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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 02-27-2013, 02:59 PM
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Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

Saturday I came home with a beautiful female Lutino cockatiel, we named her Ruby. She is hand tamed, and so very very soft!...there's only one problem, I discovered she has feather mites.

She was the only cockatiel in the home,came from a clean cage, had been well taken care of, and did not come from a dirty environment.
I thought I would share some info on these little "ahems", as they are pesky, to say the least, and require treatment.

Unfortunately I have dealt with this a few years back, so I know what to look for and how to treat them effectively, although I do recommend you take your birds to your vet.

I thought I would share this information with you, as I have found it worked best for me and my flock.

Knowing what to look for is very important when detecting feather mites.
There are many different types of mites.

Feather mites chew and destroy the feathers and the shafts, and remain on the bird. It can effect your birds overall health if not treated.

the common source of contracting is from another bird, although it has been said they can come from different sources, seed, outdoors, toys from pet stores etc...

If you suspect feather mites, you can hold the birds feather up to the light.
If you see pin holes, or very small sections that are gone, it's possible they may have feather mites.

She has been under quarantine in a separate room, but will treat all my birds as a precaution. Washing your hands after handling any bird with mites is imperative so not to transfer the pesky little bugs.

I have taken a picture of two feathers, the one on the left is from one of my cockatiels without feather mites, and is in excellent condition.
the feather on the right came from the infected bird, my lutino cockatiel Ruby.
Her feather is in quite poor condition, note the pin holes near the top of the feather, and her feathers break quite easily.

Course of treatment is for 10 days, and is highly effective, and eliminates them without recurring.

changing paper daily on the bottom of the cage is needed, perches & toys need to be rotated every few days, or you can remove the toys altogether.

the cage must be cleaned and rinsed thoroughly every other day until the treatment is completed.

I'm glad I brought her home, so she can get treated and better.
the good news is she has been raised on pellets and not seed.

I hope this info helps.


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Last edited by crimson; 02-27-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:34 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

Other mite infestations are "scaly face", and "tassel foot". I recently rescued 2 budgies that had both. Their faces were full of dry, scaly skin around their eyes & ceres. And their feet & legs had dry, rough skin that was sloughing off, and looked like multiple layers of the kind of skin birds have on their feet & legs. Also, they were obviously uncomfortable, and kept "dancing" around instead of standing still. It broke my heart. I couldn't believe that the owner couldn't tell something was wrong. After a vet visit, some meds, a 6 week quarantine, new cage & toys, and a better diet, they're "in the pink". It is similar to a dog having mange.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:59 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

What do you do for the 10 days? What is the treatment regimine I mean.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:40 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

I have a treatment that I can put in the water, so they will bath in it and is safe to drink.
I purchased it from the U.S. in California
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:21 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

She's gorgeous! I bet she'll be happy once those pesky critters are gone! And fabulous that you were able to know what to look for!!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:02 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

So what are folks using for treatment now days? I haven't had to deal with them since back in the "old days". We used "moth balls" around the birds to get rid of mites. I'm sure that they are bad for birds , but back then we had wild birds and no knowledge (internet). What's SOP for aviaries and homes now?
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:15 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

I'm using S76, it contains Ivermectin and slippery elm. It's a fantastic product.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:13 PM
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Re: Feather Mites- F.Y.I.

Ruby is a real beauty. Happy to here she is with you and that she is going to get the proper care that she needs.
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