mites? lice? worms? maggots? PLEASE HELP!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Aj1911, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    i noticed one of my hens acting funny today, she had really foul smelling poo that was black and some blood on her rear, i took her in and noticed she had little bugs all over her, they look like little worms but with tiny tiny feet, they were forcing their way into her feather shafts and layed eggs all over her feathers, they are about 1/4th an inch long at the biggest and almost clear in color, they dont look like any maggots i have ever seen and she doesnt have any open wounds from them, i bathed her for over 2 hours to get them off and clean her up then dried her and dusted with poultry dust, as a test sample i took 5 of them and put a bit of dust on them and in 5 mins they were all dead which is good, shes very down and not eating or drinking atm, her abdomen felt swollen which i'm hoping they arent maggots and they didnt get inside her

    any advice? she was fine yesterday and didnt have much on her that i saw, should i worm her with valbazen just to make sure? this is so strange and i'm really worried we might lose her [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would think the bugs you saw is lice or mites, and you did what she needed to get them killed. Hopefully she will feel better after a few hours of rest, and begin to eat and drink again.

    I'm not sure about the black stuff or stinky poo, or the swollen abdomen, though. I wonder if she is eggbound or an internal layer and was already weakened by that, which let the lice / mites get such a hold on her. I really don't know.

    I'm not big on separating a chicken because it drops them down in the pecking order, but I feel she would benefit from a clean, darkened, quiet place, if she will tolerate it. Hopefully you will have a better idea what is going on in a day or two, if she makes it through.

    Valbazen is a good drug, relatively easy on them. I don't know that I would give it right now, though, until she is a little stronger. Are you thinking the swollen abdomen could be worms?

    I'll give you a few links; maybe something will be new to you and helpful.
  3. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    ok did some looking up, turns out it was flystrike, its a good thing we got to her before they opened any wounds! shes eating and doing much better today! still weak but looking good now.
  4. country

    country Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
    Quote:Based on your original description, I'm not sure your hen had flystrike, which essentially is maggots. You described little worms with legs that were laying eggs on the feather shafts. With flystrike, flies lay the eggs on or near the wound & those hatch into maggots - little white worms without legs.

    I would tend to agree with flockwatcher's diagnosis of lice or mites. However, if I'm wrong & it IS flystrike, I just wanted to say that maggots are really hard to get rid of & you should keep a very close eye on her for several days. The fly eggs are very hard to see & if there are any left, they only take a day to start hatching out & you'll have the problem all over again. The eggs are often quite a ways away from the attractant (poo, wound, etc) in places you wouldn't check, so it's easy for them to get started again. I've learned from experience, spending days flushing out wounds & hand picking (with tweezers - icky) those little nasties, thinking I've gotten them all, only to find more the next day, & the next, etc. I know that flies play a necessary role in nature, but I HATE them. I'd rather deal with predators than maggots.

    Either way, I'm glad your hen is doing better & hope she continues to improve.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

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