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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I had decided to give 2 of my white silkies a bath. I discovered in their crests lots of bugs moving around! They are red and plentiful! So I was disgusted! I washed both birds with flea and tick shampoo, as that is all that I had. While I was inspecting them I saw scabs on their heads, soIi am assuming they are infested with MITES!!!! Although I could see them with my baked eye. I freaked out! I decided to go to my vet and I bought Revolution for dogs. The vet told me not to bother washing the 3 other chickens, just to apply 3 drops of Revolution on their skin. So I did. Have I done enough to kill them off? Is dealing with mites going to be an on going thing? How long will it fake for the mites to die from the Revolution?? Should I bath all the birds?? And wash down the cage?

I don't think I want to keep my chickens if they are going to be a harbour for filth and diseases! I am really freaking out!! Advice is needed desperately!

Thank You!
 

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If you are going to keep chickens you need to get over your revulsion. Its part of the deal. And its your responsibility to make certain they are kept in check.

You should not multiple treat with different treatments, there can be a chemical reaction that would not be good for the birds. The flea and tick shampoo should have been enough to kill off what is there. In ten days it will be necessary to retreat for the eggs that hatch during that time period.
 

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They harbor filth and disease no more than the family cat or dog. Educate yourself about the animal and go from there...it's a definite learning curve for those unfamiliar with the specie. I'd been keeping chickens for over 30 years before I ever saw a mite or lice on one and that was only because the chickens had come from a place of very poor husbandry practices. They are currently living without mites or lice and will continue to do so, I'm sure.

Chickens are pretty hygienic when given the opportunity to exist in their natural environment and here's a clue, a cage is not their natural environment. ;)

Here's a link for understanding what types of mites you may be dealing with and I encourage you to do further study on ways you can prevent or control these in a back yard setting without pulling out the heavy chemicals the first time you see a bug...that is...not unless you like to consume insecticides and other poisons in your meat and eggs.

http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf

Unless your chickens are going to a show, you only weaken their defenses against these parasites by washing their feathers and skin. They need the oil in their feathers for weatherproofing and drying out their skin with soaps just leaves them more vulnerable to parasites.

Give them a good place to dust, which can help kill these parasites in a more natural way and stop washing away their natural oils. Unless you see a chicken finding a bath tub and washing themselves with soap and water, consider it unnatural for them. They take baths in dust and it does an excellent job of keeping them clean and parasite free.
 

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I'm going to add something to Bee's comments about dust bathing. Some like a good mud bath. I've had several that would plop in to the first mud puddle they found and went to town. The next day the birds sparkled. I've never seen a bath with shampoo accomplish the same results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So should I not wash the other 3 birds? I will just leave the medication work? After how long should expect the lice or mites to due, so I can do a good cleaning if the cage? Should I still let them out to go outside, I don 't want to spread these paradises all over my lawn.
 

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So should I not wash the other 3 birds? I will just leave the medication work? After how long should expect the lice or mites to due, so I can do a good cleaning if the cage? Should I still let them out to go outside, I don 't want to spread these paradises all over my lawn.
I would suggest you do some reading before you go any further. There seems to be a little bit of a disconnect with the information already given and what you are currently asking. Let the current medicine work and use the time to learn more.

The mites are not going to cause disease right away or infest your entire lawn. They have found what they like to eat and are living there. The birds need to be kept outside on the grass and natural soils in order to prevent this from happening again, so they can live normally in a natural bird habitat where they can perform their own hygiene.

Take a breath and settle down into the fact that you own chickens now and nothing that is happening is so urgent that you can't take some time to learn about the animal you possess and learn about how to prevent and treat for parasites on their bodies and in their coop.

They do have a coop, don't they?
 

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Bee is exactly right. Its time for some self educating in the care and keeping of a healthy flock. Running around without direction can and will make things worse.

And she caught it earlier with her mention of birds being kept in a cage. They are prime targets for mite infestations because they don't have any way to rid themselves of the pests.

They depend on us to know what it is we're doing with them.
 

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Hello. I'm concerned why you are worried about your lawn? I'm sure that's where they have gotten the bugs in the first place.. Also would like more info? What kind of "cage" do you have for these animals? What size and what are the dimensions? How many birds would you say you have? I hope it all works out for them! A little bit of bugs is treatable when in the correct environment. I took in a couple hens and with time I found a few parasites on them. It was all resolved with no harm. Please keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lol, I know all that! I was just wondering if it was necessary to wash them again after a week to get rid of the dead lice or mites, not sure which they have!

Does anybody know how long it takes for the medication to take effect ?
 

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Don't wash them again. You'll know if the medicine is working by the absence of live critters crawling on the birds. Please give them a place to dust so they can rid themselves of this misery and also the dead bugs.
 

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We can't see how bad the infestation was. From what you said it sounds like seeing just a couple would be a major problem.

Tell us what you've done so far with them.

And the birds being white, you will still see the after affects of the bugs and the crests will remain discolored for a while. With ample dust bathing opportunities the crests will become cleaner.

And for the record, Silkies are much more prone to getting mites than non crested breeds. I've got both and its always the Silkies that have them show up. They are also harder to treat when it comes to scaly leg mites due to all of the foot and leg feathers.
 

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Revolution takes two hours to start taking effect. It is a parasiticide, rather than a pesticide, which means the mites need to take a blood meal before they are killed, rather than being killed on contact as with pesticides. Like others have said, don't wash again as washing can reduce the efficacy of the revolution. The selamectin in the revolution, spreads through the first layer of skin, and in the feather follicles. If you wash, and strip the follicles of their oils, some of the medication will go with it. It is off-label use in anything but cats and dogs, but it does seem to be effective at getting rid of many parasites, in many species. Because it is killing the mites as they bite, you want to keep the chickens in the area that the mites might be present. As they bite, they are killed so that gets rid of adult mites. You then want to clean, clean clean and remove any eggs that may be shed in the environment. Revolution only works for 28 days so it may need to be applied a few months in a row to break the life cycle of egg, larvae and adult mite. For example if there are still eggs in the area, after 28 days or so the chickens won't have the medication in board and the whole process will start again with the newly hatched mites. Once this infestation is taken card of, I would suggest you look into preventative measures that others are suggesting to keep this from happening again. Good luck!
 

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Yes, just dirt on the ground...they will work it into what they need over time. If you don't have a way for them to get to a place to dust on a daily basis, you can fill a bin with sand, mulch, and soil and if you have any wood ashes it's a nice touch. Sweet lime is also something good to put in a dusting spot. Just mix all those together and let them have access to it.
 

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Bee, I'm new to chickens,too. I've been using organic peat moss that we got from Lowe's that comes in a 3 cubit foot bag. I dug a hole in their coop (tractor I think it's called. It has no bottom.) about as deep as they could fit into while dust bathing and filled it with the peat moss. They really seem to like it and use it often. Is that a good material to use? By the way my chickens are almost 4 weeks old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Kessy and Bee that was some wonderful advice!!! I got all of my questions answered!!

Have a good one!
 

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Bee, I'm new to chickens,too. I've been using organic peat moss that we got from Lowe's that comes in a 3 cubit foot bag. I dug a hole in their coop (tractor I think it's called. It has no bottom.) about as deep as they could fit into while dust bathing and filled it with the peat moss. They really seem to like it and use it often. Is that a good material to use? By the way my chickens are almost 4 weeks old.
I know folks are using the mulch in the absence of having loose dust in their yards or coops for the use of bathing. Most report the chickens really like it and are finding it effective. I don't know how much it would lay on or dust the actual skin but it could be good for cleansing the skin and feathers of debris.

I checked one of my gals on the roost the other night and could barely see her skin for the dust on it and in all her feathers. When I sat her back on the roost she gave a little shake and it looked like Pig Pen off the Charlie Brown cartoons...just a cloud of dust. Not sure if the mulch can provide that level of dust but it's better than nothing at all, that's for sure!
 
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