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Clues to Identifying Common Ectoparasites of Backyard Poultry

Clues to Identifying Common Ectoparasites OF BACKYARD POULTRY An infographic brought to you by Poultry DVM There are a number of different ectoparasites (external parasites) which target backyard poultry. Properly identifying the pest is key to successfully eradicating them. Since most of them are quite small, some barely visible to the naked eye, it can be difficult to detect their presence, and figure out which pest it is unless you know what clues to look for. Flock behaviors to watch for Restlessness Frequent scratching/irritation Gives reason to examine the bird(s) more closely. Increased preening Change in nightly perch location Gives reason to examine the coop for uninvited guests. Suddenly not wanting to go into the coop Hens not laying eggs in nestboxes What to look for when examining the coop Pay particular attention to cracks and crevices in the wood, and any hollow spaces. At night, look for mites crawling along perches and walls. Excreta (resembles cigeratte ash) and feces, which is often just outside the area they're hiding. Wipe the underside of the perch with a white tissue and look for smears of blood. These pests will move into your coop, where they will live full time. They will hide during the day in cracks and crevices, sometimes hollow spaces like within the walls. At night, they will come out of their hiding spots to feed on your birds as they perch. Bed bug Red poultry mite Dermanyssus gallinae Fowl Tick Argas persicus Cimex lectularius What to look for when examining the birds Face, comb and wattles Sticktight flea Small dark brown spots (which are actually embedded adult fleas). Poultry lice 1 Tiny (often straw-colored) insects on skin and feathers, that scatter when exposed to light. 2 Cement-like clusters (of eggs or 'nits') attached to the base of feather shafts. Vent region Fowl mite Blackened feathers (which is caused by an accumulation of fowl mite feces, dead mites, and dried blood). Under wings Fowl tick Tiny ticks embedded in skin, and red spots. Legs and feet Scaly leg mite Lifted or uneven scales, thickening and crusting. These pests live on birds full time, in all stages of life except for the fleas (which only live on them as adults), and the tropical fowl mite (which is sometimes found in nestboxes). Sticktight flea Echidnophaga gallinacea Poultry louse Scaly leg mite Fowl mites Knemidocoptes mutans Ornithonyssus spp Ectoparasite Prevention Tips Control rodent populations, as they can sometimes be carriers of mites and ticks. Don't trim beaks. It interferes with a chicken's ability to self-groom. Relocate/remove wild bird nests, which attract tropical fowl mites, and other pests. Quarantine any new birds before adding to your flock. Diatomaceous Earth Fond Grade Discourage wild birds by removing bird feeders and bird baths. Provide your flock with an appropriate area to dustbath. Throughly clean any branches, wood stumps, or other tree-sourced items containing Avoid coops built from rough sawn, unfinished timbers, especially tongue and groove styled. bark. Poultry DVM

Clues to Identifying Common Ectoparasites of Backyard Poultry

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There are a number of different ectoparasites (external parasites) which target backyard poultry. Properly identifying the pest is key to successfully eradicating them. Since most of them are quite sm...

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Animals
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