Chicken fleas: methods of control and prevention
One of the common problems faced by farmyard owners is chicken fleas. Due to their small size, they are difficult to see, and they breed at great speed. Where one flea is found, in a week there will already be 50. These parasites attack not only chickens, but also indoor birds, for example, parrots and canaries. In this article we will tell how fleas appear in the chicken coop, what is their danger and in what ways you can deal with them.
The reasons for the appearance of fleas in chickens
Ectoparasites enter the poultry yard in several ways:
- fly with wild birds (pigeons, sparrows, crows);
- they are brought in by pets (cats, dogs);
- “Move” on their own from neighboring chicken coops.
- heat outside;
- very warm and humid inside the house;
- the room is very rarely disinfected;
- unsuccessful chicken nests;
- litter rarely changes;
- the presence of debris and dirt.
Chickens in a dirty chicken coop are often prone to flea attacks. Parasites like heat, therefore, once having fallen on the skin of a chicken, whose body temperature is + 40–41 ° C, the flea will not leave it voluntarily.
Each female brings 6 eggs daily, scattering them in the district. Hatched larvae are happy to eat excrement and dirt from the litter. After a while, they pupate and are in such a “puppet” state until a warm body of a chicken or other bird is nearby.
If the chicken coop is rarely cleaned and disinfected, then the fleas in it will constantly live and multiply.
Did you know? If you freeze a living flea and defrost it only after a year, it will not affect it in any way. She will jump and suck someone else's blood, as before.
Symptoms of the appearance
It is difficult to consider a small pest with the naked eye because of the features of its appearance:
- size: 1.5–2 mm;
- color: dark brown;
- can distinguish between eyes and antennae;
- there are no wings, but the hind limbs are very long, thanks to which they can jump far;
- the chitin shell is harder than other flea species, so it’s more difficult to crush the chicken flea;
- the body is very hunched and completely flat, which makes the insect almost invisible when viewed from above, and it is impossible to hold it with your fingers.
- egg production decreases;
- lethargic and nervous behavior;
- disheveled and untidy appearance;
- the bird eats, as usual, but loses weight;
- the chicken itches and plucks feathers;
- accumulations of fleas on the crest, around the beak and eyes resemble moles, their presence indicates that the whole body under the feathers is already teeming with them.
Did you know? Chicken flea - jumping champion. She can overcome in one jump up to 1.5 m.
If one or more signs are found, it is necessary to act immediately.
What is the danger of flea bites?
While the fleas on the bird’s body are few, their bites annoy and cause anxiety. She combs itchy places. Dirt can get into the scratch and inflammation can develop.
With an increase in the number of parasites, the consequences become more serious:
- economic losses, since chickens carry less eggs, and eventually cease to do so;
- continuous sucking of blood by parasites leads to anemia and anemia, a sign of which is a pale scallop;
- exhaustion of the body;
- death of a bird.
- occasionally - a plague.
How to deal with fleas in chickens
Despite flea miniature, when they attack, hens cannot resist them. They are completely helpless in the face of these petty enemies. That is why, for the poultry farmer, the fight against them should be a priority. For this purpose, you can use both chemical preparations and folk remedies.
It will also be useful for you to learn how to treat worms in chickens.
Insecticides have different forms of release:
- Drops (suitable for dogs and cats): "Beafar", "Dana", "Bars", "Advantage". The product is dripped on the back of the neck or on the back of the bird between the feathers and rubbed into the skin. The number of drops should correspond to the weight of the bird (see instructions).
- Aerosols: Front Line, Hartz. They need to spray feathers to become wet, and skin.
- Powders and powders: Deltamethrin, Pyrethrum. They are rubbed into the skin and showered with feathers.
- Injections, for example, Ivermectin (should be done by a veterinarian).
- Concentrates made from pyrethroids: Butox, Neostomazan. They are diluted with water in the ratio specified in the instructions, and sprayed on the feathers and skin of the bird.
Important! You can’t eat meat and eggs of chickens, which were treated with a chemical agent for fleas, for several days after the procedure.
The advantage of natural remedies over chemical ones is that they are not at all dangerous either to chickens, or to other animals, or to humans. Insecticide herbs can be used to clean a chicken house without evicting its residents.
But the effect of these herbs on parasites is also different. Most grass preparations do not kill insects, but scare them away and drive them out. Another plus of folk remedies is that they are easy to prepare at home. They are very easy to use.
Ectoparasites do not tolerate pungent odors and try to escape away from the aromatic epicenter, so they can be effectively combated with the help of strongly smelling herbs:
- potato tops;
- Persian, or Caucasian, chamomile.
- make bouquets of them and hang them indoors;
- to spread the branches around the perimeter of the chicken coop;
- put under the bedding for chickens.
These herbs can be used for prevention. Their pungent odor will not let fleas into the coop want to settle there. Plants can be used both fresh and dry. If the grass is fresh, then it needs to be changed as it withers. And dried brooms can last a long time.
Decoctions and infusions
Decoctions and infusions of these odorous herbs have proved to be very effective. The most popular and effective is wormwood.
Consider how to cook a decoction, so that chickens get fleas:
- Finely chop 20 g of fresh wormwood leaves (you can take dry grass).
- Pour 400 ml of boiling water.
- Hold in a steam bath for 10-15 minutes.
- When it cools, rub the bird into the skin.
To prepare an infusion for room treatment, you need:
- On 20 g of fresh leaves of wormwood and tansy pour boiling water (2 cups).
- Boil for 10 minutes (no need to cook dry grass).
- Insist a few hours (preferably at night).
- Infusion spray the chicken coop, paying particular attention to corners and chicken nests.
The easiest way to disinsect is pure wood ash or mixed with sand. Basins with this mixture are placed in or near the chicken coop. Taking ash-sand baths, chickens independently get rid of their parasites. They themselves know when it is time for them to "swim."
Alternative methods can be combined for greater effectiveness. For example, treat the skin of birds with a wormwood broth, spray the walls of the barn with infusion, lay the grass brooms in the corners and put a basin filled with ash and sand.
How to get rid of chicken fleas in the chicken coop
In parallel with the treatment with insecticides of each chicken separately, the chicken coop should also be treated, otherwise the fight against parasites will not be successful. After all, the larvae and pupae are not on birds, but on the litter, in nests and on other surfaces.
The following tools are used to process the barn:
- aqueous emulsions and suspensions: Pyrethrum, Sevin, Karbofos;
- concentrated preparations that need to be diluted with water: "Tetrix", "Get", "Cucaracha";
- liquid agent in ampoules "Butox" (suitable for large rooms);
- Deltamethrin powder;
- ready-made aerosols against insect pests: "Raid", "Raptor", "Combat".
Almost all of these drugs, except for ready-made sprays, are diluted in water. Dosage is indicated in the instructions. They are sprayed on all surfaces in the chicken coop: on the walls and floor, nests and bedding. Powder "Deltamethrin" is sprayed using a special spray.
Poison-treated chicken coop should be closed for several hours or even days. After that, it is necessary to clean the barn from dirty litter and debris. Floor, walls and other surfaces should be washed with water. The room must be well ventilated.
Important! All procedures for treating poisonous birds and their housing should be carried out with gloves and a mask to avoid poisoning with poison.
Chicken fleas on man
Chicken fleas do not take root on the human body for two reasons:
- The optimum temperature of the host body should be at least +40 ° C, otherwise the insects freeze.
- With their oral apparatus, parasites can only bite through the thin skin of a bird. The human skin for chicken flea is too thick. Even if she can bite her, she will not reach the blood vessels.
A flea bite can be recognized by the following symptoms:
- severe pain immediately arises, as from a sharp needle injection;
- a bitten place turns red and swells;
- severe itching does not go away for several days;
- small bloodsuckers most often dig into the legs;
- inflammation may occur at the site of calculation.
First aid for a flea bite is to disinfect the wound, relieve swelling and reduce itching.
The following tools will help:
- soap solution from laundry or antibacterial soap;
- iodine, hydrogen peroxide, a solution of any alcohol;
- antiseptic ointment or cream: Boro Plus, Levomekol, Fenistil.
Chicken ectoparasites do not live on humans. But they can linger in his house. That is why it is necessary to treat your housing with an insecticide. To do this, you can use the tools listed above.
What is the danger of fleas?
Chicken ectoparasites are a serious danger to human health. Fleas carry diseases that affect not only chickens, but also people.
Eating meat and eggs from infected chicken is not allowed. And if parasites infected the bird with worms, then a person can also pick them up, if he simply stays close to the birds for a long time. In addition, a flea bite can cause an allergic reaction or provoke dermatitis.
Prevention of the appearance of chicken fleas
The best way to prevent fleas is to monitor the cleanliness of the chicken coop:
- Regularly clean litter and change litter.
- Ventilate the barn.
- Distribute bunches of wormwood and other strongly smelling herbs throughout the chicken coop.
- Pour ash and sand into the tank for "bathing" chickens.
- Daily release the birds into the fresh air.
Despite such a small size of chicken fleas, they can be a huge disaster for the entire population of chickens and their owners. But regular prevention and timely treatment when parasites are detected will help save the poultry farm from losses and losses.