Treating Anemia from Mites and/or Worms


14 Years
Dec 20, 2008
One of my bantam roosters had a bad infestation of mites over the winter, and I didn't realize it until I noticed his comb and wattles had become very pale and he lacked his usual energy. I bathed him and treated him with topical Ivomec, so the varmints are under control (which would also take care of any worms).

Now I need to treat what looks like anemia from loss of blood. It seems that dietary iron and protein supplements would help, but I don't want to give him stuff intended for humans. So far, I've been giving him iron-rich foods, scrambled eggs for protein, and poultry vitamins/electrolytes in his water (I don't think that has quite what he needs), but don't see any improvement in comb color, though his energy is a little better.

Has anyone on BYC had to treat their chickens for this kind of anemia, and if you did and were successful, how did you do it?
I've never had to treat for anemia. I think you're on the right track with scrambled eggs. I also recommend providing him gamebird feed which is about 22% protein. You can also add poultry nutri drench to his water, it's loaded with vitamins and minerals. Gotta be careful though, too much supplements could have consequences as well as nothing at all. I'd stop the gamebird feed and nutri drench as soon as you see the first sign of improvement and return to feeding his regular feed.
Thanks Dawg53. The high-protein gamebird feed sounds like a good idea for a temporary diet boost.
I figured the scrambled eggs would have plenty of protein, and the yolks would have some iron. He's also getting a vitamin-electrolyte supplement that is specifically for poultry (from Durvet), but it doesn't seem to include iron. I'm also giving him whole grains, and he's getting some fruit/veggies that have vitamin C so whatever iron he does get will be better absorbed.

It would be preferable to have his iron sources all be from food, rather than concentrated supplements. Like you said, it is too easy to go overboard with the supplements. That's why I'm wondering what other people have used to build up their chickens' blood after an infestation like this.
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I've found the best source to build up the blood again is scrambled eggs and chicken thighs. I bake the chicken thighs, take off the skin and throw it away, take the meat off the bones and put the meat in the food processor. Process it until it is the size of peas. Give each chicken a table spoon per day. Pop the rest in the fridge. It's not time consuming. Just make sure you back enough chicken to last a couple days and do it again.

Frozen chopped spinach is another favorite. You don't even have to cook it. Leave a package (or how ever many you need for your number of chickens) in the refrigerator overnight, by morning it should be thawed. Put it on a paper plate for them and you don't even have to do dishes.
I like the idea of using thawed-out spinach from the freezer, purpletree23. Maybe I'll give it to the whole flock just to watch the feeding frenzy.

The scrambled eggs, whole grains/raw veggies and vitamin/electrolyte combo seems to be helping -- he has much more energy and looks livelier, and has a good appetite, though his comb and wattles are still kind of pale. But I think I see a little color coming back. The dark-meat chicken idea sounds like a good one too. I also wonder whether a bit of cooked liver would be even better.

Thanks again, folks.
I found your post very interesting as my poor birds are suffering the same fate. In our case we only have 9 mixed chickens and bantams. First the designer Burford Browns starting seriously losing feathers (and they were not being pecked by others) but when my dear Pekins started losing condition and feathers I started to worry. I talked with our vet and he is certain it is mites so we too doused the hen house with Iovec. Our summer in England has been warm, we have wormed them, we have put vitamins in the water, put mite powder on them but still they are now all going quite bald at the back and have seriously pale combs. Interestingly not all have the anemia but I guess it is only a matter of time. I was hoping a colder winter would kill them off.

What more can we do? I have already lost one of my bantums. Thanks for any help or advice.
Cold winter will not kill mites. Ivomec products will kill mites. It would be best to ask your vet how much Ivomec to use on your birds as there are several ways to administer the various ivomec products.
I know that when liquid baby vitamins are suggested that they always caution not to use the kind with iron in it as it can kill chickens so don't give any iron supplement. I would just stick to nutrient rich foods. It will take some time to rebuild their health I would think.
I found this post very helpful! My girls (3 months) are also recovering from mites and are thin and anemic. I have picked up poultry cell at tractor supply (multi vitamin plus iron) and gave them each 2mls straight away. Then added about 5 mls into a gallon of water. How long should I do this for? I have made scrambled eggs and given it with a clove of garlic (prior to giving vitamins).

I am spraying coop for the mites and dusting the girls. Does anyone know how long it takes for a chicken to bounce back and for their combs to regain color and weight?
I have a very sick anemic chook. She's only about a year old and not doing well. I was thinking about giving her minced chicken livers. She's only wanting to eat bread. I've also started syringe feeding her a mix of probiotic yoghurt mixed with scrambled egg. She's drinking water. She's so skinning. It took me a couple of weeks to realise she had mites because the first few times I checked her I couldn't see any. How's everyone else's sick chickens doing?

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