shaking heads-what to do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bwohlleb, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. bwohlleb

    bwohlleb New Egg

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    I have a small flock of laying hens (rir, nh reds, andalusians) and they have been shaking their heads and I cant figure out why. I thought lice or mites or worms, but cant make it stop. They shake their heads very often, as if they are shaking something off. I have tried permethrin, sevin, ivomec, and nothing seems to make them stop shaking. For the most part they look healthy, a few of them have feathers that dont look so well, with some of them losing a few feathers around the vent and the skin is red. But most of them look healthy. Please help, what is wrong and how can I help them to stop shaking?!?!
     
  2. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It could be persistent and pesticide resistant fowl mites and lice. They can be really hard to eradicate. Mites develop a tolerance to even Ivermec after a while. Check your flock's feathers and skin on the head and neck, including the ear holes, to see if there are any varmints. The vent area and base of the tail is another place where you might find an infestation.

    You might have to do a "flea dip" type bathing, and clean the coop thoroughly with bleach. I douse the roosts with bleach solution and let it dry. It helps. If you can give your flock a year round dust bath area, that might help too if it's mites and lice.

    I hope you find out what the problem is and can cure it. My experience has been that when the chickens shake their heads a lot, it is because of varmints, especially fowl mites. Good luck. :)
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Any wheezing, sneezing or gurgling? Respiratory problems can cause head skaking.
     
  4. bwohlleb

    bwohlleb New Egg

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    thanks, I was hoping that it was something different, but that is what I always guessed. What would you recommend for a "flea dip" type bathing? I have checked the birds closely for mites/lice but can really not see anything on any of them. It has been going on for a while, I really want to get rid of them! I thought for sure that the sevin would work, but it didnt seem to help, but I only tried it last weekend, how long should it take until they stop shaking? Thanks for your help!
     
  5. bwohlleb

    bwohlleb New Egg

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    they sneeze very very little, it doesnt seem to be often. How else would I determine if it is a respiratory problem?
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Have you actually picked up your birds and visually inspected them for lice/mites? Have you actually seen them? Look at their vent area very closely to see if you see any. With all the chemicals you've used on them, I seriously doubt your birds have external parasites.
    Respiratory symptoms vary from disease to disease. Here are some symptoms; sneezing, wheezing, rattles, gurgling, head shaking, runny nostrils, facial swelling, bubbles in eyes, decreased egg laying or stopped altogether, lethargic, not eating/drinking normally, death. These are the more common symptoms and it's not necessary for birds to have all the symptoms at once.
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Another thing I forgot to mention is that it could be an environmental issue rather than a respiratory disease. For example; ammonia fumes from soiled bedding can be a cause of head shaking, feed dust getting lodged in their throat...things of that nature which can be corrected or eliminated.
     
  8. bwohlleb

    bwohlleb New Egg

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    I have been keeping the coop extremely clean, cleaning it weekly, if not more often, and using shavings to reduce any dust. If it is a respiratory problem what is the cure? What is the best solution to solving this problem. I thought that it may be a problem with their feed, so I switched from pellets to mash, that made no difference. I have visually inspected them and have never actually seen a lice/mite on them, I am really stumped but really want this fixed! Thanks for everyones help!
     
  9. rroland59

    rroland59 New Egg

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    Please let me know if you have found out the problem with your head shaking issue. I have a faverolle pullet that shakes her head constantly. I have wormed with Valbazen, sprayed vent area and under wings with frontline spray. Have no idea what is going on with her. No sneezing, no nasal discharge.
     
  10. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    Have you dusted their ears in case its ear mites?

    Sent from my PantechP9060 using Tapatalk 2
     

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