. How much does it generally cost?

    I've tried spreading Sevin in their dusting spots, but they move house when they see me dust there. Won't go back. Seeing as they have a long driveway, flowerbeds, bare spots, etc....they have endless places to dust. Does food grade DE come in large bags like the pool grade? Maybe if I spread enough....

    Also, bedding. I'm putting them in a cat carrier as the cage they're in now has a iffy door and wide bars. Coons and possums would have them. I have pine bedding, will that be ok? If we have any pool earth left, would that be fine to put on the bottom under the bedding, sprinkle some sevin on the bedding? I've already sprayed it with pyrethins (it was their transport home).

    And how do I dispose of it? I usually put bedding in my compost and flowerbeds, but the flocks love to dig. They also like getting in the trashcans. Will the pesticides be enough to kill them?

    I'm going to have to look for some extra fencing for my curious birds.

    Anyone ever had these things transfer to them? I think my nerves have me, I'm itching to heck.

    My shopping list keeps getting bigger.

    And thank you, I appreciate any input.
  4. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Not sure what state you live in, but here I can get 50lb bags of food grade DE. Don't use the pool DE, it will kill your chickens.
    I think spreading all that sevin dust around may not be the best approach. It is a poison after all, there is a reason your chickens move away from it. Ditto on the pesticides, you don't want that to get in the water they drink or the grass they eat.
    Even breathing food grade DE has cumulative harmful effects. Dust them once, (lift the feathers and get it on the skin, but not the face, you don't want them breathing it, nor should you.) Dust them again 10 days later to kill any hatching mites. Sprinkle on roosts (mites like to live on wood) put some under the layer of pine shavings.
    If the chickens are healthy & have a place to dust in the dirt or dirt with sand, the problem should decrease quickly.

    Yes, you can use petroleum jelly, the idea is to smother the mites under the scales, so put it on (generously) in an upward motion from toes to top of legs. I've never heard of them on a chicken's face, hopefully someone else can tell you for sure.

    DE will not harm your flowers & such so is safe in the compost.

    The mites can get on you, but they won't make a home there, a shower will fix you right up.
  5. sundance300

    sundance300 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    Man, is this just a bad year for the bities? I've lurked for a while and I don't think I've seen so many mite and lice posts before. And I've had chickens for several years and never had a problem with them except for the last two years.

    I did the jelly, lots of scales came off. I'm not sure how well I got them. I had a small bit and their scales are really craggy, upraised and awful. The white roo doesn't want to stand now, which worries me. He sorta just laid there while I did it.
    The red roo, well I can tell neither had been messed with much.

    How often/long do I have to put the jelly on? And when will I start seeing improvement?
    Also, being silkies, they have the leg feathers. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to apply well there. Will baby oil work? Soak their legs in that?

    I have them in a small 'crate' made completely of metal wire. It's raised an inch or two off the ground. At night they get shoved in a cat carrier. I've sprayed both with pyrethin mite spray. I'm hoping that's enough, one of my juvenile rock bars got in there, somehow opening the door. Maybe a coon did, but either way, if one was in there, several might have been.

    Also, does anyone have large pics of mites around the vent? The pics I've seen are small and didn't show much detail. I figure since they have scaley and lice, they possibly have other critters. I checked this morning and all I saw was one louse (possibly dead) and dandruff.

    And what's the verdict on Ivermectin (I know it's a potent poison), will it kill non-biting lice and scaley mites?
    I've seen different opinions on this, though it seems one of the main things vets give.
  6. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    You'll need to keep applying for a while, depends how bad the legs are. Baby oil will not work as well as petroleum jelly. You could trim the leg feathers on the silkies, they won't look as pretty, but getting rid of the mites is more important.
    For the white roo, how do the bottoms of his feet look? any black spots? Is he eating & drinking?

    I can't answer the Ivermectin question..........

    Don't worry too much about the mites transferring to the other chickens if you are keeping them separate, it's viruses & infections that you really need to worry about.
  7. sundance300

    sundance300 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    The bottom of his feet are rather clear except for what appears to be a sore starting. He had it the day I got him, so I suspect this is from his previous housing. Though I'm worried the wire floor will irritate it.
    I'm keeping an eye on it.

    He's standing now. Eating and drinking, he was yesterday. They were upset this morning because of the application, so neither did so in front of me. Can't really look now as I'm taking care of my sick niece.

    Any tips on trimming leg feathers by yourself?
  8. ipf

    ipf Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2009
    Eprinex (slightly different from Ivermectin, but a related chemical) is the best. In Canada, you can get it from a vet - not sure about the US. It definitely kills all parasites, including mites, lice, scaly leg mites and worms, and there's no withdrawal time, you can eat the eggs right away. It's expensive but is SO worth it.
  9. sundance300

    sundance300 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    Eprinex, very expensive from what I'm looking at here at TSC. Is there a generic brand? The cheapest I see the name brand is $39 for 250ml.
    What's the dosage you used? Wouldn't be so bad if it lasted me a while.

    I'm not very worried about egg production right now. Pet birds, don't eat many eggs, have tons in the fridge already, etc.

    And this pic is close to what their feet look like:
    (actual page if that doesn't work, second pic: http://club.omlet.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=43535)
    sides are worse than the top in most areas.

    I wish I had a vet to talk to instead of pestering you guys, but they've all proven incompetent with our domestic pets, chickens are out of their league.
  10. ipf

    ipf Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2009
    No, no generic as far as I know. Dosage for a bantam would be about 0.25 ml, so that's 1000 doses in a 250 ml bottle. $39 is cheap! costs twice that up here.

    If you're not worried about eggs or meat, then go for the Ivermectin.

    Eprinex is what our vet here recommends.

    For leg imtes, any oil will do - it kills them by smothering. I used to just fill an old yogurt tub with oil and dip their feet in it; one dip would generally do it. It takes a long time for the old scales to fall off and the feet to be smooth again though, so you sometimes think the mites are still there.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009

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