Possible mites, and/or worms or other parasites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tenderkat, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. tenderkat

    tenderkat Songster


    The weather has been getting and staying pretty cold lately, and I have become a bit concerned about my hens. I am wondering if I might have a mite and/or worm issue with my girls. This is my first time with chickens, so I am still learning about disease and illness problems.

    I'll run down some of the symptoms that have me concerned.

    First of all, my girls look to be healthy, but when I pick them up they seem a bit scrawny. I have RIR's and BR's, and they are only 8 months old, but it just seems like they should be a bit plumper. Should I really be able to distinctly feel the bone that runs down the middle of their ribcage? It feels as though there's not really much meat on either side of it. I have also noticed some poops that look more like diarrhea, while others have huge droppings. My chickens also seem to betting messy poo buildup on their rears more than before. Other than that, they appear to have plenty of spunky energy.

    Secondly, I'm noticing some blackish spots and striations on some of the combs. A couple appear to have actual sores. At first I thought it was just dirt, then perhaps some frostbite, but now I'm clueless. There is also some sort of white stuff in and around some of their earlobes. Is this indicative of anything specific? I've also noticed on a few of my hens, a couple of their leg scales are black.

    If it's possible that I have some kind of infestation, internally or externally, I'd like to find the least toxic way of treating, while also being effective. I've been doing some searches, but I'm getting information overload on possible treatment protocols. Also, since I have no idea which of my chickens might possibly have worms, would it be prudent to treat all six? In the event that I might have a mite infestation, I'll have to do a thorough clean of the coop, as well as treat the birds. But since I can't exactly hose down the inside of the coop, how do I clean and treat it? Assuming mites have varying lifecycles, will I need to treat both my birds and their house more than once? I guess I'm just hoping for the safest, most effective way of approaching these issues. And I'd also like to know of any preventative steps I can be taking on a regular basis to keep this from being a problem again.

    Here are some pics, one of Doris Mae with some of the black spots and lines:

    The strange-looking poop:

    If you think my chickens might have a problem, or not, I would appreciate anybody's feedback. Also, any tips and advice on treating anything would be amazing. Thankyou so much!!

  2. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    I would give electrolytes in the water and Probiotics, and start using DE in the coop, feed and nesting boxes.
    the only way I know for sure to check for worms is to have a float test on the poo run by a vet.

    as for the breastbone (keel) different breeds have different shaped breast meat so I can't confirm or deny anything from that without knowing breed & age.

    I do know that the Black Sex Link is one of the breeds that don't fill out real well and you can always feel it regardless of feed. (was concerned and talked to the Farm Guy at my feedstore).

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