Questions about lice and mites : Urgent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Skip, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Skip

    Skip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, everyone!

    I just brought a couple new chickens into my group, three black sex links, and I thought they looked a bit dull and frumpy, but they were otherwise OK. Now, one of them lost a lot of feathers around her back end, and the few that are there are covered in what looks like fine white dust. At first I thought this might just be wood shavings or she got pooped on by another hen and it crusted, but it's gotten worse. The three hens are now rather inactive, and one of them is loosing feathers on the back of her neck.

    Do you think this is external parasites?

    Also, two of those hens got viciously attacked by my rooster (he was starting to attack everything in sight, so he became a very tasty dinner last night) and their combs were open and bleeding. The wounds have closed and they don't look infected and they're scabbing over. The stress certainly didn't do them any good, but they're fine.

    None of the other hens look like they've got this 'mites or lice' problem.

    Here's a couple questions about lice and mites that I need an answer to very quickly so I can take proper action.

    1. Can chickens transmit lice or mites to humans?

    2. It's winter now... Will that kill off any parasites?

    3. What are some organic medicines that could help if my chickens do have parasites?

    4. How can I prevent something like this in the future?

    5. Can you eat a chicken with external parasites?
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your feather loss may be caused by hen/rooster interaction, you need to scroll down in Pest and Predators to identify the cause of the problem.

    After you treat the birds, you might want to hang one of these in a cage you have made of hardware cloth and keep it hanging in the coop-


    If you do have external parasites it will assist you in keeping them at bay with dichlorovos.

    But before that, if you do have mites or ticks, the birds need to be treated. There are many products, usually applied by dusting the birds. The one I have on hand is called Dri-Kill, and I know Miss Prissy uses Sevin. The vent area and under the wings are prime targets. Be careful around eyes and nostrils. Check here at BYC for the threads on this.

    Another way to assist the birds is using a sand box in which you have mixed diatomaceous earth, food grade (DE) in the sand and you may want to add Dri-Kill, too. All birds, but especially those hard to handle will treat themselves for you. You can also spread the powders on platforms and roosts and on bedding and earth in the run.

    This is a tricky time of year because the pests move into the coops for winter. You need to replace bedding too and dust in all crevices and holes.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008

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