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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All:

I've noticed little bare patches on the breat area of some of my birds. About a dime or so in size, seems to mostly be the males. These are all birds that are 1-2 yrs. of age.

I'm wondering if it's stress, or possible fighting, or just rubbing on the feeders... or something pre-moult? It has been a warm spring.

The birds are all healthy, and I don't really ever see any fighting unless there's a squabble over a perch. I don't see itching, scratching or other signs of mites, etc.

Thoughts? Thanks,

cbx
 

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it probably is mites. They are almost naked to the eye unless you see one that has fed. Even then it difficult to see them. I would treat all your birds and the loft.
 

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I also get it on my birds every year during breeding season and only during breeding season and mostly on the males. It ranges in size from about a nickel sized patch to an almost complete feather loss on the throat of the birds perhaps 1/2 inch wide and 2 - 3 " long. The most active and animated males get it the worst. I have not seen sign of mites but have no clue what causes it. Perhaps the constant neck puffing and cooing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also get it on my birds every year during breeding season and only during breeding season and mostly on the males. The most active and animated males get it the worst. I have not seen sign of mites but have no clue what causes it. Perhaps the constant neck puffing and cooing.
This exactly matches what I'm seeing- except the spots are smaller. But the birds affected, and their behavior is the same. I wondered if it was related to the birds reaching maturity. The largest spot is about dime size. The birds I have identified as hens don't seem to have it.

I have wood-doweled feeder boxes, and plastic bullet-type waterers.
 

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I have a couple of males with the same thing, and they don't have any bugs.
 

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im pretty sure this is caused by the males strutting around and rubbing on nest boxes, nest bowls, waterers, feeders, and any thing else they can rub on while bent down in that almost horizontal strut walk.. imo
 

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im pretty sure this is caused by the males strutting around and rubbing on nest boxes, nest bowls, waterers, feeders, and any thing else they can rub on while bent down in that almost horizontal strut walk.. imo
I think you are correct.
 

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Wouldn't most of the birds show the symptoms? If there was an infestation?
One symptom is lack of feathers. You need to observe the pigeons at night as that's when the mites come out. If there is a mite infestation, the birds will stomp and move around to try and free themselves of the invaders. Another symptom may be some shaking and not wanting to stay in the nest and I think that happens after the infestation has progressed.
Most of us don't go into our lofts at night and so we don't notice the stomping and restless symptoms.
 

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Why is it always that the first suggestion is someone elses birds are sick? They aren't acting sick, and only the males are missing feathers. Obviously not mites, as mites don't determine their host based on sex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I do check them at night, occasionally... just to make sure the babies are okay.

Just went out and checked- everybody sitting on perches. No fidgeting, biting, scratching. I'm not ruling it out, I'll keep monitoring the birds.

Seems to me more like a posturing-type behavior causing it... I just wasn't seeing the mechanism of how the feathers were being rubbed or pulled, and wondered if others saw something similar.

I do have 22 birds in a 6x8' loft, with 36 perches to give everybody room and choice. I know I'm getting close to max capacity, but the hawks have been kind to me lately. The fact that many of the birds are reaching maturity might be part of my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello All:

I was motivated by this discussion to rearrange some of the birds in my lofts. I took 5 of the maturing cocks out of the general population loft, and put them into my older cock-bird coop. I don't want them to breed, and they were just pestering the hens. So the boys dorm got some new tenants.

That leaves just older hens, younger hens, and less aggressive young cockbirds in this section of the loft. We will see if that calms down some of the activity.

I can tell you- some of these cocky youngsters that were "ruling the roost" are now being taken down a notch by the older cockbirds.:D

Since I only try to fly the sexes separately, it makes sense to make some room for the YB's that are weaning now. I find the birds trap faster, and don't hang around the garage and roof if there's no one to posture for.

I'll keep everyone advised if the situation improves. Thanks for the ideas and input.

Don
 

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Yes, let us know how it goes. I'll just bet they are being taken down a notch. LOL.
 

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This also happens to my birds ,the logic cause of this is the feeder ,it happens close to the molt as the feathers get dry and old,mites usually show at the crown area near the ears and eyes as the birds can sctatch it, I ever saw a bird scratch their breast area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bringing this back to the top. I did find some feather mites on a couple of the babies that had slow feather development compared to the others in the breeding loft. Now that I know what to look for, I'm paying more attention.

I have started offering baths to the birds again, thinking that will help. I use the Foy's bath salts that have Borax in them.

I'd like to offer the birds a bath with something a little stronger in it... Do people ever put a little Ivomec in the water to help kill any potential stragglers? If not that, what else is used?

I have cleaned the loft as well as I can, and sprayed a permethrin-based product in the corners and on the perches.

Any other thoughts?
 

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Bringing this back to the top. I did find some feather mites on a couple of the babies that had slow feather development compared to the others in the breeding loft. Now that I know what to look for, I'm paying more attention.

I have started offering baths to the birds again, thinking that will help. I use the Foy's bath salts that have Borax in them.

I'd like to offer the birds a bath with something a little stronger in it... Do people ever put a little Ivomec in the water to help kill any potential stragglers? If not that, what else is used?

I have cleaned the loft as well as I can, and sprayed a permethrin-based product in the corners and on the perches.

Any other thoughts?
Dust them with Seven 5% dust or a Permethrin dust. Or spray them with a lice and mite spray from a pet shop.
 
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