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#1 2009-06-12 15:56:30

The Rev
New Here
From: West of Stony Plain, Alberta
Registered: 2009-06-12
Posts: 9

Mite problems?

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to this forum (as of today), and I was wondering if it is at all common in Alberta to find problems with mites or lice on the birds.

My birds have been "home grown" for four years now.  I either incubate the eggs myself or let one or two of my hens go broody. 

There have been no introductions to the flock besides those chicks and I've never seen a wild bird in the coop itself.

My Buff Orpington rooster is with 9 hens.  They have a 100 sq ft coop and a 500 sq ft chicken yard.   

The rooster started picking feathers out of his chest and one of my hens didn't get sleek feathers after her last moult.   They kind of stick out all over, making her look fuzzy. 

Would this be a louse or mite problem or is this a behavioural problem?

My birds have never had such a hard time getting through a winter as they did this year, and I've never before kept them cooped up for as long as I did this spring.  (-43 temperatures in March didn't help!)  Could they simply have picked up bad habits during our never-ending cold snap, or do they have some physical problem?

The Rev


At last a hobby with a year-round growing season!

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#2 2009-06-12 17:10:49

Prairie Chick
I Love A.C.E.
From: Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 6528

Re: Mite problems?

:welcome: to the forum Rev :hi:


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If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.... Maya Angelou

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#3 2009-06-12 17:34:26

Dragowings
Active Member
From: Morinville, AB.
Registered: 2009-04-25
Posts: 252

Re: Mite problems?

hidden, are you suggesting dust with D.E. ?

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#4 2009-06-12 18:02:26

Dragowings
Active Member
From: Morinville, AB.
Registered: 2009-04-25
Posts: 252

Re: Mite problems?

How should a person apply DE to a chicken directly, cause you don't want to breath the dust right?  Also make sure it's the food grade type too, I think it's 1% cillium or something rather than 70% which I think is used in pools or something.

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#5 2009-06-12 18:43:47

The Rev
New Here
From: West of Stony Plain, Alberta
Registered: 2009-06-12
Posts: 9

Re: Mite problems?

I guess that's a yes, that mites can indeed be a problem in Alberta!  That must mean that I've been lucky so far in not seeing them sooner.

I've seen DE for sale in garden centres, but it's usually mixed with permethrine or some other insecticide for use on plants, is expensive, and comes in fairly small containers.   

Where can a person get the food grade DE that was mentioned?  Does it come in bags like grit?  If the pool grade DE is available, would it be possible to mix it with sand for the chickens to roll around in and dust themselves?

I haven't noticed any other changes in their behaviour and the rest of the flock don't seem to be any different than normal.  If I have mites, wouldn't the entire flock have been infested by now, since they were all cooped up together all winter?

I know I'm full of questions on this issue, but is there a connection between mite infestations and feather picking?   My chickens started that bad habit for the first time this winter.  (It was egg eating the winter before.) 

Oh, Hidden, I used to live in Maple Creek.   For all I know, I've met you!

Thanks for the help.

The Rev


At last a hobby with a year-round growing season!

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#6 2009-06-12 19:41:57

Reeves
Banned

Re: Mite problems?

I didn't read all the replies (busy) ...

Put dusting powder in all their dusting places. They can/will "dust" on their own.

Another product is the (I think...have to re-fresh my memory) Ivermectin.
One drop in their mouth (eye dropper) and it will kill all exturnal and inturnal "bugs".

 

#7 2009-06-12 20:12:54

lovemybirds
I Love A.C.E.
From: west of Red Deer
Registered: 2009-02-21
Posts: 1627
Website

Re: Mite problems?

Pool grade DE is TOXIC.  You can get big bags of feed grade DE at UFA.  I use rotenone 3% livestock dust for lice and mites,  you can also dust your cabbages with it.  It is only toxic for one day and I think it is approved for use with organics.  It is a natural products.  However, I am going to go the ivermectin route now to get those pesky internal parasites.  I am not sure about egg withdrawal times as it is off label.  Rev, WElcome to this site.  :welcome:


Ameraucanas, leghorns, isabrowns,  English type horses, jerseys, and one defiant standard poodle, and lots of hay.  Hope to breed 2010: Black Sumatra, silverspangled spitzhaubens,   barred rocks, australorps,  and more defiant standard poodles.  Married to the best man in the world and homeschooling 3 children.  Living life dedicated to our Heavenly Father.

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#8 2009-06-12 22:14:36

tamatik
A.C.E. Addicted
From: massey ont
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 663

Re: Mite problems?

hey Rev
welcome..I raised a small group of banties for a few yrs and found them over run with mites at one point. I contacted a friend who was a vets assistant and she said in the lab they used. Vapona No Pest Strip.. made by shell. Its a hard piece of plastic impreganated with some gawdawful concoction...i just hung it from their roost and within days the mites were gone...they dont eat it or pick at it its just like decoration. Home hardware sells them now and in small print it says "formerly vapona no pest strip"

My 2 cents
Gord

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#9 2009-06-12 23:54:42

Ipf
I Love A.C.E.
From: Salt Spring Island
Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 1655

Re: Mite problems?

Rotenone is indeed natural; nonetheless it has been clearly linked in scientific studies to Parkinson's disease. Natural doesn't necessarily mean harmless. Amanita mushrooms, Portuguese man-of war, poison hemlock . . .

Ivermectin and Eprinex are both off-label uses. They'll stay that way, because never get tested on birds;  the economics aren't worth it - factory farms don't need it, because they keep their birds in a clodsed environment, kill everything at once, and then sterilise. Only small-farmers' birds, with overlapping generations and access to the outdoors, are likely to have parasite problems.

One difference is that Eprinex has no withdrawal time for milk when used on dairy cows, while Ivermectin does. Eprinex works very well, and, because it applied directly to the bird, is less likely to inflict "collateral damage" (as they say), than Sevin dust or other more liberally applied substances.

Last edited by ipf (2009-06-12 23:57:56)

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#10 2009-06-13 02:29:59

lovemybirds
I Love A.C.E.
From: west of Red Deer
Registered: 2009-02-21
Posts: 1627
Website

Re: Mite problems?

Well I may go with eprinex.  Here is a little encouraging info on it from the ad : http://www.sheepman.com/ecommerce/ecomm … ubCatID=28

Last edited by lovemybirds (2009-06-13 02:32:01)


Ameraucanas, leghorns, isabrowns,  English type horses, jerseys, and one defiant standard poodle, and lots of hay.  Hope to breed 2010: Black Sumatra, silverspangled spitzhaubens,   barred rocks, australorps,  and more defiant standard poodles.  Married to the best man in the world and homeschooling 3 children.  Living life dedicated to our Heavenly Father.

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#11 2009-06-13 03:10:40

Prairie Chick
I Love A.C.E.
From: Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 6528

Re: Mite problems?

So should we be using the dust to prevent mites? :confused:


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If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.... Maya Angelou

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#12 2009-06-13 03:24:52

Ipf
I Love A.C.E.
From: Salt Spring Island
Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 1655

Re: Mite problems?

If by "dust" you mean rotenone, it's really just like other pesticides; it kills, it doesn't prevent, and it has its pros and cons.

What I look for in a parasite management (note, not elimination) control method is a balance between effectiveness and specificity. By specificity I mean that, either through application method or chemical composition, it inflicts a low damage level on other critters, whether they're earthworms, fish, bees, frogs or birds. Beware of sprays and things that are sprinkled everywhere.

The only way to completely prevent parasites is to keep your critters in a closed environment, and who would wish that on anyone or anything? chickens, livestock, or kids. The real world has parasites. Your skin is crawling with them.

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#13 2009-06-13 06:44:50

sheeplady
Active Member
From: St. Paul Alberta
Registered: 2009-06-08
Posts: 268

Re: Mite problems?

Ummmm wood ashes and they won't be harmful to you at all. My chickens love dusting in it and I haven't had any mite problems " knock on wood" for a long time

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#14 2009-06-13 15:18:07

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5569
Website

Re: Mite problems?

I second ipf on her choice of bug defense. I have used powders, natural and otherwise and will never again waste my time.

Be aware that lice live on your chickens 24/7/.   Mites live in your hen house and travel to your chickens to feed then go back to nooks and crannies. If you have mites you also have to treat your hen house. Have to fling your powder all over the place. Ever tried flinging powder onto the underside of a roost?

If you are not sure if you have mites, go into your hen house at night with a flashlight (bright one) and shine it on the roost. Teensy little dots, the size of the period on this computer screen, will be moving along the roosts. Drag your fingernail (or something hard) over one. It will pop and leave a red smear. Chicken blood. YOu have mites.

OR..if your eyesight isn't so keen anymore, stick your hand into a nest box. Wait.....wait....there it is! Feel them crawling all up your arm? They are quite happy to investigate you for food. Now you may rip your clothes off and run naked  and screaming through the barnyard into the house for a boiling hot shower.

Note ipf's remark that there is no milk withdrawl time or slaughter wait time if using Eprinex. This is not the same for Ivermectin. The two products differ somewhat. But tossing eggs is still a personal decision as is the use of this product.

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#15 2009-06-13 15:37:06

Prairie Chick
I Love A.C.E.
From: Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 6528

Re: Mite problems?

sheeplady wrote:

Ummmm wood ashes and they won't be harmful to you at all. My chickens love dusting in it and I haven't had any mite problems " knock on wood" for a long time

So do you have a box in the hen house you have ashes in that they use?  This is an awesome idea, i was wondering what i could use all those ashes for :D  Your hens don't look all greyish from the ashes?


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If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.... Maya Angelou

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