How can we get rid of feather mites in our flock?
We have had poultry for a long time, and about 10 years ago we got feather mites or depluming mites in our flock and we could not get rid of them so we got rid of all the birds we have except one pullet. Then two years later we attained some more poultry and within 6 months they had the same mites again. So having researched it thoroughly, we have discovered that lots of people are using Ivermectin with great success for the same problem. So we are trying that now. Can you tell me how to get rid of them and/or if Ivermectin will work, or will we have to give up poultry permanently?
Ivermectin should only be given under the direction of a veterinarian. This is because 1) it is off label use; 2) withdrawal periods vary based on species and age of the bird as well as dosage. Getting your information off of the internet is not a reliable or acceptable source of information when using ivermectin in your poultry. There are people and pets who may be allergic to ivermectin. To rid yourself of the mites, it is at least a 3 month long process. Ivermectin does not rid you of the mites in the environment. You should first bathe your chickens then spray them every 10 days with permectrin II. It is labeled for use in poultry and is also used to treat the entire coop. Treat all birds at the same time. Please read this fact sheet first: http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8162.pdf
First and foremost, thank you. We have already spoken with a local vet and she said while there is no scientific proof that it works, it does indeed work and yes we would never try anything just from the Internet, though several hundred have given testimony that Ivermectin did and does work. I think you have a great service here in what you are doing. So again thank you. And though you gave me information about the various species we have already read up on that also. But what you did not answer exactly is how to rid the birds of depluming mites?
So to prevent depluming mites your first strategy was correct...remove all of the birds and start fresh. However your remaining birds were your reservoirs. I explained that the use of permectrin II is approved for use in poultry and has proven to rid birds of the lice. Starting with a bath first, will improve your effectiveness. You will also need to treat the coop surroundings. If you choose to seek a veterinarian's prescription for ivermectin, then I still recommend washing the birds, removing obvious egg clusters (nits), and treating the coop environment with permectrin II.
Thank you. What you have said we have already been working on and you have been an immense amount of help to us.