please help my chicken


10 Years
Sep 30, 2009
I have a bantam chicken. It is about 4 months old. I found her(I think) the other night when I went to shut my chickens up in the corner on the floor covered in mud. All of the other ckns. were up roosting and mud free. I brought her inside and washed all the mud off. I noticed that she was not acting right. I kept her inside that night and the next day took her back outside and put her in a different cage by herself. She is very weak, but she is eating and drinking and pooping too. She is limping. It seems that it is more noticeable on her right side. She stumples around and kinda walks like she has a peg leg. I checked on her this morning and she was on her back. She wasn't able to flip herself back over. I put her right side again and she stumbled away and fell a couple of times. I just now checked on her and gave her a really good look over. I noticed that her legs (both) looked dry and scaley. They have huge cracks in them. I also noticed that she had so type of little tiny brown bugs in her feathers and on her skin. And I noticed clear looking bugs too. Which I think are lice but I am not sure. I checked some of my other ckns (who are not sick but have been in contact with the sick one) and I noticed one brown bug and a few shiney clear things. Is this lice? How do I treat ALL of my ckns.? And what is wrong with my bantam? Can someone please help. I don't want to loose any of my ckns.
I unfortunately don't know if this is lice or not. But I do know that treating mites is super easy if you use Diatomaceous earth around the coop. I have heard it will work for lice too. Good luck with your poor chickie
I would give 0.25cc Epinrex, which is pour-on Ivermectin for cattle, on the skin on the back of ner neck, and coat her legs daily with veggie oil or Vaseline. You would also want to treat the rest of the flock and the coop. You will have to retreat every week or 10 days for a while. Permethrin dust or spray will also work and can help in killing the critters in the coop, like living in the cracks in the walls or on the roost. Coat the legs in any case.
DE is good to help control numbers but is not enough when there is a severe infestation, IMO. Lice and mites can actually kill the birds. Your hen is very sick.
It sounds like she has a severe lice infestation and scaly leg mites too. You can buy stuff to treat the lice on line, one source is You can also buy cage bird lice spray at the pet store which is what I would do for your banty. Or, you can use any commercial lice spray where it says you can treat birds with it. Treat her thoroughly, under her wings, under her feathers, everywhere. Then, coat her legs with and feet with petroleum jelly (vaseline), several times a day to kill the mites. You will also need to treat the coop and any where they are spending a lot of time. You can buy spray in bulk quantities for that and mix it yourself. You notice the symptoms more in the banty b/c she is smaller. Hurry, as she can die from it, and if she is that bad already, it is an emergency. Also, I would start her on vitamin supplements, like Aviacharge, and feed her anything she likes, that she will eat. Treat the other birds for lice, too. You can switch to DE later, if you don't like the chemicals, and use that to treat them, it is natural. Make sure they have a dusting box or hole to dust in themselves, also. Keep the little one away from the bigger ones, til she's feeling better, so they won't bother her while she's down. Good luck.
Thanks so much for all of the information. Can I use sevin dust on the chickens and duck to get rid of the lice/mite? or is that not good for them? Should I give all my chickens some vitiamns in there water also?
That's great. I have noticed alot of small birds getting into my pens and doubt to steal my chickens feed. I bet that that is how they got the lice...How do I keep the small birds aways from my chickens? I was also curious, I read that I need to disinfect everywhere my chickens go. I turn most of them(the big chkns. only the banty/s stay pinned up due to the dogs) out during to day to roam free around the yard. Do I have/need to dust the entire yard? And do i need to put dust in the chickens dusting holes or not? I am new to all of this and I just want to do it sorry for all the questions. And thanks so much for all the help thus far too.
I would try and get some DE for the dusting hole. The only way to keep wild brids out would be to use hardware cloth all over the run and not to let them free range. I think once you get the problem undercontrol you can use DE to keep them free of lice. I would think that lice need to be on something to live, so the yard might not be infested. I dunno though. I have been hearing an ad about a do it yourself pest control. They sell a powder for your yard that kills fleas. I wonder if something like that would also work on lice?
Yes, lice and mites are carried by wild birds. You are never going to totally stop the exposure; they fall off into your yard as the birds fly over. Obviously, the numbers of lice/mites will be smaller if you can stop the wild birds from coming into the coop, though. DE is good to control the infestation -- use it sparingly, in the litter, in their dust baths, in their feed (2 cups to 50 lbs.,) wherever. Permethrin is good to kill off large numbers on the walls of the coop, on the roosts, etc. Best to remove and burn the current litter, and replace, then keep it sprinkled with DE every week or so.

You can only do so much. It's not really disinfecting, these are not germs, they are live creatures, and more will hatch, and the meds only kill the living ones, not the eggs, which is why you have to repeat.
You can dust your whole yard if you wish, though I did not. You can use 5% Sevin, but permethrin works just as well, and is less toxic. I think you will find all you need to know in the links I gave you above.

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