Mites? Lice? Some Kind of Infection?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fordtrucks6202, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. fordtrucks6202

    fordtrucks6202 Out Of The Brooder

    Dad and I were checking out the chicks that are nine weeks old today. I noticed that two of them looked like they were missing feathers just above the tail. When we looked closer we noticed that the skin looked flaky and had a yellowish tinge, there were new feathers growing but the sikn between the wings looked almost like they had dandriff. These chicks have not been outside yet, still have access to a "box" with a heat lamp and a indoor run area. They are seperated from the larger laying hens by a chicken wire fence and door. The laying hens are free range during the day. We are relatively new to keeping chickens (less then a year), so we are not sure what it is that is causing this problem. I will try to upload some pictures of the chick's backs tomorrow. If anyone has any ideas what might be the problem please let me know. Thanks.
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC.

    Chicks go through 3 sets of feathers before they are mature. When new feathers come in the as they grow the sheath falls off. See the sheath around the new feathers!! Chickens can get dandruff, but with chicks its usually the sheath in tiny pieces.

  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I agree with willowbranchfarm. Sounds just like the mini-molt dandruff stuff- especially noticeable around 3 weeks and I guess you are seeing it at 9 weeks too.
  4. fordtrucks6202

    fordtrucks6202 Out Of The Brooder

    I can see the new feathers coming in but it is what is on their skin that is the worry. I will be able to post a picture of it later today. The new feathers look like the picture but not as many so there is a bald spot.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens
    here is an older link with pics of lice eggs to hopefully set your mind at ease
  6. fordtrucks6202

    fordtrucks6202 Out Of The Brooder

    I saw that last night before I posted on here but there was no brown/red color so I don't really think it is mites. It was really hard to tell if there were actual eggs like in the lice picture. Unfortunately I can't just step outside and check on them since I am at work. I will be going to check them out as soon as I get off and will hopefully be able to upload a few pictures.
  7. fordtrucks6202

    fordtrucks6202 Out Of The Brooder

    I was able to get a picture of one of them yesterday.[​IMG]
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I can't tell from the pic- sorry- if there are bugs there!

    Wow that is a LOT of feathers that went missing there for a 9 week old. That isn't normal. Feather picking maybe from boredom/overcrowding? Are you feeding them starter/grower? Make sure they are not on just scratch or something since they might eat their feathers if they need protein (scratch is too low in protein as a complete feed).

    Maybe you have one chicken in there doing some feather picking?

    Mites can cause feather loss too.

    I dust my chickens every 4 months or so with poultry dust from the feed store, repeat in 7 days. I use a tied-off sock and get under the wings, vent area, everywhere except the face (I turn the chicken on its back on the ground too to treat). DE is a preventative at best. Also be sure to treat the coop/toss shavings in case of red mite (only lives in coop, not on chicken).
    general article
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  9. fordtrucks6202

    fordtrucks6202 Out Of The Brooder

    I know that they are not overcrowded. They have an indoor run that is about 10 ft x 20 ft. I'm not 100% sure of the type of food. We did dust them yesterday. It is a possibility they are bored. Due to their size/age we haven't been able to let them mingle with the larger hens to go outside. The lost feathers is not that noticeable when the wings are in their normal position. As you can see in the photo, I am holding the wings out of the way.

    I found some spray at Tractor Supply and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with it. I was wondering if this would effect another chicken if it was sprayed on just a single one. The chicks and the laying hens are in connected pens but can not access each other. They are separated by a chicken wire wall and door. Just looking to see if anyone has had any experience with it.
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh I have a gallon of poultry protector!!!- It works great to kill ants too. I spray my coops with it a lot in order to not use permethrin all the time in the coop. It also stuns wasps long enough for me to kill them another way when I find a nest in a hutch.

    The only time I used it on my chickens was when I didn't know they had mites until the next day, and I only did one spray under each wing and one at the vent. It didn't kill the mites...the next day I discovered mites on me biting me (hey maybe it drove them off the bird, eh?) and I used poultry dust at that time, which did get rid of them.

    So I feel that I didn't give it a fair trial and it may work great- do they give instructions for using it as a dip? I am not sure how much you would want to use it in the cold weather though, as chickens should be blown dry when you get them wet in the winter.
    If you spray it directly on bugs I feel that it would kill them since it does kill ants from my experience. The problem is that the mites are all over the chicken if they are infested so I don't know how effective a squirt here and there will be for you if you have bugs on your girls.

    The poultry protector doesn't seem to be that toxic to me from the smell of it, anyways. Nothing will kill bugs on another chicken if you spray it on just one chicken- I think that is what you were asking.

    I hope this helps.

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