My flock and I are crawling out of our skin

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by b0rpingt0n, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. b0rpingt0n

    b0rpingt0n In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2012
    So keep in mind that I am not a homeowner or a monetarily invested party as far as the chickens are concerned.
    The time I've put into them is..well incalculable with my memory but I assure you it's a lot.
    Anyway my point is that their run is too small but I didn't build it, and can't control it, and frankly I'm not interested in any related whining, especially given that you don't know me or my situation or my chickens!
    Ah yes..right.. so..Onward to my dilemma.
    They have a 6'x14' run, not including the square footage of the raised wooden coop, and a 2'x4' "deck" that the non-silkies can jump to, as well as 3+ roosting poles in the run so that they can be relaxed divalicious football babies.
    I use pine shavings changed 2x/month
    That said
    I sauntered inside last week from sitting in the run with the chickles as always, (13 babes, 11 of which are about 1 yr old and the other two are 6-7 mo. old silkies)
    still sporting my
    "just visited my babes and fed them yummy oats" glow
    but soon realized that I
    was super itchy and creepy crawly and found a tiny rust colored insect crawling on the collar of my shirt as I was stripping to shower.
    I later noticed tiny itchy sores on my exposed areas (collarbone, backside of my neck, around the waistband of my jeans, and the tops of my hands) and honestly I am so scared that everything itches at this point

    Today I was sitting with them again, and they were grooming themselves and preening and scratching their ears above me periodically and dust bathing as they will do and I

    well when I looked closely at the shavings and dirt and feed on the bottom of the run
    the finer sediment underneath the big stuff on top was crawly and awful

    and for a young whippersnapper my vision is terrible and I couldn't get my eyes to focus on it long enough but
    I saw tiny super fast rust colored bugs, and fat white things that wiggled and were about as long as a stack of 4 quarters is tall. [​IMG]
    I looked at red mites and honestly they don't really look like that [​IMG]
    I also saw kind of different sandy colored bugs
    I am still itchy and really really scared that I've infested the house.
    I'm allergic to pretty much everything under (and including) the sun so I'm not sure if I'm just itchy because of that, or because of chicken crud, or because of ectoparasites, or what :'(
    I have two indoor cats (yes I am allergic to those, too [​IMG])
    but anyway I don't want them to get anything from me.
    I can't really find images that resemble them closely enough. I live in the pacific southwest region of the US if that helps the ID process... :(
    My chickens look..well I thought they were molting but now I'm nervous.
    My EE's lost their beards and ear tufts a month or two ago, and they're growing back in, but they're still losing leg and breast feathers, and my buff orpingtons are notably less downy as of late.
    PLUS one of my easter eggers was pulling feathers out of my cochin's neck, and my cochin and Macy ate all of them, which I thought was a protein thing but I already give them plenty, and they get grass and alfalfa and time to free range so..
    :< I don't know
  2. [​IMG]Man oh Man! You really have a problem. I really don't know what you've got in there, but seems to me you're going to have to do some major clean up duty, and spraying or disinfecting or major dusting of your coop, and run, and chickens to get rid of all these things. I'm no expert by any means, but I would suspect that the reason your birds are pulling out feathers, and loosing their ear tufts and such are because of the creepy crawleys, and more than likely the eating of the feathers also. That can't be good for them. I read a post last night about someone who had to get a tube from the vet to suck feathers out of the birds crop it had gotten in such bad shape. If you don't do something drastic and soon, I predict that all your brids' health is going to go down. From what I've read, these parasites can actually weaken the bird's immune system and make them suceptable to all kinds of illness and disease, not to mention some of these creepys actually suck the blood out of the bird, cause the feathers to drop out and a bunch of horrible stuff, not to mention what it might do to you personally, and your other animals, I mean if it was biting you and causing marks on you, that's not good. That sounds like chiggers, but I don't know if they would be in a chicken house. Do you live in the woods? What kind of climate are you getting? I wish I knew the best treatment for you to use, but all I know is "Seven dust' or the spray you get at the feed store with "permethin" one is Y-Tex GardStar. Either way, you're gona have to clean out all the nests and shavings and eveything like that, clean it out, spray or dust everything, even the cracks in the wood, on the roosts ect, and the birds. Probably would be best to use the spray in the coop and such to get down in the cracks, otherwise, the dust won't really get down in the small places and cracks, you know. But you're gona have to do everything, or else they'll just build back up in no time. That's what I've read on the posts and been told also about getting rid of mites. I know it sounds like and insurmountable task, but it seems to me that it's either that, or the things will just wind up spreading more and eventually kill all your chickens. And btw, you don't have to be allergic for these things to cause you problems also. Hope someone who is really experienced with this kind of thing will reply soon, cause you need to do something really quick, it sounds horrible. The dusts and spray doesn't cost a lot, it's just mostly a lot of work for you, and you have to keep on top of it after that and keep a lookout for these things before they get that bad. I've never dusted my chickens or my coop, but now I'm going to have to since we got new pullets that have everything under the sun. Good Luck, hope someone else comments, maybe with a better plan? Hope you get rid of them.[​IMG]
  3. AVintageLife

    AVintageLife Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Hampshire
    Everyone has their own methods for dealing with this and you will probably hear strong opinions on Sevin, DE and poultry dust. I just went through a bout of chicken lice in my 8X8 coop/8X12 run (five pullets, two cockerals). Here's what I did: I locked the chickies in the run and removed all of the bedding in the coop. (Don't compost it, bag it up and get it to the dump or far, far away from your coop.) If you have finished interior walls, wipe down the walls/surfaces with hot water and a little Citrus Magic Nature's Orange cleaner. I make a mixture of wood ash, DE and a sprinkle of poultry dust. I sprinkle this over the floor of the coop, nest boxes, the roost and blow into all the cracks and crevices. Put in your new bedding and sprinkle a little more of the wood ash mixture on top of the floor and nest boxes again. Now the fun part! You need to take each chicken, one at a time, and give them a little dust bath in the wood ash mixture (I used a nest box size tupperware container to set them in). Put a little of the wood ash mixture into the foot of a pair of panty hose so you can dust (like a powder puff) their vents and under their wings thoroughly. Work a little of the wood ash mixture over their body, under their feathers but be very careful around their eyes, beaks, their head generally. Put each dusted chickie back into the coop (keep them separate from the run and the other un-dusted chickies). When you're done with all the chickies, sprinkle the leftover wood ash mixture around the run and rake it all around. About five to seven days later, you will need to re-dust all the chickies again (I sprinkle the left over mix on the coop floor and in the run again as well). The second dusting is easier if you just wait until they're on the roost at night, they are sleepy and won't put up a fuss. Hopefully you can tell them apart so you'll know who was dusted as you go. I've got three BR pullets that are hard to tell apart and I marked one toenail with a dot of magic marker when each was done. Looks like alot of work but goes pretty fast. Inspect each chickie a few days after the second dusting. Worked for me. I wonder if it's better to dust once a month or periodically whether they need it or not, to stay ahead of the pests. I was surprised we had lice because I've always used DE in the coop and have wood ash dust bath areas in the coop and the run, which my chickies love.

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