Starved with leg mite-refeeding advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eklecktika, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Eklecktika

    Eklecktika New Egg

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    Apr 19, 2011
    I offered to take a few birds from a neighbor who has been very unwell this winter. The birds are very thin, look and act as though they've not been fed for several weeks, and they were thirsty enough I didn't think I could keep water in front of them.

    The roo (lovely buff Orpington) has leg mites horribly bad-I have never seen such a bad case. He looks like he is wearing galoshes. He is built as though he should weigh maybe 8-10 pounds, and *might* weigh 5? He's very wild, haven't gotten a weight yet. The two hens are equally malnourished. He is not lame, however, but as bad as his legs are, I'd expect severe lameness in a hen.

    I have regular layer feed, non-medicated, free choice, and as it's subzero and I have no outside water, I water them twice a day. It is generally unfrozen when I get there pre-roost in the evening, so the house is relatively warm.

    --Should I supplement with canned dog food or hamburger once/twice a day? Something else? What? I've refed starved horses, but never a starved bird!

    --How long should I wait before treating for the mites? I'm sure the old boy is uncomfortable, but don't want to kill him off by treating too soon; I plan to get mineral oil and soak him at night, but would like to treat with internal dewormer to clear the whole system once he's strong enough

    --Once I've wormed the trio, how should I disinfect the coop? It is wooden, linoleum floor, and unpainted (little...3'x4' or so) Should I treat regularly til spring, then boot them out and paint the inside to block the mites? Is this a scourge I'll have forever now?

    I've had hens for several years, but this is the first time I've had to deal with unhealthy birds and I'm realizing I don't know much about the finer points. I've read as many threads on leg mites as I can, so I'm comfortable with HOW to treat the mites, but none touch on treating starved birds.

    Thank you so much for your help! I'm sure the girls appreciate it too; I'm sure Simon will as well once he realizes people = food.
     
  2. Eklecktika

    Eklecktika New Egg

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    Apr 19, 2011
    I should add the vet has injectable ivermectin waiting for me to pick up tomorrow or Thursday; she mentioned that he may need antibiotics as well as the wormer.

    How do I know if abx are warranted, without obvious signs of infection?

    Thank you for your help!!
    Laurel
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    You'll have to do the mineral oil soaks probably 3 times a week, it may take a few months to heal his legs. The ivermectin injectable should kill the mites as well. You can get some Nu-Stock and put it on the roosts, mites wont go near that stuff and wont bother the birds when perched at night. Mix buttermilk with scrambled egg in the layer feed to make a mash for them to eat for a week to ten days. Buttermilk will help rebuild their immune systems better than yogurt. The scrambled egg is extra protein to help rebuild strength. Make sure you keep them seperated from your existing flock...ie biosecurity.
    Forgot to add that you can put Nu-Stock on the legs instead of the mineral oil if you wish, but it wont be cheap like the mineral oil.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  4. Eklecktika

    Eklecktika New Egg

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    Apr 19, 2011
    I'll look around for the nu-stock, I've never heard of it, but Should be easy enough to find.

    My old flock got decimated by a neighbors dog last fall, so I was out of the chook business until the three refugees arrived, which makes things simpler.

    Buttermilk will be tough to find, no ones has any cows milking this time of year-maybe I can find some kefir though.

    Any need to worry about deworming too soon, or just inject him and be done with it? I need to do some looking on where to inject a chook, in the thigh I presume.

    He's a tough old goat, as thin as he is, he still made it plain that we'll need some lessons on who is really in charge out there. If he doesn't straighten up, I may cure his leg mites by removing his head
    Thank you for the advice-much appreciated!

    Laurel
     

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