Shake your tail feathers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KaityRoseChicks, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Chicks are 2 and a half weeks old and I've noticed about three of them shake their little tail feathers like ducks! Is there a reason for this? No poopy butts.
     
  2. Feathyr

    Feathyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It may be a sign of mite infestation; my adult birds do that when they've got creepy-crawlies.

    Or, their newly-grown feathers might feel odd and they're trying to shake them off. [​IMG] Sometimes they shake for no apparent reason.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  3. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    It started with the late bloomer shaking theirs. Then I noticed others. It it's mites how do I check for them and how do I treat them? I have a cat and dogs also.
     
  4. Feathyr

    Feathyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like mites, then. In my experience, mites generally cluster around the vent, the base of the tail and the back of the neck. Part the feathers there and look for them and / or their dirt-like droppings.

    (Chickens host a different species of mites than dogs or cats; the chicks won't infest them or vice-versa.)

    If you do have them, lightly dust the affected areas with poultry dust, wear gloves and make sure not to get it in the chicks' eyes. I recommend Prozap's Garden and Poultry dust which can be found in most feed or garden stores. Most poultry dusts contain permethrin, which studies have proven causes seizures in cats - make sure they aren't around the chicks during and after the application.
     
  5. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Well the chicks are indoors for another few weeks. I'll check for mites and I don't want to risk my cat. Would DE kill mites? I could order food grade DE easily and know it won't hurt my other pets.
     
  6. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I just checked 3 chicks, one of which was the first to shake tail feathers. I didn't see anything but is there anything safe I can do as preventative?
     
  7. Feathyr

    Feathyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to hear! They must just be doing it because they can. The best preventative is to make sure they have access to adequate dust-bathing areas.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Tail shaking is something all animals do that happen to have tails. It's not indicative of parasites. Tail shaking and parasites would be entirely coincidental if they happen simultaneously. Enjoy the performance - shake your bootie!

    No, DE will not get rid of parasites. The best way to prevent them is to keep bedding dry and fresh in the coop, and keep the run as dry as possible.

    Recently, some of my chickens came down with red mites. I traced the infestation back to my compost pile where lots of snow this winter had made a wet mess of the straw and chicken poop, a perfect environment for breeding parasites.

    I cleaned the mess up, distributing the compost over the meadow where I want grass, and I dusted my chickens with poultry dust containing permethrin. Mites all gone. They never did get into my coops.

    It's very easy to see the parasites if your chickens do have them. Just look at the tender skin around the vent. They are readily visible if they're there. No need to treat if you don't see any.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. KaityRoseChicks

    KaityRoseChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    They're still indoors so I will probably hold off on the poultry dust until they're outside. I'm very scared to use it because I don't want to risk my cat at all. There's nothing else to use that would be safe?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I don't treat for lice or mites unless I see evidence of them....poultry dust containing permethrin is what I use too.
    Didn't realize it was toxic to cats.

    Where did you get your chicks?
    If they came from a farm stores or a hatchery and have been inside the house, I seriously doubt they have parasites.
    Unless you have birds outside and they have them and you may have brought them in.
     

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