Pink Chicken Butts - I've tried EVERYTHING - Help please

LucasB95

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2021
3
2
14
So the title says it all - I have 15 chickens and two ducks (had 3). The majority of my chickens have pink butts where feathers are trying to grow but failing - A few of the Black Australorps also have bare chests. The space is a 15'x15' coop with 3 full sized windows and spaces at the ceiling for ventilation - It's a horse stall that I converted - There's a door also for ventilation that leads to the run which is 15' x 26' - Clay/Hard dirt base + 5 Yards of egg rock + 5 years of chicken coop sand (forgot the name, but it's the right stuff)

I assume it's mites so HOW do I get rid of them once and for all?!

I've tried EVERYTHING to get their feathers back
In Summary:
- Normal cleanings - Empty out all bedding - Backpack spray lightly with water & vinegar/garlic concentrate mix (homemade) - Dry - Sweetheart PDZ - Pine Shavings
- Fresh water & food - dumping out anything that's clumped on a daily basis - One Coccidia issue was enough for me
- Nutridrench supplementation
- B12
- Garlic - only as a small additive to the water to stop them from pecking one another and to deter mites from biting
- Probiotics - Assure good gut health in case negative consequences of Garlic
- Food Grade Diatomaceous earth dust bath offering - It's in a kiddy pool for them in the run - It was inside for a period of the winter sporadically
- Antibiotic Spray has been applied to their behinds also - Not sure the brand, but if this is critical, I'm all ears to prioritizing it
- I have a 5 pound bag of mixed dried "mite deterring herbs" that I put in the nest boxes also...
- NO yeast supplements or "Water Treatments"
- NOTE: The initial "outbreak" was after I got a bale of compressed hay to use as bedding versus my usual tractor supply shavings and chips.

They seem healthy overall but it's still irritated seeing them with bare spots - I see posts all the time of just letting chickens roam around and they're perfect - I've bought EVERYTHING I could possibly find to remedy my issue and nothing works...

I've sprayed them down lightly, do I literally hand wash them each to get the mites off? Leave the coop empty for a few days? Soak the birds in something? I'm open, I would just like to get this taken care of. Do I sanitize the entire 40x60 barn? Has anyone had experience with them vacating the coop while it's getting cleaned, hiding somewhere, then coming back? I just don't get how they can keep re-appearing so I'm assuming I'm not properly killing them.

Background:
I had this issue with a couple birds last years and determined it was mites - which I thought I got rid of. The chickens were sprayed down with a recommended mix and the inside of the coop sanitized (to the best of my ability... unless it's that tricky to kill them) - The coop has a concrete floor so I removed all bedding and sprayed it with a highly concentrated garlic & vinegar mixture.

After this, I started the fall with the deep litter method.

This seemed to work until towards the end of fall when the I noticed one bird with a bare bottom again.

Not too long after noticing the loss of feathers, I waited for a warmer day to re-sanitize and clean the birds (thinking it's mites)

About a month after this second cleaning, a chicken & duck passed at one time - then a second chicken passed about 2 weeks later (he looked to have gotten beat up). - I realize that these things can happen randomly, but what the heck, I do literally EVERYTHING to keep them alive.

I cleaned and sanitized the coop after both deaths and have done it a third time sense... It's a lot of pine shavings.
- Should I use something stronger than vinegar? My concern is leaving a residue and harming the birds.
 

LucasB95

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2021
3
2
14
What mixture are you using as a mite spray? Have you actually seen the mites crawling on them at night? Best to check with a headlamp or flashlight at roosting time.

If it's mites, they'll need Permethrin dust/spray, Elector PSP, or another approved mite treatment. An infestation will not be knocked out by natural means.
Thank you! I have not checked at night but will do that right away - I just assumed because I don't know what else could cause it, any ideas? I was recommended to use a Reptile Spray (Reptile Spray by Natural Chemistry) and noticed they have a bird version, would you recommend that? I just looked up Elector PSP and will get that for around the coop Run area but it join up to my vegetable garden so I can't spray that side. With the Permethrin Dust/Spray, do you just use it directly on the birds or their surroundings? I'm literally going to buy all these products and use them ALL. My chickens will have butt feathers again and be there beautiful selves...
 

Meg-in-MT

Addict
Jan 29, 2018
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SW Montana
Thank you! I have not checked at night but will do that right away - I just assumed because I don't know what else could cause it, any ideas? I was recommended to use a Reptile Spray (Reptile Spray by Natural Chemistry) and noticed they have a bird version, would you recommend that? I just looked up Elector PSP and will get that for around the coop Run area but it join up to my vegetable garden so I can't spray that side. With the Permethrin Dust/Spray, do you just use it directly on the birds or their surroundings? I'm literally going to buy all these products and use them ALL. My chickens will have butt feathers again and be there beautiful selves...
I wouldn't use them all. I would buy one and work with that. No matter which you use, you'll need to treat the coop and the chickens, both. I like the Elector because it's a "one and done" and doesn't need a retreat.

Permethrin might be easier to get from your local TSC, Murdoch's etc. But I believe you need to treat again after 7-10 days to kill any leftover hatches. @casportpony can tell you for sure (or many others).

Bare butts on everyone? I would probably lean towards mites. You said they are picking on eachother, though, is that right?

As far as the reptile spray (for birds?), I don't know what's in it. Do you have an ingredients list? I'm guessing by the name of manufacturer it's meant to be "natural", so I wouldn't bank on it doing anything at all.
 

LucasB95

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2021
3
2
14
I wouldn't use them all. I would buy one and work with that. No matter which you use, you'll need to treat the coop and the chickens, both. I like the Elector because it's a "one and done" and doesn't need a retreat.

Permethrin might be easier to get from your local TSC, Murdoch's etc. But I believe you need to treat again after 7-10 days to kill any leftover hatches. @casportpony can tell you for sure (or many others).

Bare butts on everyone? I would probably lean towards mites. You said they are picking on eachother, though, is that right?

As far as the reptile spray (for birds?), I don't know what's in it. Do you have an ingredients list? I'm guessing by the name of manufacturer it's meant to be "natural", so I wouldn't bank on it doing anything at all.
Thank you for all the information! Greatly appreciated, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear/understand. If Elector is safe and the easiest, and most effective way, I won't hesitate a bit. Meaning, I'm ordering it after I'm done typing. Haha. Thanks again!
 

Meg-in-MT

Addict
Jan 29, 2018
8,147
64,651
1,257
SW Montana
You're welcome. Definitely check them tonight for bugs. They should be easy to see if their little buns are bare. They tend to surround the vent (mites) or you will see eggs at the bottom of the feather shafts (lice). You can also wipe a paper towel under the roost and see if it comes up with blood on it. Let us know what you find out.
 

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