Pale combs on my hens and bugs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by alpha_mare, May 11, 2011.

  1. alpha_mare

    alpha_mare New Egg

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    May 11, 2011
    Hi--
    My hens have slightly pale combs (they are still young and growing--about half size at three months. I wormed them yesterday per my feed store's advice with piperizine. We have a dog kennel we seldom use, but it is next to the chicken coop, probably not good. The chickens seem in good health. Maybe they are not quite mature yet or is this paleness normal in hens? The red hens combs are pale yellowish I have a white hen and rooster that are already probably full size in three months, they are giant compared to the red chickens and other chickens I've had in the past, and the white hen also has a pale almost white, barely pink, comb compared to the rooster. They are eating me out of house and home, and are active. I'm afraid they may have mites or something like that.

    We plan to dust them with Sevin this time until I get to town to get some poultry dust. Most people tell me to use Sevin dust, is this the best or the cheapest, or what? I can get a peritherine type dust for poultry at tractor supply, would this be better? It is hot and humid where I live, and we can have real bug problems.

    I have noticed flies going under the feathers of the chickens, but they chickens don't seem to notice. I don't know if they are biting flies, they look like houseflies. I was considering getting a CountryVet automatic sprayer that emits timed bursts and placing it about ten feet from the chicken coop but pointed at it. I don't want to contaminate the water or food or chickens. Has anyone used one of these with chickens? Would a zapper or strips be better? We have huge mosquitoes and biting gnats.

    Thanks for any help in this. Spring has sprung and is super hot and full of bugs this year.
     
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I just use seven and then again in 10 days. Treat the coop and nest boxes as well. You can find some really good posts about dealing with these. I put the vanilla trees in the pen for dealing with the flies but have nothing for gnats and mosquitos. I am in N FL and live near some wet areas so not much I can do about mosquitos.
    sharon
     
  3. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens have paler combs until they reach around sexual maturity. In older birds it can also be a sign of poor health, or an extreme pest infestation. With enough mites, blood loss could make them enemic.
     
  4. alpha_mare

    alpha_mare New Egg

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    May 11, 2011
    Thank you so much welasharon and Ms. Frizzle. I think I may have some DE left from raising aquarium fish. I need to get a dust bath in there with some wood ash from my fireplace and maybe try the DE. Am going to get the Sevin this weekend too. I have never tried the all natural way but use the wood ash for pest control of fruit trees and DE for fireant beds---it works. I think we need one Sevin dust of everything, then I will use the DE and wood ash and some sand or dusty clay in the bath and see how long it lasts. I hate doing the Sevin or any insecticide much, but I am in SE GA and there's not much else you can do.

    It's hard to believe the white Cornish (according to Tractor Supply) chickens will grow more, but looking at the pictures I see they are not yet mature. These are commercial white chickens and they labeled them Cornish, but I have some whites I got later from a different shipment and they look completely different, more like leghorns, longer tail feathers, different combs and body shape. The reds are the ISA hybrid mix of red and white RI reds and growing slower.

    Thanks again for all your help. I will try to find the vanilla trees here. I like stuff like that. We have a mosquito repellant bush that grow wild here, but you have to crush the leaves and rub them on you. I don't think itd be good for the chickens.
     
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Is that the citronella plant? I have not tried that. Some of mine got fowl pox last year from the mosquitos. Waiting to see if the new ones do this year. I am not much impressed by DE though there are those that swear by it. I just went ahead with the seven and then I ordered ivomec to use now. I would prefer natural methods for sure but we aren't exactly keeping the chickens in a natural way. There is a feral rooster that has taken us in and he has not had any help surviving at all but all his hens are now gone. He is the last of the feral chickens here.
    sharon
     
  6. alpha_mare

    alpha_mare New Egg

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    May 11, 2011
    Hi Sharon. My chickens went wild when I tried to free range them. Too many good bugs, berries, grasses and seeds, let alone forest to live in. That plant smells like citronella when you crush the leaves, but looks kind of like a southern spice bush or wild wax myrtle. It gets little berries where the leaves join the plant and the leaves are shiny. I was wondering if bug zappers are safe with chickens. I had a horse trainer from australia and he swore by the larger ones that do up to a mile or more. He said in australia they have poisonous gnats and all kinds of biting bugs and its unbearable without it. He said the ones for about thirty to fifty bucks that do a mile or the larger ones, that are sold for agricultural or commercial use, work well on all flying bugs. I don't know if they do anything to bees that is bad. I was thinking of putting one of the mile range ones on my back porch so it would get the coop and kennel and all without being right there by them. And I will probably end up using fly strips just outside the coop. I've dealt with fly traps and the smell of the bait always makes me throw up.

    I have also had limited success with the plug in rodent and pet rf repellents, that use radio frequencies. some are better than others. In a heavily infested boardng stable the mice became quite confused and staggered around as if drunk, and the cats found it easy to pick them off. The owner had put her feed in a large plywood feed bin instead of in metal trash cans or the like. The mice chewed through the plywood and had an unlimited source of food.

    I found this interesting thread with many organic and plant solutions for mosquitos, including the wild wax myrtle I was thinking of. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/secoast/msg0709204424068.html

    Another
    person suggested that camphor trees helped, I have a ton of them and haven't noticed. Most of the plants seem to need to be crushed, or work best that way, there is a mosquito plant that may work. I remember a really safe and effective product for repelling flies and mosquitos from the horses was Avon's Skin So Soft. We diluted it 50/50 with water and sprayed it on with a spray bottle. It is recommended as an alternative for kids who can't use the other stuff. I wonder if it would hurt the chickens? It works really well, sometimes better than the commercial horse repellents and makes the coat so shiny.
     

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