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Parasite problem

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Parasite problem

Post  Yorky on Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:59 pm

I noticed today that my pullets seem to have fleas/red mite/lice or all three! They are cleaned out once a fortnight and diatom is sprinkled around the coop and in their feed. It is usually my daughter who does this so today I did it myself. I replaced the lining newspaper, scraped the perches and sprinkled diatom around. I also sprinkled diatom around the hens tails and vents which seem to be the worst affected areas.

Is there anything else I can do? I haven't used disinfectant and would only use an organic-approved one.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Yorky
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Re: Parasite problem

Post  cheekychook on Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:01 pm

Hi Yorky,

Wow, it's pretty early to be getting parasites, it must be quite mild where you live! You're doing the right thing but perhaps there are other steps you can take to combat the little bug**rs!

Do your girls have access to a dustbath at all? If not you can supply them with one by filling a cat litter tray up with soil and kiddy safe sand mixed together. Sprinkle some anti-parasite powder into it and put the tray in the pen for the girls to enjoy! Chicken bathe in soil, dirt and dust to keep parasites at bay but it also helps them to keep cool in the hotter months.

Add a garlic tonic to their drink and try rubbing cloves of garlic along the perches and into any crevices in the nest box. Red mite in particular hate garlic.

Let us know how you get on!

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Re: Parasite problem

Post  Yorky on Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:37 am

Thanks for the reply. What's a 'garlic tonic' and where can I get it?

Yorky
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Re: Parasite problem

Post  cheekychook on Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:06 pm

You could use a product called 'Respite' which is normally used to treat colds and respiratory problems. You add this to their drink. Alternatively you can pop a couple of slightly bashed cloves of garlic to their drink but make sure though that they don't eat it as it will taint the taste of the eggs! Shocked

You can also buy garlic powder and add it to their feed and this, like the Respite, won't affect the taste of the eggs.

I have found that rubbing garlic cloves along the perches seems to be really effective against red mite...it makes the coop smell funky though! Laughing

Good luck and keep us posted on how you get on!

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Re: Parasite problem

Post  Yorky on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:51 pm

Thanks again. I've crushed a couple of garlic cloves in to their drinker.

In relation to the dustbath, I got a cat litter tray, play sand and garden soil yesterday. Should I mix half sand half soil? Also, will it not just turn in to a mudbath when it gets wet?

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Re: Parasite problem

Post  cheekychook on Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:50 pm

The sand just stops the soil from clumping up and allows it to filter easily through their feathers. Half and half should be fine.

I'd recommend you put the dustbath out during a dry period (is that conceivable at this time of year?), or if possible, under some shelter as it will turn to a mudbath which the chooks then won't use. It won't last long though, they'll have so much fun bathing, they end up kicking most of the soil out but they do look like they're in heaven throughout the process...it's very entertaining to watch! Very Happy

You'll be amazed at how many of them insist on having a dustbath at the same time. I've had 4 in a makeshift dustbath trying to bathe in one go! Rolling Eyes You couldn't tell which leg/wing/head belonged to who! Very Happy My girls now find the mole hills a great place to bathe and in the dry summer months create their own little hollow to bathe in.

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Re: Parasite problem

Post  Ronnytigs on Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:05 am

Laughing I must admit watching my girls having a dust bath is just the funniest thing.
I thought something was wrong with one of them the first time I saw it, then I realised she was in seventh heaven. Wink
Two of mine squash into a tiny hole they have made in their earth run, and they sit there with one wing up looking absolutely blissful. Cool

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Re: Parasite problem

Post  cheekychook on Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:05 pm

lol! I know what you mean! I thought mine had gone lame the first time I saw them having a dustbath!

They do look like their in heaven when their in dustbath mode especially in hot weather. Laughing

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Re: Parasite problem

Post  flump on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:31 am

My husband isnt too happy about them dust bathing ................he has put all new soil/compost in the raised beds and most of it is on the outside now where the girls have scratched it up for their baths lol.I also think they look quite sweet when they are sunbathing,i thought there was something up with mine when they just laid there,wing stretched out motionless,i rushed indoors to get my hen book only to realise they were just sunbathing !
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Re: Parasite problem

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