Mites are similar to ticks in that they latch onto your birds and suck their blood. They don't look like ticks and to me they most resemble termites. They are small, creamish colored, and they move fast. The common area you will see mites on your birds is on their face. Watch your peafowl and even take closeup photos of their face to see if your birds have mites. Having peafowl that will get up close to you for treats is beneficial because you can look at them up close for any issues such as mites. Often you will see mites around the eye of the bird because they get up to the eye to drink and then crawl back into the feathers mainly around the ear.
A local breeder told me squirrels, wild birds, and rats can give your birds mites or if you get a new bird, it could carry mites and give it to the rest of your birds.
No matter what, it seems like mites are just something you have to deal with when keeping birds. It is like fleas are to dogs.
Therefore, we must know how to deal with mites.
I read that Ivermectin pour on for cattle is good for treating mites. You just put some on the bird at the base of the neck and under each wing and it will last for a while keeping the mites away.
So I tried this out myself, but I unknowingly used the oral Ivermectin instead of the pour on kind. I put 1 cc at the base of each bird's neck. It was difficult catching up some of them. I will admit that while all of my birds are tame as far as coming up to me and letting me get close, they are not used to being caught at all so it was a very hard task catching them up. That is why I did not try putting some under their wings.
The result so far has been that I don't see any mites on my birds! I think I will get into a scheduled of treating them for mites every time I worm them which is before and after breeding season.
When you treat for mites, you need:
- A syringe without a needle so that when you squirt about 1cc on your bird you won't stick them with the needle.
- Preferably you and one other person. I was the catcher and my boyfriend was the one who put the ivermectin at the base of the neck while I held the squirming bird still.
- A net if you are not comfortable hand catching birds or just in case if catching them by hand is too slow/not working.
- Access to water to wash off the medicine if you get it on you.
Once all birds are treated, keep an eye on them in the following days making sure you don't see any mites crawling around on their face. If you did everything right, you shouldn't see mites, although I still see little gnats and mosquitoes bothering my birds, but hey, no mites!
I recently found out something...Nutrena has a poultry feed called Nature Wise Feather Fixer. Not only is it good for bird feathers, but also it helps prevent mites! It says you can feed it all year round for your birds and that the mite-fighter is natural and not a drug. They did testing on chickens with a mite infestation and noted that they lost mites. Some reviews (the ones that don't just talk about feather quality solely) mention that they don't see any mites anymore. I am personally trying out this feed to see how it does.