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Do chickens get Fleas???

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Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby Moodymare » 12 Dec 2010, 20:00

As in the fleas that your dog can get. Also does one need to physically check them for mites etc or is it something you will notice if it occurs??? :oops:
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby tweedy » 12 Dec 2010, 20:44

You will not see mites on the birds as they get on them at night so you'll need to check the coop at night with a torch.
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby kated » 13 Dec 2010, 16:35

As to your question yes, chickens can and do get fleas although they're not as common as redmite and lice. Chicken fleas can't jump as high as other types of fleas so if you persistantly get bites on your ankles and lower legs after visiting your chickens, suspect chicken fleas.

Mites like to hide in crevices and cracks in woodwork and leave behind a telltale pepper like staining (their droppings) you can also check by wiping a damp kitchen towel along the perches. If you can see dark red marks or blood then you have a mite problem.

Lice live on the bird and are more visible but run very quickly. They typically lay a cluster of eggs on the feathers closest to the chickens' vents. The egg cluster looks at first sight like a bit of white poo stuck to the feathers but it's much harder to remove than poo. The picture shows lice eggs.
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby Moodymare » 13 Dec 2010, 19:43

Oh yikes - I sort of wish I'd never asked! :shock:
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby LucyJK » 13 Dec 2010, 21:14

kated wrote:As to your question yes, chickens can and do get fleas although they're not as common as redmite and lice. Chicken fleas can't jump as high as other types of fleas so if you persistantly get bites on your ankles and lower legs after visiting your chickens, suspect chicken fleas.

Mites like to hide in crevices and cracks in woodwork and leave behind a telltale pepper like staining (their droppings) you can also check by wiping a damp kitchen towel along the perches. If you can see dark red marks or blood then you have a mite problem.

Lice live on the bird and are more visible but run very quickly. They typically lay a cluster of eggs on the feathers closest to the chickens' vents. The egg cluster looks at first sight like a bit of white poo stuck to the feathers but it's much harder to remove than poo. The picture shows lice eggs.



this is exactly what my girls have !!!!! Ive put on red mite powder, will this work or should I use something else ?
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby Magpie » 14 Dec 2010, 00:09

You would be better off with a permethrin based spray or powder. Johnson's Antimite extra is easily available and does the job. If the egg clusters are that big I would carefully pluck or cut the feathers with them on before spraying.
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby ZacB » 15 Dec 2010, 11:43

kated, excellent photo ( in a sort of gross way :puke: ) & advice

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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby andoy » 15 Dec 2010, 13:44

I've not come across chicken fleas in this country, but it is quite common in tropics. Perhaps the cold is not so favourable to it and it's easier to control.
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby kated » 15 Dec 2010, 15:31

andoy wrote:I've not come across chicken fleas in this country, but it is quite common in tropics. Perhaps the cold is not so favourable to it and it's easier to control.

My parents used to live in Devon (I'm talking around 25 years ago) and Mum kept her chickens in the barn basement - the main floor of the barn was raised and below it where the beasts used to go was where she put her hens. They got fleas. Eventually, she gave up chicken keeping because she could not rid the place of fleas. Even 12 months after the hens had gone, if you walked in there, you'd get bitten on the ankles.
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby monicalock » 19 Dec 2010, 12:33

kated - good picture, even if i am scratching now.

although it sounds gross, some people on here use their fingernails to pull off the eggs - apparently they stick on hard and fast. :puke:
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Re: Do chickens get Fleas???

Postby CP » 19 Dec 2010, 12:42

(puts hand up!) It's lots easier without rubber gloves on! :oops: :-&
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