1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Please help diagnose feather/pest problem!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Alphagamchick, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. Alphagamchick

    Alphagamchick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    I got about 25 chicks from the local feed stores this spring. All feathered out nicely. In May I hatched 17 chicks from fertile eggs that I purchased - frizzles, marans and silkies. All are healthy but something is going on with their feathers. After reading about mites and lice I'm not sure if either is the problem. It is most apparent in the frizzles. The silkies and marans are pretty much feathered out but if you spread their wings and look at their back you can see it there. Their skin looks dry and it's like they have pin feathers but the feathers never really feather out. Some of the frizzles have bare backs except for their short little quills sticking out of their skin. I looked for any kind of bug but did not notice any. I have not looked at night. What does this sound like to you? I keep thinking it must be some sort of pest. Thanks
  2. Alphagamchick

    Alphagamchick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    I took a really hard look at the chicks this morn. Looks like they have mites. Will head up to the feed store today for a cure. Any words of wisdom on this? Mel
  3. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi there, those dern pesky bugs!
    Hopefully your feed store will have some poultry dust. I use food grade DE on my birds. Some folks use 5% sevin dust (very little) in the dust bathing spot.If you have a place that is out of the weather & stay dry cold wood ashes will get rid of them too.
    Best way to check for mites/lice is a night while your birds are roosting.Get a flashlight & look around their vent.
    I hope your chickens get better soon. [​IMG]
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Here's what I would do....

    **Clean out the coop- remove all bedding, including in the nest boxes. Avoid using straw for bedding, the center of the hay pieces is a great place for mites to hide out during the day.

    **Spray all wood with orange oil (those mites drop off the chickens in the morning and climb back on them at night, so the orange oil is safe for the chickens, but deadly on the mites--and considered "organic")

    **Use poultry dust or Food Grade DE Use it on the chickens, in the bedding, in the nest boxes, sprinkled over their favorite dust bathing areas etc.

    ** be vigilent....very often, you can see a lot of broken feathers on their backs where the roo jumps on them. Sometimes it's because you have a roo thats a little too frisky, but often it's because the feathers aren't strong enough from the mites eating the feathers to tolerate the "stress".

    **continue using this method year round (except dusting the chickens directly--that's only if they currently have mites)

    Good luck

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: