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Chicken Parasites and Treatments

Posted by Ryan - Dine a Chook UK on

All animals, pets and poultry are exposed to a variety of parasites when in the outdoors. Here are the most common Chicken Parasites and Treatments

Chicken Lice

Lice do not bite the Chicken but instead eat dead skin. They make Chickens extremely uncomfortable. One of the signs of chickens with lice is they start pecking at themselves. Lice infestation causes irritation and also wounds. Other hens in the coop or pen are attracted to blood. The chickens even begin pecking at the wounded chicken. This can cause depression, infection as well as the death of the bird.

The introduction of unclean new hens to the flock is also another way of lice transmission. You should treat new birds for lice before introducing to the coop. To treat lice, spray the infected Chicken with sulphur based dust sprays. Malathion solution baths are also useful.

Red Mites on Chickens

Hands down, Red mites are a severe problem as they spread incredibly fast. Red Chicken mites breed fast in damp as well as dark areas. If a chicken is infected with red mites it will allow them to spread through the entire flock fast. Red Chicken mites can breed up to several million in as short as a few days. Red chicken mites may also become a problem for other household pets including cats and dogs. Household pets may bring the infestation into your home.

Red Mites feed on blood and are a major cause of death in Chickens. Any infestation must be swiftly addressed. They are generally transmitted to flock by wild birds as well as rodents. Red mites are blackish red in colour and prefer dark or poorly lit areas. When there is evidence of red mites in the area, a Chicken bath in Malathion could cure the Chicken. However, you must treat the breeding ground of the mite, not just the bird.

All hiding places of the red mites must be disinfected if not burned.

The Best way to combat mites is by keeping the pen or coop clean. Regularly clean the coop naturally with Apple Cider Vinegar. Do not underestimate mites. Low numbers irritate Chickens. Red Mites in large enough quantities can cause death to your Hens. Another option for killing off minute pests and bugs is to treat the coop floor with boiling water.

If the chickens and poultry are afflicted, Chicken Vet Mite Powder can be applied to the hen to kill off mites. You can purchase this product at www.chickenvet.co.uk. It is recommended to replace the bedding regularly.

The simple reality is mites can be lessened and controlled by regularly cleaning the coop. There are many reasons outside parasites to regularly clean the chicken coop. This article will share with you the importance of Why you should keep your chicken coop clean. Also another great idea is to use a droppings board

Scaly-leg mites on Chickens

You will find scaly-leg mites in between the scales of the leg of the fowl. Once they penetrate the scales, the scales lift and cause lameness in the Chicken. Unlike the red mites, scaly-leg mites come from a ground infestation.

To remove the mites, brushing the Chicken leg with warm soapy water. Then apply the leg with a mixture of methyl and olive oil in equal parts plus half a part of kerosene. This will kill any remaining scaly leg mites on chickens. Make sure though that the solution penetrates the scales.

Fowl ticks

These Chicken parasites are very similar in nature and treatment to the red mites. The fowl ticks however produce tick fever, paralysis, and death when unchecked. 

For further advice on treatment and prevention of Chicken Lice, Red Mites, Scaly Leg mites and Fowl ticks speak to your vet professional.