External Parasites

The most common external parasites that effect coop birds are feather lice, red mites, pigeon flies, and mosquitoes. Since parasites can occur in almost any climate, they must be accounted for when planning a loft strategy.

Feather lice chew holes into the flights or cause other types of visible damage to the birds feathers. This can disqualify or reduce the points of a show pigion, or can significantly reduce a racing pigeon's performance.
The common red mite can be a real problem in some lofts if it becomes established. They are nocturnal and come out at night to feed on the blood of birds. Besides being a nuisance and not allowing the flock to rest properly, they can help to spread diseases.

The pigeon fly is probably the most dangerous parasite that can attack birds. It lives most of its life on birds, leaving only to lay its eggs somewhere in the loft. Pigeon flies bite the birds often, and besides causing considerable discomfort, they can be a major cause of pigeon malaria.

Mosquitoes would have to be considered the next worst parasite, simply because they are found in almost all climates. They are the most common carrier of the pigeon pox virus.

There are numerous precautions you can take within bird lofts to help control external parasites. In the case of lice, pigeon flies, and even mites, this mostly involves controlling their numbers by quarantining any new birds, and dipping or dusting the birds with pesticides. By keeping our lofts clean, we can eliminate many of the places where mites and flies can hide their eggs.




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