Mites, lice or Rooster damage?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tereseb, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Tereseb

    Tereseb Out Of The Brooder

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    Lots of my hens have these bald patches and broken feathers. I just want another opinion. I did have a rooster that was pretty tough on the hens but he's now gone. I see no crawling nasty critters on my hens. Any thoughts from more experienced poultry folks? [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  2. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    where is it on them? it does not look like mites or lice
     
  3. Tereseb

    Tereseb Out Of The Brooder

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    On their backs slightly in front of their rear feathers- where the rooster would lay on them. But there is also damage on their wings.
     
  4. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls BYC Fan Premium Member Project Manager

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    I'd like to know what this is too.
     
  5. Tereseb

    Tereseb Out Of The Brooder

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    The damage is on their backs, just in front of their tail feathers. But also on the top of their wings. [​IMG]
     
  6. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    rooster damage and sunburn is my guess
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC!

    Does it appear that these feathers are chewed off at skin level? Are other feathers so over preened that they are stalks? Look closely at some of the feathers, espcecially if she has any on her wings or tail....do they have horizontal thin spots like lines across the feather?

    If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you are probably dealing with feather mites or depluming mites as they are called. I had 2 hens with all of these symptoms and wow, did they chew off their feathers on their loins, infront of the tail by the preen gland, legs, wings, they were a bald mess!

    These types of mites are usually spread by wild birds. They are completely invisible to the naked eye and live most of their lives up inside the shaft of the feather. They feed on newly growing feathers...hence the horizontal thin line on the feather. When they completely eat an entire feather clean, they come down out of the shaft and move on to the next feather. They are rarely on the skin of the bird at all and the bear live young up inside the feather. (they do not lay eggs)

    These things are so irritating to the bird, the bird will over preen and strip the feathers down to stalks. Even chew them off at skin level just to relieve the annoyance.

    If you do suspect this, what I did was get some Ivermectin Pour on for Cattle. I dosed these 2 birds behind the neck once a week for 6 weeks. I gave them a month off and dosed them again for another month. The following fall they molted into beautiful feathers.

    For a standard sized breed, use 6 or 7 drops behind the neck on the skin only. Getting it on the feathers is useless, this stuff needs to be absorbed by the skin and into the blood stream.

    For bantams, use 3 or 4 drops in the same manner.

    Standard powders and sprays will not work because these mites are up inside the shaft. So the meds need to be in the bloodstream to be effective and when they do come down out of the feathers to find another, the skin needs to be toxic at all times.

    Use probiotics too while using this stuff, I am sure this is hard on their systems, but these mites are not easy to get rid of. All birds have them, but some birds have a difficult time controlling them should they be old, sick or have been exposed to lots of these things.

    Good luck! :)
     
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  8. Tereseb

    Tereseb Out Of The Brooder

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    I still can't answer that. The damage is not on their legs, just on their backs. But yes, the feathers look stripped and broken. So, do I have to toss the eggs when using this drug? My chickens are organically fed and free range. Not certified organic, mind you, because those rules mean they could not b free range. But I avoid drugs, if possible. Would a Vaseline rub or an oil dip work?
    Piperazine?
     
  9. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    ewww, hadnt heard of these ones yet
    [​IMG] thanks!!
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    It is possible this is just old damage from the rooster. Remember, feathers do not heal themselves and need to molt off the bird in the fall to look new again. So I would definitely look carefully to diagnose whether this is from these mites or not. Feathers will definitely have the horizontal barring on the larger feathers...primaries and tail feathers. If you don't see this horizontal barring, this may just be from the rooster in the past.

    If you use this drug, yes there is an egg withdrawal of 2 weeks after the last dosage.

    If you do suspect these mites, the only other thing you might do is get some of that Manna Pro Poultry Protector.... http://www.walmart.com/ip/Manna-Pro...86158215&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=79370460135&veh=sem

    I am not saying this will work, but it is 100% natural. If you sprayed your birds down EVERY day with this stuff, it might over time suffocate these things as they come down out of the feather shafts. If you are here in the northern hemisphere, start now and maybe by the fall molt you will have these nastie bugs killed off? Its worth a try. I certainly don't like using drugs and don't like to push them either. This stuff from Manna Pro is just oils that normally smoother other mites. It will get these too, but take a long while since you can only get them when they come out of feathers, meanwhile they are reproducing. But give it a try.

    And keep us posted too! :)
     

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