External Parasites

Picture of fleas,lice and ticks that can live on peafowl.

Picture of fleas,lice and ticks that can live on peafowl.

External parasites (ectoparasites) are a big problem in animal breeding. These are fleas, lice, ticks, causative agents of mange, etc. The control of ectoparasites on animals is carried out according to veterinarians’ instructions.

It is very important to control these parasites not only on animals, but also in the premises where animals are kept.

Keep an eye out for external parasites. In addition to worms and internal parasites, external parasites such as lice, tics and fleas can cause problems with your flock no matter how small or large that flock is.

Poultry and game lice are becoming an increasing problem in poultry and game farming. It should be noted that bird lice can reduce laying up to 50%, and growth up to 20%. Also, game and poultry lice are carriers of some infectious diseases. They can also shift to people who are in contact with the birds. Poultry and game lice control can be achieved only if we know their way of life. Lice spend the day in hidden parts of stock coops or farms. These are the cracks in walls, corners, holes in the ceilings, and nests. They usually come out in the evening and attack poultry. The parts of the skin which are not covered in feathers are the places where bird lice take blood, and they are usually found in the area under the wings. The main symptom in stock is agitation and bloody red dots on the skin. For the treatment of places they hide in (walls and nests) pesticide will need to be used. Prior to its application it is necessary to thoroughly clean the room, mechanically remove the layers of dust and other impurities from the walls, edges, cracks, and then spray the whole room with the preparation, and leave the treated room to dry and ventilate. After that, the animals may enter it again. If we return the animals that were in the existing space, before entering it is necessary that they also pass the fumigation process as directed by a veterinarian.

Lice. These insects live their entire lives on the host, feeding on skin, scales, and feather debris. If lice are found on your birds, all birds in your flock should be treated with a safe pesticide.
Mites. These bugs are more resistant to pesticides than lice. If you find mites, you must treat your birds every 10 days for 4 to 5 weeks. Then, it is recommended to treat your flock monthly until you are sure the mites have disappeared.
Chiggers. Chiggers feed on thighs, breasts, wings, and the vent, resulting in red scabby patches on your birds. To treat, you must treat the entire pen/area inhabited by the bird.

When I clean out the houses I always treat them with a pesticide. All the walls, floors, sealings  and perches are sprayed then aloud to dry. Then the sawdust, wood shavings mix I use is put on the floor. Then I cover the bedding with a good dusting of Diatomaceous earth before I bring the birds in. The reason I do this is that when birds get new bedding they soon all start dust bathing. The Diatomaceous earth is so fine that it gets in the joints of the insect and cuts holes in the flea’s body as it moves across it, and as this happens, the fleas leak water which the diatomaceous earth absorbs. Because of this, the fleas dehydrate and die.

Diatomaceous earth can also be added to dry animal feed to kill any insects it may of become contaminated with. It will do animals no harm if swallowed. In fact it is classed has a nutritional feed supplement.