Mites? Sickness?

Question

Mites? Sickness? One of my two 2-year-old chickens died of some disease/injury yesterday.

It might have given that disease to my last chicken because she now sits down a lot. (She still seems healthy though.)

She eats and drinks well too. But, today, I saw MANY LITTLE black/reddish bugs crawling over the hen. Mostly on the tail area but some on all the other parts.

She doesn’t seem to be affected, but just a little irritated. I think this happened last year but nothing happened.

This year however, it is probably lonely and it might be weaker because of a possible disease. I am trying to send this chicken to a 4 H to be less lonely but I don’t want to give a sick chicken.

Any advice on what to do? And what are these pests and what do they do? I read that animals can die from mites if they are not treated within 3 days.

Answer
Chickens with mite infestations can die. Mites usually suck blood from under the skin and can deplete a chicken to such a state of weakness and dehydration that they just give up.

The discomfort from mites doesn’t help.

Anytime you find bugs crawling on your chickens is time to act fast. The longer they stay on the chickens the bigger problem you have.

Mite depend on a good food source to breed and multiply. They will be in the environment in various stages of development from eggs to larvae and adults.

Just treating the chickens isn’t enough, the environment must be treated as well.


If you no longer want to keep chickens you might call around to find a local bird rescue. They are often willing to treat a chicken with this problem and take good care of it.

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Pyrethrin Spray?

by: Anonymous

I bought a 8 in 1 ULTRA CARE pyrethrin spray to kill mites for birds. I sprayed the chicken and its coop. I don't think that I sprayed all feathers with mites but i sprayed the tail, wings, and back.

I also sprayed the coop sides (but not the bottom where the chicken sits)many times. The only problem is that it smells like the spray so is that harmful?

It also tells me to spray no more than twice a week. I don't think I sprayed and killed all of the mites on the chicken so should I still follow this rule?

The 4 H I contacted already replied and told me that someone may be willing to take her, but they told me to wait a week for a response. Will that be enough time or should I contact the bird rescue?
Thank You!

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