Just a quick update on our deer tick problem. My wife and I inspected all 6 chickens this evening and removed about a dozen deer ticks. Gods little creatures are plentiful. Most of the ticks were around the eyes some on the waddles and combs. Happily no swelling to report.
deer ticks on a folded paper towel 6/23/13
Click on the picture to enlarge it, you might be able to enlarge again with a second click.
This is not a fun chore. But it is one that needs to be done.
Jasmine is better, the swelling around her eye is gone and she has been evicted from the kitchen. If that is all you wanted to know you can stop reading. If not, this is the longer version.
Jasmine’s swelling was caused by a tick or perhaps more than one tick. Deer ticks, they are the size of a poppey seed and they carry Lyme disease. Weston Nurseries had an expert on ticks June 8 th. He was very informative. http://www.westonnurseries.com/Weston-Events But, he didn’t know that chickens can be bitten by deer ticks. I didn’t either. I got chickens to eat ticks and I haven’t had a Wood Tick on me since the ladies are free-ranging. When we looked closely at Jasmines eye there was a small darkish dot attached to the tissue around her eye. We pulled it off with tweezers, put it under the microscope and there was a tick. We then looked closer at all of the ladies and Jack. Jack had 3 or 4 around his eyes and the other ladies had some too. Jack’s eye swelled up as did Mo’s .
We continue to check for ticks , have changed the shavings, cleaned the run and sprinkled DE ( diatomaceous earth ) where the chickens dust bathe and in the coop. We think we have it under control but continue to watch. At this time all of the ladies and Jack are fine, no swelling. Holding on to a chicken while trying to get a tick off of their eye is a challenge. I need a helper, my wife ( the chicken whisperer ) does pretty well by her self.