Recognizing Mites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by giri11a, May 7, 2009.

  1. giri11a

    giri11a New Egg

    May 7, 2009
    Does anybody have any tips for recognizing mites?

    We have two hens, a buff orpington and an easter egger (auracana hybrid), both about seven months old, and it looks like they both have dry combs. What I mean by that is their combs are a little white, but it's not very bad--it pretty much just looks like they have some mildly dry skin. I thought it might be mites (might be mites...hehe) but I couldn't see any, so I didn't think much about it.

    But now I've noticed that the orpington has little black scabs on the tips of her comb. At first I thought it was just dirt until I realized the dirt wasn't going away! She's just recently gone broody, so maybe she's getting pecked by the easter egger to get her out of the nest.

    But I also noticed that she seems to have some dirt under her leg scales. Could that dirt be mites? I've been looking at her legs and her comb pretty closely and I can't see anything. Although, truth be told, despite being curious, she doesn't really like to be held, so it's possible I've missed them.

    Should mites be pretty obvious, or is it possible I've just not seen them, and the "dry" combs, scabs, and dirty scales are caused by mites? The hens are both free rangers most of the day and look pretty darn healthy otherwise, active, shiny feathers, bright eyes and all.

    Any advice would be appreciated.[​IMG]

    p.s. my camera's broken, but their combs kind of look like the rooster's comb in the second picture here, but not as bad and no sores:
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  2. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    yes you have mites
    email me PM for a list of kinds of mites
    I will here detail how to treat for scaley leg mit

    You will need some oil
    here is what I always used
    noxema, camphorated oil (in green bottle in drug store), cooking oil, olive oil
    now with that oil take and pour and rub in liberally the oil to smother the mites and heal the scales( eventually the scales affected will sluff of and new clean ones will grow on the leg)

    then have a gallon container to have seven5% dust to put on the oiled chickens leg this is very important also

    this should be done twice a day and if one can lock the bird up so it can be treated liberally

    It will take 6 weeks to kill the mites and one needs to clean where the mites live
    basically the oil treatment is best as the oil smothers the mites and heals the sore legs


    then you need to get the mites where they live
    take a gallon can and put 1 pt of cooking oil and 1 pint of keroseen and paint the roost poles
    and all the cracks in the wood of the building
    especially the knot holes if any are in the wood
    these areas are where the mites live and breed
    when not sucking the blood out of the chicken an making sores on its legs ( eventually the mites make a white type offal build up on the scaley leg)

    then I would clean out the beding and start fresh by putting
    a good layer of sevin 5% on the bare floor now put the new bedding back in the building

    this will get rid of the mites and any lice living in the building
    always do this so you can leave a window cracked that night
    so fumes will escape

    besure to feed the birds affected the
    natural probiotic wet mash
    each bird
    3 tbsp of dry crumbles
    6 tbsp of milk any kind
    1 tbsp of yoguart
    mix and feed twie a day till the bird is healed then once a week for life
  3. giri11a

    giri11a New Egg

    May 7, 2009
    wow, thanks for all the info! i'm gonna get right to oiling those little chicken legs.
    one question, though: do i wait until the six weeks is up to treat the coop, or do i do it right away?
    well, two questions, actually: what proportions do i use for the oil ingredients?

    thanks again!
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  4. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Fowl pox and being pecked on the comb can look fairly similar- but most hens that live with other hens will have small wounds on their combs on occasion. Broody combs will look shriveled and small- pale and dry is NORMAL for broody hens.
    Chickens also have dirty feet, they walk in dirt. If the scales are being lifted up by crud, and the scales look thick- compared to other chickens you have seen- you may have scaly leg mite. But before you start oiling birds and painting the coop with kerosene and cooking oil- be more sure you actually have a problem that needs addressing. And also look into the many ways of dealing with mites that do not involve kerosene. Borrow a camera and post some photos of that comb and legs!
    From your description, I am not sure you are not just looking at a normal chicken...
  5. California Ducken

    California Ducken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes post photos. Mine sound similar. And are very normal, no mites, and healthy. They let me do whatever I want to them. So I can flip em every which way and check them. But get photos on here and we can all look at them and try and help you!!

    You have to check for mites at night with a flashlight.
    Check around the vent, under the wings, and back of the neck. Those are good places to start.

    Also if you mix DE in the soil.....check other threads to find a more appropriate thread for using DE properly. Alot of people on here swear by it.


  6. California Ducken

    California Ducken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Okay, I had to read that twice......wait 3 times.....LOL

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. DANNY

    DANNY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    If you are checking for mites look above and below the vent, under the wings and from the base of the neck to top of head. Look closely , they are small.
  8. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    ugh- sorry- that is what happens when I stay up too late.... start to get very wordy...
    Better said: It is possible that you are looking at a normal chicken. Taking out the double negative there. [​IMG]

    Quote:Okay, I had to read that twice......wait 3 times.....LOL

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Okay, I had to read that twice......wait 3 times.....LOL

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I don't know. I kind of enjoyed the double negative. It made me pay attention. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. giri11a

    giri11a New Egg

    May 7, 2009
    thanks for the responses, guys. sorry it's taking me a while to get back, still working on getting a camera. i've been checking around the vent and under the wings. they've got a little bit of flaky stuff under their wings, but it doesn't move, and it's not round or regularly shaped and doesn't look like the mites i've seen on plants. i haven't checked at night with a flashlight, but i do have pretty good eyes (for small, up-close things, at least...distance is another question;))

    i've been looking closer at their legs, too. it's only the buff orpington that has the dirt under the scales. the dirty scales are mostly near her feet, and they get cleaner as they go up, but it does look like the scales might be sticking out just a tad. are scales supposed to be absolutely flat against the leg, or is it ok for them to stick out just a little? the easter egger's scales look a bit scaly and flaky, also. do they call them scaly mites because they infest scales, or because they make their scales extra scaly? i know it's really hard to say without pictures, sorry.

    but, in the meantime, does anyone have any opinions on whether it's better to treat preventatively or it's better to have a possible low-level infestation going on? it would seem to me it's better to have a possible low-level infestation than use a medication unnecessarily and possibly build up a resistance. i'll definitely start them on the probiotic mash though, i don't see that doing any harm (thanks, glenda). and, on the upside, my chickens are starting to put up with being molested a lot better now!

    i really do appreciate everyone's responses, even when they disagree!

    thanks again,

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