Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

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grubbysoles
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Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #266842 grubbysoles
Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:56 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm so disloyal, I haven't been on the forum for ages, but I have a chicken emergency!!! One of my hens seems to have red mites. I've dusted her with powder 3 times so far, and this weekend I will scrub the henhouse out with poultry shield. But I'm worried about the state of my hen - she is very down in the dumps, has spent the whole day sitting down, and when she has tried to walk she just doesn't seem to be able to manage it - her legs give way under her. I've checked her everywhere and I can't see any other kind of injury - her legs don't seem to be broken in any way, nor are they cut. Her vent is fairly clean although when she does poo it is very runny. Is it normal for a hen with red mites to get so run down that she can't even walk?? And how long will it take with regular red mite powder to see an improvement in her?

I'm about to go out and check on her as I don't think she would even have been able to hobble to bed, so I'll pick her up and try to make her comfy somewhere. I'm really worried she might die in the next day or two :( So far the other hens are fine (I only have 3) but I'm throwing red mite powder over them regularly just in case.

Does this all sound normal for a red mite infestation? Will my chicken get better? I've not had this before.

Thanks for any help!!!

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darkbrowneggs
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Re: Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #266843 darkbrowneggs
Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:38 pm

Red mite live in cracks in the housing and only come out in the dark to suck blood. Redmite powder is usually made to be applied to the shed surfaces not to the birds.

But there are various mites and lice which live on chickens, the nastiest being Northern Fowl mite which I understand are almost invisible. Is there a reason you feel your bird has redmite? what insects do you see when you examine her?

A bad infection of any mite can kill a bird, especially a smaller one, so quick action may be necessary if she is as bad as you say, and if it is some kind of mite, then get some Johnsons Cage Bird Mite Spray from a pet shop tomorrow and spray her, especially under her wings, round her bum and between her legs, then repeat after a few days.

But you don't say how old she is, and how long she has been laying, and it may be something else. When she tries to stand does she drag a leg or a wing. Or when she stands does she look a bit like a penguin?

grubbysoles
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Re: Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #266847 grubbysoles
Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:15 pm

Hi darkbrowneggs,

I immediately assumed red mite as it's the only one I've heard of!! She is a light sussex, almost 4 years old, she is usually a good layer (about 5 a week) but she has not been laying for a couple of months. She has loads of little reddish brown dots crawling all over her feathers, I also see them on her head and near her comb. At any one time there are probably a few hundred. They seem to disappear when I dust her, but when I check later in the day they are all back again :( She started off limping, dragging one leg behind her, then couldn't even do that. She can't even stand now - today I put the water bowl and a smaller bowl of food right next to her and she did eat and drink from them. I've not done anything to her legs as they look ok but, looking at some other forums, do you think it would be worth putting vaseline on her legs? This seems to be what a lot of people do to suffocate mites.

I have 2 other hens who seem totally unaffected by anything! I will definitely try to get some of that spray tomorrow. She's a beautiful bird, I really want to save her!!

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Re: Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #266851 diggernotdreamer
Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:25 pm

You say the vent is clean, below the vent do any of the feathers have a sort of white crust? if so this is also a mite and this can cause problems and can affect the nerves, I had a small hen that was quite run down, limping and on closer examination had this problem, I cleaned off all the crust and within a few days the hen had stopped limping. I have a wormery and if I have any hens that are ailing, I feed them worms, I have had a cockerel that nearly died on me with a respiratory problem and would not eat, I got some raw mince and popped tiny balls of mince to the back of his throat, I rolled the balls in mixed corn as he got used to being fed like this and within a few days he was eating on his own, (he is still alive 2 years later) sometimes I have fed the ailing hens worms in the same way, opening the beaks and putting to the back of the throat, they must contain lots of good stuff, I have saved many hens in this way, as sometimes they go into a trance and seem to forget to eat. I have been using diatomaceous earth for the last few years, I dust all the perches with it, put in nesting boxes and rub in anywhere there are cracks where redmites live, it seems to work really well and is chemical free, some people even add it to food to help keep crop worms down, you can dust the hens round the back end with it to keep the lice at bay, have done this with great effect.

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darkbrowneggs
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Re: Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #266852 darkbrowneggs
Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:28 pm

I have sent you a pm, but here are a couple of links which may help idenitfy the problem - it certainly sounds as though she has a very bad infestation of some sort of mite/lice, and the sooner you can sort it the better her chance of survival

POULTRY MITE


PARASITES ON POULTRY

If as you say they are round her comb you won't want to spray her face, so some vaseline rubbed all round the area would help, and rubbing some on her legs won't do any harm, even if she doesnt have scaly leg.

Also when were they all wormed last, and what with?

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darkbrowneggs
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Re: Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #266871 darkbrowneggs
Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:10 pm

How is your little hen doing ?

grubbysoles
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Re: Red Mite-ridden hen :-(

Post: #267139 grubbysoles
Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:02 pm

I'm afraid it didn't go well for my little hen :( I went out the morning after your posts - armed with vaseline, warm water, a towel, an extension lead and a hairdryer!! I couldn't get the anti-microbial shampoo that quickly but I thought I could at least wash away the visible mites and make a start that way, but I opened the door to the chicken house and she had died in the night :( If only I'd posted on here a couple of days sooner. I've been giving the whole hen house a really good scrub out this weekend and using Poultry Shield. The other 2 hens still don't seem to have any mites but at least now I know what to look for, and I know the difference between red mites and Northern Fowl mites. I now have the caged bird mite spray and the poultry shield, so I feel far better prepared to act very quickly if this happens again with one of the others. Sad to lose her, though.


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