What’s Bugging Bagheera?

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micstrachan

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8 Years
Apr 10, 2016
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Bagheera keeps shaking her head. I checked under her wings and around her vent for signs of lice or mites and didn’t see anything. Do I need to take a better look?

My flock has something respiratory, but nobody has symptoms right now. Last weekend I looked in Bagheera’s mouth and she looked clean.

I thought she might start molt when I noticed this behavior, but she hasn’t started yet and she still likes to cuddle.

 
Hmmm... I have seen those hovering around the mint, which is up against the run, so that’s a definite possibility. Thanks! Those are the little flies that look like bees (or bees that look like flies?), right?
 
Those litter no seeum buggers have over 5000 species in the family, so there is a lot of variation in how they look. Flies and stinging insects have been terrible this year in our neck of the woods. I've read that if you fill a bowl with a half-and-half mix of dish soap and vinegar, and set it out on a counter, the vinegar attracts the little buggers, and the viscous soap drowns them.
 
Hmmm... I have seen those hovering around the mint, which is up against the run, so that’s a definite possibility. Thanks! Those are the little flies that look like bees (or bees that look like flies?), right?
For our birds it's tiny gnats that causes the quick head shaking. You cant see them unless you get close to the ground where the bird is. A box fan in the pen blows the gnats away.
A fan will work for other pesky flying insects as well.
 
If you get the chance, take a look inside her mouth for anything out of the ordinary, especially the roof of her mouth.
Does her nares look clear and free from debris? Any wheezing?
 
If you get the chance, take a look inside her mouth for anything out of the ordinary, especially the roof of her mouth.
Does her nares look clear and free from debris? Any wheezing?
I looked last weekend and it was clear. I’ll check again. No wheezing. No dirty nares, but a couple others have dust build up around their nares. My flock has a persistent, yet seemingly mild respiratory illness.
 
Any chance it might be mold spores in the soil or inside the coops, bedding/fungal issues?
Yes, that’s a possibility, though nothing obvious and it’s pretty dry around here right now and all summer. There was a mold exposure in the spring, but I sent a hen in to UC Davis this summer for necropsy and there was no mold issue (I asked the vet that specifically).
Bagheera’s crop was not empty this morning. I will not be able to do any assessment nor care tomorrow since I will leave before they get up and get home after they go to bed. I got home after they were roosting tonight, too. Tough week to be a chicken in my flock; I’m usually quite attentive, but we’re having thirty (yes, 30!) additional meetings over a two month period at work for strategic planning. There are three nights this week they won’t get to free range (including tonight), but that might be a good thing for a possible crop issue.
 

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