Poultry flea’s infestation and management

Flea infestation

Poultry fleas are known as sticky tight fleas or stick- fast and they are scientifically known as Echidnophaga gallinacean. It is a very common flea in chicken and other birds and mammals. Chicken may progress with clusters and dark-colored fleas that stick around the eye, bare spots, comb, and wattles. Stick fast fleas spread from infected chicken to non-infected chicken by direct contact.

Chickens are known as natural resilient and generally a free disease bird. They do fall victim to different kinds of parasites sometimes. Once the chickens are attacked by fleas the birds couldn’t be active and the production decreases to the farmer. Once you find the bird sick it might be the cause of flea too. The infected should be separated from the flock as it spreads through direct contact. In backyard farming, the flea problem appears very frequently. The farmers use home remedies to cure flea or any parasite disease. As they are not scientifically proven.

Birds require an integrated approach to manage fleas. Environment and the host of the bird should be treated at the same time. Surroundings and the birds must be sprayed with insecticides as recommended by the veterinary officers. Birds should be removed from the infested area for three weeks to control the fleas.

Poultry fleas can be treated by using some greasy or oily substances that kill mites by stopping them from breathing. Products that are easily available for the smallholder farmers such as paraffin and petroleum jelly. Fleas that are dead won’t drop off for few days.  Few of the farmers use few drops of insecticides on the head of a chicken and others use tick grease with success. There are many non-textbook solutions to some of the challenges that farmers face.                      

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