Red mites

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mamabigbird, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just put down one of our old ISA brown hens. She was getting slower and less vital every day. She had really runny poo that was sticking to her feathers, so, her time had come. The upside of this was that I got to have a good look through her feathers. She was crawling with little red mites. Our other hens are too skittish to catch and examine. We got the birds as culls from a family member who won't keep them if they're not cuddly. I don't care I just like chickens and eggs. They all free range all over the property, so my question is this. Do they pick them up from other creatures on the property(Pacific Northwest), and will DE actually do any good if I dust them with it. I dusted their coop after thoroughly cleaning. Also did their nestboxes but haven't done the hens. We only have six birds now, and my brother-in-law says he'll help me catch and dust them after they go back to the coop, but if DE isn't going to work I don't want to upset them unnecessarily. Any feedback welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    DE is only effective as a preventative. It's time to pull out the big guns since you are sure the birds are infested. I use Eprinex to treat for mites/lice/worms because you don't need to discard your eggs after treatment, it's easy, and you get the most bang for your buck by treating a variety of buggy guests. The downsides of Eprinex are it's not specifically rated for poultry usage and it's very expensive. Many people use it despite the downsides. It's a couple drops (I believe its 1/2 cc for full-sized chickens and 1/4 cc for bantams, but I would have to double check those dosages if you are actually interested in knowing) on the back of their necks once and then again 10 days later. I wait until after dark and then grab my birds off their roosts, treat them and then pop them right back on the roosts. They barely react. I do it so quickly that they don't have a chance to get worked up over it. I then clean their house within an inch of its life. Fortunately, when my husband and I built their house we planned for the prospect of getting pests and painted the entire interior of the house, so cleaning my house is a snap. I also make sure to re-paint the interior regularly- it looks nicer and leaves no nooks/crannies for bugs to live in.

    I used to use Sevin dust to treat for bugs, but it was pretty traumatic for all involved. Stuffing a skittish chicken into a pillowcase up to their necks to dust them makes for a very unhappy chicken that is impossible to catch the next time you need to treat them. I also felt like I may have inhaled half the contents of the pillowcase each time I had to do it which is very unhealthy. I decided after a while that it was too much work and found other options.

    Fowl mites are pretty devastating to chickens and are probably the reason your culled bird was failing, so I wouldn't waste any time in getting them cleaned up.

    Good luck.
     
  3. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    Thanks for the Eprinex idea. Sounds so much easier, for hens as well as me. Sadly the coop we have is a recycled storage shed that my brother-in-law built years ago. It is all exposed chip boards and open framed 2x4 on inside and the floor is raw plywood. I really do the best I can keeping it cleaned and change the wood shavings regularily and nest bedding. I thought about painting it with whitewash but I'll still have a lot of nooks and crannies. Also if the paint doesn't dry by dusk the girls will want in to bed. I can keep putting DE in their nests and on the floor when I'm cleaning. I hope the Eprinex is available in Canada. I'll call our Buckerfield store to find out. Thanks again for the input.
    P.S. All the other girls are really healthy looking but old Crusty really was old and so I think that's why she was so affected by the mites but I'll get right on with the treatment.
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    With only six birds I would say that they should be bathed in flea/tick shampoo. Lock them in their coop at night, then the next morning bring them one by one into the house and stand them in the tub. Wet them down thoroughly under the running faucet (drain open) Once they are fairly wet add the flea/tick shampoo and cover them thoroughly with shampoo and work it into and through all the feathers. Then stand the bird at the end of the tub and get the next one. Once the tub is full of shampoo-laden chickens wait 5-10 minutes, then begin to rinse them off under warm water. Make sure during both the bath and rinse that their beak and nostrils stay out of the water. Once they are all rinsed off, let them drip dry for a few minutes, then wrap them up in an old towel to absorb most of the water. While they are wrapped up is a good time to look them over for any neede attention. I typically trim nails and beak at this time as well as applying ivermectin. Since it is summer, after they are merely damp, place outside in a clean area to finish drying. I suggest throoughly cleaning the tub before dh sees it [​IMG]

    I use a shampoo that contains an insect growth regulator, meaning that it is effective on ALL stages of parasites, not just the adults.
     
  5. stampntam

    stampntam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    where do you buy Eprinex?
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I found mine on-line at some random store that had it at the cheapest price. ("Cheapest" being a relative term because it was still pretty expensive.) I couldn't find it locally in any sizes but by the liter, which would be okay if I were treating a hundred head of cattle, but a little excessive for a handful of chickens.
     
  7. stampntam

    stampntam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    can it be used on chicks 6& 12 week
     

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