Molting or Mites???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by StillyChicken, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. StillyChicken

    StillyChicken New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Hello Everyone,


    I just move my 6 girls back to their outside coop and noticed that my barred rocks were losing their feathers. My husband says they are molting but after reading several different threads, I think they have mites! They have lost a lot of feathers on their backs, around their vent area but not their tails and it's red.

    How is it possible that only Isadora and Rebecca would have mites but Irene and Frances (Rhode Island Reds) and Sunshine and Snuggles (Leghorns) are fine?

    I am so worried. I completely cleaned out their coop before moving them back in and put in fresh hay and pine shavings because it's still cold at night.

    My other concern, We cleaned out the other coop they were in and moved it over for more sun exposure and to have room to safely set up a heat lamp for the new chicks. Now I am worried if there were mites in the old coop area .... did I pass them on to the babies?

    Very worried,

    Stilly Chicken's Mom
     
  2. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    You don't say how old your girls are as juveniles will go through mini-molts as their new feathers come in but I don't remember any of mine having bare patches and red butts.

    I have to wonder if this is a "Barred Rock" thing as I keep reading the same complaint and it's usually a Barred Rock. I've got a Barred Rock that's 2 years old with the same problem. Her butt is so bare and red-raw that I brought her in when our weather dipped into single digits as I feared she couldn't keep herself warm. I have six hens - including a second Barred Rock - but she is the only hen with this problem. Like you, I'm wondering why the others aren't having an issue if it's mites.

    Although I've not seen any mites or lice on my girls, I came to the conclusion that it had to be depluming mites and treated her with Ivermectin. That was about 6 weeks ago. There was no immediate re-growth of feathers but I've read that many of those feathers won't return until they go through their molt next fall. I've not experienced this before so really don't know.

    However . . . just yesterday I was watching my bare-butted gal in the run and it seems to me that there's fuzz on her butt where there wasn't before. Maybe, just maybe, we're turning the corner! Fingers crossed!
     
  3. StillyChicken

    StillyChicken New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Hi Mt. Laurel,

    Isadora is a year old, actually my first 6 turned 1 year old last month . I looked at her closer this morning.
    She has lost the main feathers in the middle of her back and around her vent.
    I don't see any mites or lice.
     
  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,534
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    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I looked all over my girls and have never seen a mite on one of them. I've even gone in at night after they're on the roost and have looked with a flashlight. Nothing. Very confusing. I did read that the depluming mite burrows under the skin to get at the shaft of the feather so maybe that's why we're not seeing them? Don't know, just guessing.

    Laverne lost some feathers in the middle of her back, too. They weren't as noticeable, it wasn't a huge patch, and I was surprised when I found it.

    I just checked Laverne again and her butt is "fuzzier" than it was so she's had some improvement. While I'm still not sure what's going on, wouldn't hurt for you to try the Ivermectin. Make sure they have a good dusting area, too. My girls have one and Laverne uses it but dusting can only help and can't always prevent.

    There a feed out there called "Feather Fixer" that's supposed to help with re-growth. I got a small bag but my girls weren't fond of it, I'm having to sneak it into their food. I did up their protein to help promote feather growth.

    Good luck and I hope this helps a bit!
     

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