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mites????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bossynbella, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    Our Bantam Rooster has started pecking at his legs (he has lots of feathing on them) and some of the hens have also started pecking at them. We didn't notice till last night but they have pecked them raw. I havn't been able to catch him to look at him closely as he is not very friendly. Any ideas what it could be?

    What should I look for tonight when I catch him roosting???
     
  2. joshchickens

    joshchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2007
    how to explain it???? i think it looks like they have been poked with needles! little indents. if its mites they have this awesome treatment where you dust the chicken and the nesting boxes and the perches and it will get rid of it usually. I recently had a chicken who had mites it got so bad that she stopped eating, laying, drinking. I had to end her suffering:(
     
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, there are different types of mites...

    Fowl mites and feather mites are both visible to the naked eye and easiest to see at night. They're little bugs crawling on the chicken. Feather mites will also lay eggs on the feather shafts and look like miniature rice stuck to the feather.

    Scaley leg mites are not visible- but always end up "raising" the scales on the legs. If the leg scales are not smooth...then they have them.

    If one has them...most likely all do...so treat them all.

    Fowl and feather mites. I personally use FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth. I "dust" the chickens liberally and the spread it around the coop, nest boxes, and throughout their favorite dust bathing areas. I continue it's use in the coop, boxes, and dusting areas as a preventative. It's a 100% natural way to deal with it. If you have a hard time finding it right away, then you can use poultrydust (available at most feed stores). The last option is sevin dust- available at garden stores. Each option is a little more toxic...but all are effective.

    Leg mites....best treated with any kind of oil and/or vaseline. Some say kerosene works well but this is extremely harsh on their skin as well as their lungs and I DO NOT recommend it. My prefered treatment is mineral oil with some tea tree oil mixed in. The tea tree oil has both antibacterial and antibiotic properties so it's good for any sores they've developed as well. Cover the legs well...do not wipe off. If you have a lot of chickens...put the oil in an old coffee can or the like...and just dip their legs into it. Feather legged chickens are "uglier" to treat because there's no real way to treat the mites without getting their leg feathers all oily and then the dirt will cake on them...

    I also use orange oil on all the wood in my coop---especially the roosts. I use "orange Guard" available in the pesticide section of Ace Hardware stores...although it's 100% organic.

    GOod luck
    Sandra

    OH...I forgot to say that if your chickens have feather or fowl mites...you might end up having some crawling on your arms after you handle them. Although it feels absolutely gross...do know that these mites are bird specific and won't harm you. Personally...I think they're on me until I take a shower! ewwwwww!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
  4. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    1
    163
    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    When I caught him to look at him it wasn't as bad as i had feared his legs are red on one side where they have been pecking at them and seem a little swollen but there was no bleeding. I looked through his feathers and saw nothing.

    However the chickens we got as a group last year 20 or so bantys and silkys all had scaley legs the lady dipped them before she gave them to us for mites but there legs are still scaley looking. I will have to look into getting some kind of oil and putting it on them.

    Thanks I don't know what I would do without this site.
     
  5. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I always do at least 2 treatments 1 week apart. In advanced stages I do daily treatments for 2 weeks (but then it's usually 1-2 hens that are in quaranteen, so it's easier).
    The legs should look smooth- like snake or lizard skin. If they look scaley and any of the edges are raised at all and visible...your chickens have scaley leg mites.

    If you have more than 20 chickens to treat....I recommend locating an old coffee can or other similar sized container with lid. Then fill with your oil of choice. (easiest done at night). Take each chicken and "dip" their legs in the oil. Once they are just barely dripping- put them back on the roost. Don't worry about getting your roosts oily. This will help with any mites that have fallen from your chickens. Once you're done- put a lid on the can and repeat in 1 week. No need to change the oil.

    Truly, any oil/grease will work. I used to use olive oil but it's too expensive. I use mineral oil because it's safe if they ingest some and doesn't become rancid if kept for long periods. I additionally will put some tea tree oil in it for it's antifungal and antibacterial properties...but it's not required.

    GOOD LUCK
    Sandra
     

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