Can Chickens Get Ticks? [Debunked]

You notice your chickens are getting restless. They are staying up all night with soft cries. They keep picking at their wings and running around tirelessly. So, you’re thinking of a common disease after seeing these.

But, can chickens get ticks?

Yes, they most definitely can the disease comes due to dirty coop. Ticks mostly hide under the wings of your chicken. And they can make the chickens restless when it’s night time. The situation can get quite bad if not taken care of. 

But hey, No need to panic. There are many cures for chickens ticks. We’ve mentioned different ways to treat chicken ticks. We’ve also discussed the preventions.

So, just keep on scrolling and reading!

Do Chickens Get Ticks?

Chickens most definitely can harbor ticks of many species. However, their effects may vary. Now, there are a lot of common misconceptions regarding this matter. We shall get right into discussing them. 

Firstly, how serious are the fowl ticks? 

It is simply irritating to the skin and wellbeing in general. These pests may pass pathogens or diseases to chickens. Then spread amongst the poultry population. This later on deteriorates their health and value.

Although death is rare. Egg production, weight gain, and overall health may also deteriorate as studies have shown.

So what is the solution to this? Are there any viable ones? 

YES! But before that, you gotta know what’s the reason for chicken ticks.

How Do Chickens Get Ticks?

Now, those that affect chicken are better known as fowl ticks. These include mites as well. Fowl ticks are the most prevalent in poultry houses and chicken coops. 

Fowl ticks are rarely found in commercial cage-layer operations. They may be found in cage-free housing, including breeder, pasture, or small-scale flocks.

So, the main reason behind chickens getting ticks is-

  • They arrive at the coops through the dirt.
  • They can wash up through the rain as well. 
  • Sometimes infests with pets through human contact.

So, from now on be cautious of this things to avoid ticks. 

How To Tell If Chicken Has Ticks?

Can’t really tell if the chickens have ticks? 

Well, it’s fine! It might be your first time going through this. But identifying the disease is important. Otherwise, you won’t be able to treat it properly.  The clinical signs of chicken ticks are-

  • Changes where they rest cause of the discomfort from ticks.
  • Chickens become restless after daylight ends.
  • They don’t want to go to their coops and repeat every day for a week.
  • The roosters have wattles on their combs (mohawk).
  • Specular dark spots under the wings of chickens (these are the ticks).
  • Chickens have red spots on their skin.

Now, you’d be able to detect if your chicken is suffering from ticks. If it’s not tick, it might just be itching problems due to lice or mites. Luckily, even for those, you can follow the below-mentioned treatments!

Treatment of Ticks in Poultry

Now. As mentioned, there are many treatments for chicken ticks. We’ve mentioned both home remedies and clinical treatment for this disease. 

Home Remedies for Chicken Ticks

These are simple tricks! And they are only effective if the situation is in the early stage. So, let’s check them out-

Put Garlic Juice in Your Chicken’s Meal

Putting garlic juice in the chicken’s diet helps. Because most parasites have an adverse reaction to this in their olfactory and gustatory systems. Which they find out the hard way. After having to taste the chicken’s blood. By facing the discomfort.

Make a Mixture to Spray the Coop

Just creating an odd mixture of water, garlic juice, and an essential oil (like lavender). Then spray it directly on your chicken coop also does the trick quite well. 

Clinical Treatments For Chicken Ticks

Now, these treatments are recommended if the chicken’s ticks are severe. So, use them only in those situations-

Pyrethrin

Pyrethrin is an organic compound. It’s a natural neurotoxic chemical.

This chemical causes an attack on the pests’ nervous system. Makes them feel like they are on fire. It either kills them or keeps them away from future infestation. However, the effect depends on the dosage and ingestion amount. So, do consult with the vet regarding that info.

Note: Pyrethrin is considered to be a lowly toxic pesticide. It is relatively safe as it is inactivated fairly in most mammals or bird bodies. However, it is highly toxic to insects, cats, and fish. So, some cautions have to be maintained.

Permethrin

Permethrin is a synthetic version of Pyrethrin. It does not degrade quickly like its organic counterpart. This acts much in the same way as pyrethrin with faster attack times. Causing the ticks to be eliminated faster.

It is more efficient due to its longer-lasting period of effectiveness. But it causes other issues as it seeps into the waterways. But this can be avoided. You just need to use it in moderation and directly onto the birds or coops.

It shares similar toxicity levels with pyrethrin. The only difference is the latency in degradation. 

Carbaryl & Diatomaceous Earth

Carbaryl is one of the most readily available treatments for treating mites in poultry. However, carbaryl is extremely toxic to bees, as is to ticks. So, caution must be taken if applied to many crops that require pollination. 

Diatomaceous earth or DE is made from the fossil remains of (algae). This is mined and then pulverized. It works by dehydrating pests. It is extremely effective with no ill effects as it is organic.

Top 2 Tips on How to Tackle Ticks in Chickens

Prevention of pests is almost always more efficient than a post-disaster solution. So, here are 2 preventative methods so that you need no cure!

Herbs Can Keep the Tick Away!

You can sprinkle dried herbs in the coop. With a little googling the process is found to be rather easy. Should you want to try on your own to make it? However commercial alternatives are also readily available. For preventing those pesky pests away! 

Keep the Grass Out of the Way!

Keeping the lawn mowed. Eliminate any and all grasses that might be considered tall. Tall grasses are where ticks love to hide. So, trimming them down around the coops helps greatly!

FAQs

Will my chickens die if they have ticks?

Death by ticks is very rare. As the diseases they spread are severe but hardly fatal. Follow the measures to ensure that the worst case scenario does not occur!

Do ticks go away on their own?

No, if your chickens are harboring ticks, it would be an active measure or action. That rids them of these pests. They will continue their infestation. Unless cures are implemented. For as long as their natural life allows. 

Do chickens eat ticks?

Yes, chickens pick at and eat ticks. They are almost pure protein, as are most insects. Though they carry pathogens and Lyme disease-causing bacteria. Research has shown that tick consumption should be kept at a minimum. 

Conclusion

We hope by now you have a clear idea on can chickens get ticks and what you can do about it.

You can do more research if you are really concerned. But hopefully, this article cleared up most of your queries!

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