Chickens: Downy Eaters

Poultry farmers in their yard often face the problem of exposing some parts of the body of chickens. This happens when dangerous feather-eating insects “attack” feathered pets. Sometimes the bird loses plumage completely.

Downy females “glue” the eggs they lay to the body or plumage of hens. After a week or two, larvae appear from the eggs, which after 10-15 days become adult insects. During the transformation from a larva to a sexually mature parasite, downy-eaters “pass” three molts. Without a chicken, an insect can live only two to four days. Rare parasites live up to eight days.

You can “pick up” a downy feather from your neighbors in the poultry house – from other individuals, in the litter, nests, dust baths, on perches and in other places. These parasites can be spread by mosquitoes. Mostly insects parasitize in winter and spring, when the bird, for the most part, is in the chicken coop. If the chicken dies, the feather-eaters try to find a new “owner” as soon as possible. They often choose roosters as victims rather than laying hens. But they can live on feathered individuals of different ages, both on young animals and on adults. The former endure “suffering” much harder than their older generation.

With a strong defeat of the body of the chicken by parasites, bald spots appear, itching begins, the neck and head are exposed, inflammation of the skin is observed, egg production and fatness decrease. The development of purulent conjunctivitis is not excluded.

For the treatment of birds, dusts, aerosols, emulsions and solutions – insecticides are used. They kill insects but cannot destroy their eggs. Therefore, the treatment procedure must be repeated after 10-15 days. The method of treatment largely depends on the time when the chickens became infected and how they are kept.

The most effective is a 0,2% oxamate emulsion. It does not adversely affect feathered pets and the eggs they lay. Good remedies are also: karbofos emulsion (0,5%) and chlorophos solution (XNUMX%). However, when using them, laying eggs should not be eaten, and the funds should not be used a month before slaughter. It is not uncommon to add insecticides to sand baths to control parasites.

To prevent the appearance of fluff-eaters in the chicken coop, you need to keep the room clean, monitor the humidity, lighting and ventilation of the house, use good food full of vitamins and minerals, use a balanced diet, and regularly disinfect the chicken coop. New juveniles should be quarantined for two weeks to detect early infestation.

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Anna Evans


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