Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bug Me Not....

This is getting to be the time of year when it's essential to prepare for the winter season and get rid of what may BUG your chickens.  There are all sorts of annoyances for poultry, and some may seek to destroy your flock of birds.  Red mites are one of those creepy crawly little creeps!  I've not had that happen with my girls yet (knock on wood!), but they are blood suckers and drain the life right out of your hens by feasting on their blood and leaving poultry anemic, causing eventual death.  Red mites like to hide in corners and the underside of roosts - and they will scatter in groups if bright lights are shown on them.
Scaly Leg Mites are another horror - they are painful for the birds and will get under the skin and lift the scales as they burrow in for their feast.  The toes and legs of the chicken will have a flaky or moldy appearance, where they should be smooth and healthy looking.
Lice (no picture this time!) can also be a concern.  These are usually easy to see if you part the feathers down to the skin under the wing and vent areas, but if the bird is highly infested, you can see them crawling on top of the feathers as well; there will be noticeable "group movement"!  UGGGH!

These are just a few of the bugs to be treating your flock for before winter sets in.  Prevention is the best medicine.  I treat my hens with powder and do a wing clip this time of year.  I'd rather do it while its still pleasant out, and again in the spring, than to have to treat in dead of winter.  I had brought in new hens last winter and had to treat the entire flock because of something the new girls brought in because I was too trusting of the person I bought the 2 hens from and didn't ask enough of the right questions.  I don't want to go through THAT again!!!   
TIP:  It's always best to isolate new layers for a few weeks, worming them and treating them for parasites, before introducing them to your healthy birds!

I've heard a good thing to use year round is called Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth.  Has anyone had any experiences using it?  Here is some information I found on the on the link below and scroll towards the bottom of the page.  This could be a very useful product for more than just hens! 

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (Fossil Shell Flour)

 Taking Care of Business -
the Chicken Wrangler


Jane said...

Good luck with keeping all of those chickens healthy!


Angela said...

I hope your girls don't get those nasty bugs!


Brenda Kula said...

I didn't see an email address for you. So I'm writing here to let you know your blog has been featured on mine at Welcome Wagon Friday. So glad to have you in our little community!

Becca's Dirt said...

Welcome to blogland. I just popped over from Brendas Welcome Wagon at Cozy Little House. I gave my chickens to my mom. They have of course and they have quite a few now - maybe 15. Have a nice day.

Pamela said...

Hi There! Brenda sent me over she featured you on her blog.
I love chickens and just had to become a follower!!! Seriously me and my 11yr old son love them so much eveytime my hubby takes us to the fair the chickens are the first thing we want to see!
I look forward to learning all about chickens on your blog!
Pamela from French Buttons :)

Debbie said...

You are just a wealth of chicken information girl!! I'm missing raising hens..but they wouldn't be too welcome in our subdivision at the lake.

devin said...

Your blog makes me so happy! i love when my blog reader pops up with a new story about chickens!

Laura said...

Thanks for your comment on my page the other day. I got to say... I thought the 'chicken wrangler' was just a cool name, but now I see that you are in fact a 'chicken wrangler'... cool! Did you ever get to watch the chicken show with Jamie Oliver? It's about treating them with respect.. I think you would lurve it, as it looks like you care about your babies! Maybe you could find it on the internet? You're making me want to get some hens... if only I had the land... and I think my cat would be a little too interested in them! Have a great weekend. Lx

wheatgerm said...

thats alot of work

Vickie said...

Hi there - just found your blog today. I'll have to earmark it when I get my chickens - hopefully next spring! Yep, moving to the farm and I've been wanting chickens FOREVER!

Have a wonderful day!

Rose said...

have no chicken knowledge but reading your blog gives me more in my mind and understanding about the efforts people wo raise chickens have to deal with. thanks for educating me.

Cindy said...

Hi..Diatomaceous great!! We used it every year in the hen house..and more recently in our garden and the yard with a flea problem.Ants hate it!! I am a new follower to your blog. I live in another neighborhood. Come by and visit sometime. I am one of the few country girls in my neighborhood in blogville.We use to raise goats,chickens, pigs,cows and horses. Some have travelled with us..some have camped out in our kitchen..yep..I am country! lol

Looking forward to reading about your life.

Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

Chatty Crone said...

You are such a good mom to those chickens - I am sure you will look your over and check them out and will take care of the bugs - if they get them. But they will not!


The Waiting said...

How do you treat the scaly mouldy feet mite thing? We got a rooster, hen and two chicks las fall and the rooster's feet are very gnarled and deformed looking. We thought it was normal but I have been suspicious. They look painful and cracked and thick compared to the other guys. Should I take him to the vet? (In my town you would get laughed at for taking a rooster to a vet instead of just sending him to the stew pot.)
Will I have to treat everyone?