After giving it much thought, I have decided that this will be my final hosting of GET R DONE FRIDAY. My original idea was finding a way to inspire myself to get some old projects finished by posting one of them on my blog each week - HOWEVER - I have found that I am only adding NEW projects and not finishing up the OLD ONES!!! So, it is not working out as I had hoped! I will still be getting things done - there's always a lot to do around here, believe me! So, with that being said, here is my GET R DONE for this final party day.
Parasites on chickens can lead to itching and picking of the birds on themselves and on their coop-mates. It can also lead to a lowered or discontinued egg production, as I found out with 2 new hens I recently purchased. They stopped laying rather abruptly, and after questioning the fella that sold me the birds, his response was basically this: "Don't BUG ME!" I let him know I would not recommend him to anyone, and in fact, would warn others against purchasing from him because he was taking advantage of a relative 'new comer' to the wonderful world of poultry!
I use Sevin 5% garden dust for my hens. Luckily, I was able to isolate the 2 troubled hens from the others in time - however, I did dust my original flock, and cleaned their chicken palace and nest boxes, dusting it and the perches as well. Hen house cleaning is important, and I do it weekly, removing old bedding, dusting the bases and corners in the house, and filling it with fresh shavings. Nest boxes are cleaned daily to ensure the eggs will be clean when the hens lay them.
If one hen has lice or mites, chances are all of them have it (or the eggs, thereof!), so all must be treated with the powder or spray of your choice. Investigate and read up on it. You'll find much info on the internet.
The best time to catch the birds is after they have begun to roost for the night. They're much calmer then. The dust can be put into a toe of a nylon stocking, or a shaker can of some sort, if the dust you bought does not come in an easy applicator container.
I have learned to do most chicken chores with little or no help, and wear old clothes and gloves. A face mask or a bandanna over your nose and mouth is a good idea too. If you hold the bird by the legs and rest it on an old towel on a table or the floor of your hen house, sprinkle the vent area and under each wing after parting the feathers a bit. Then fluff it down by ruffling the hen's feathers with your gloved hand. The powder will do little good if left on top of the feathers, so get it down next to the skin where the parasites will be dancing around! Then turn the bird right side up, holding it firmly but gently, and do the same on the back, shoulders, and neck. Don't get it into the eyes!
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