Molting, mites, bullying???

Michelle5633

In the Brooder
May 18, 2021
4
18
24
Hi all, In February, I noted by Dark Braham with missing feathers above her tail. Not only was she missing feathers but she was full blown, bloody and raw. Separated her and then found my Wyandotte with the same. Figured we had mites and purchased Elector PSP and did the initial treatment and the 2 week out treatment. Fast forward to about earilier this month (May) and all my hens (but one) are missing their vent feathers. (See picture below). Some have pin feathers growing back in but my Brahama is still bald and red from February! So, we treated 2 weeks ago for mites AGAIN. Other things we tried...they are wearing pinless peepers and have been since March since they all have bare patches showing. I have never seen anyone of them peck each other wearing those. I have tried changing their food from tractor supply brand to purnia. I added in the chicken kelp for extra minerals. I give them high protein treats to help with feather growth, but it only seems to be getting worse. I have never seen mites crawling on any of them. Could it still be mites after 3 treatments with Elector PSP? We treated the full coop and run and each bird individually on their vents and under the feathers when we treated.
 

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Boise-girls

Songster
May 26, 2021
351
873
178
Boise, Idaho
I have a similar concern, although not as bad (so far). I've also treated with ESP. It seemed to improve things, but not eradicate, and I'll be treating the chickens and cleaning/treating the coop again. I'm not sure it's possible to totally eradicate unless you have a very contained system.
I hope someone responds with some helpful information. I'm mainly commiserating!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I have a similar concern, although not as bad (so far). I've also treated with ESP. It seemed to improve things, but not eradicate, and I'll be treating the chickens and cleaning/treating the coop again. I'm not sure it's possible to totally eradicate unless you have a very contained system.
I hope someone responds with some helpful information. I'm mainly commiserating!
Elector PSP is supposed to be good stuff, but you would need to treat both the chickens and housing (clean out all bedding too) in order for it to be successful.
 

Michelle5633

In the Brooder
May 18, 2021
4
18
24
I think I have determined exactly what I am dealing with...depluming mites. They burrow under the skin of the chicken and are microscopic so you will never see them with the naked eye. They cause feather loss and exteme skin irritation. Since they live under the birds skin, topicals like elector and other dusting powders dont kill them. I have been reading that Ivermectin will work as it gets into the chickens bloodstream. I also am reading that sulfur baths/dips work and you can buy the dip solution on amazon. I am going to try thr ivermectin tomorrow. The only thing that is not ideal is the egg withdrawal but my birds are so so so bad at this point that I need to do it. Please read up on depluming mites. I think it might be what you have too!
 

Boise-girls

Songster
May 26, 2021
351
873
178
Boise, Idaho
I think I have determined exactly what I am dealing with...depluming mites. They burrow under the skin of the chicken and are microscopic so you will never see them with the naked eye. They cause feather loss and exteme skin irritation. Since they live under the birds skin, topicals like elector and other dusting powders dont kill them. I have been reading that Ivermectin will work as it gets into the chickens bloodstream. I also am reading that sulfur baths/dips work and you can buy the dip solution on amazon. I am going to try thr ivermectin tomorrow. The only thing that is not ideal is the egg withdrawal but my birds are so so so bad at this point that I need to do it. Please read up on depluming mites. I think it might be what you have too!
I think you're correct about it being depluming mites. Did the ivermectin help?

I tried another round of Elector, and it did nothing (which supports a diagnosis of depluming mites), plus the symptoms seem right (intense itching, pulling out own feathers).

Were you able to buy 1% ivermectin drops without a prescription? I have banties - from what I've read, a single drop of 1% is all each would need (in fact, that's a little more than needed).

They're not very tame - I got them as free-ranging adults - so I'd just as soon not take one to the vet if I can find the right medication!
 

Boise-girls

Songster
May 26, 2021
351
873
178
Boise, Idaho
I think I have determined exactly what I am dealing with...depluming mites. They burrow under the skin of the chicken and are microscopic so you will never see them with the naked eye. They cause feather loss and exteme skin irritation. Since they live under the birds skin, topicals like elector and other dusting powders dont kill them. I have been reading that Ivermectin will work as it gets into the chickens bloodstream. I also am reading that sulfur baths/dips work and you can buy the dip solution on amazon. I am going to try thr ivermectin tomorrow. The only thing that is not ideal is the egg withdrawal but my birds are so so so bad at this point that I need to do it. Please read up on depluming mites. I think it might be what you have too!
Thanks for helping me ID this. Not sure I'd ever have gotten there otherwise, at least not without the chickens getting a lot worse!

I did find some topical ivermectin (for cattle), and treated all six of my banties, one drop each. My poor little Sebright - the only one who was showing symptoms - seems so much more comfortable! She was grooming herself incessantly and rather desperately, and pulling out her feathers, but mostly has stopped now.

One or two treatments still to go. At least I can tell my two Sebrights apart now, since she pulled out her long tail feathers!
 

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