Silkie's head covered in mites

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MissFrog, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. MissFrog

    MissFrog Out Of The Brooder

    62
    5
    31
    Oct 14, 2012
    We have a silkie for about 2 months. She has been healthy and happy. She shares her run with 6 standard hens but sleeps in the house at night becaue she can't climb into the coop.
    About a week ago, she started sneezing and shaking her head. We thought she had something like a cold, and gave her Vet Rx.
    But today we discovered that her head is covered in mites (or some other kind of teeny tiny bug... They are microscopic and black). The base of the feathers is covered with some brown sandy-looking matter and she has small raw patches.
    We read all we could on this site, and ran to the store and bought Sevin dust and dusted all 7 hens, including Q-Tip the silkie. We also put some Vaseline on her head, as we read that it would smother the mites. Now her head is all greasy, and we don't know where to go from there, it does not appear that the mites are anywhere else on her body, but they developed incredibly fast. We thought that she had some kind of respiratory problem so we did not handle her too much... And we did not see this coming.
    Please help, any suggestion is welcome!
    Catherine
     
  2. Gardeningmama

    Gardeningmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just found mites yesterday, and like you, ran out and got Sevin dust. Literally shake-n-baked my chickens, it was kind of funny(in hind sight). Don't forget the coop, replace your bedding, and dust every nook and cranny. A week from now we have to do it all again because the eggs will hatch. From there, I think 1 more dusting and it SHOULD take care of it. I wouldn't use straw as bedding either because it's hollow and supposedly can harbor the mites. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, keep yours crossed for me...[​IMG]

    Michelle
     
  3. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Saying prayers for both of you. I can't offer any advice in this area because I haven't dealt with it yet...but I hope it clears up soon and others I'm sure will chime in.

    I LOVE the name "Q-Tip" for a silkie - that is priceless.
     
  4. MissFrog

    MissFrog Out Of The Brooder

    62
    5
    31
    Oct 14, 2012
    Thanks to both of you. I hope someone has experience with this problem and will have suggestions... It's quite scary for someone new to chicken.
    We took a dog lice comb with very fine teeth and used it to remove some of the goo (Vaseline and mites stuff) from the feathers on her head. I feel better knowing that it's cleaner and we did not see anything moving. We also looked into the feathers of her neck and there was nothing there, so it seems that the problem is localized on her head.
    I am wondering what else we can do.
     
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    73
    218
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    The only thing more than what gardeningmama said is to dust the others that she is with in the daytime too. They most likely have them too!
     
  6. MissFrog

    MissFrog Out Of The Brooder

    62
    5
    31
    Oct 14, 2012
    Thanks! Yes, we dusted the whole family to make sure the others are OK. This morning Q-Tip looked all right. We feel so bad that we did not notice the mites immediately. Does anyone know whether the sneezing and shaking of the head were caused by the mites or whether she has something else going on at the same time. We used the Vet Rx to help her, but not sure whether we should continue or not.
     
  7. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    208
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Be careful. Sevin dust (carbaryl) is no longer approved safe for poultry. You may want to look into buying poultry dust or DE for future use.

    Here is the warning from the company.





    [​IMG]
     
  8. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    73
    218
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    It's never been approved for poultry use specifically. We use it off label like ivomec and some others. Most companies do not want to go to the expense of having their product tested for use in such a small market.
     
  9. Gardeningmama

    Gardeningmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, I read the label well, and had my reservations. Then I came home, got online and researched all of the testimonies of the people that had used it, without finding any negative comments, so threw caution to the wind. So far so good. But thanks for the warning.[​IMG]
     
  10. MissFrog

    MissFrog Out Of The Brooder

    62
    5
    31
    Oct 14, 2012
    So far, so good. It seems that the combination Vaseline on the head (not very pretty!) and Sevin powder killed the monsters. Q-Tip looks better.
    We asked her breeder, Christina from TouchWood Silkies, what she thought and she suggested bathing the bird in Adams Flee and tick shampoo, that it works great for them. If someone knows how to wash a chicken... Pleeeease tell me! I don't think she's going to like it, especially that the mites are on her head... Is there a risk of drowning her or doing something terribly bad to her? I am thinking about filling the sink with warm water with shampoo in it, and dunking the chicken in the water and then adding some shampoo and rinsing with the spray from the sink. How do you do it?
    Catherine
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by