The Pigeon Vet - Pigeon parasites
External parasits in the racing pigeon - Mites, lice and Pigeon Fly
Racing pigeon Lice - LIce live their entire life cycle on their birds, they feed of epethelial and feather debris and bloom. Feather lice live on the feathers of pigeons and in high numbers are often an indication of poor husbandry in a pigeon loft -
treatmtnts using inscticidal sprays or baths are all that is needed.
Racing pigeon Mites The blood sucking mites such as the red mite will live in cracks and crevices in the pigeon loft and come out after dark to suck blood. The quill mite lives inside the shaft of the feather. They cause severe irritation to adult pigeons. This irritation may affect racing performance. When they feed on babies in the nest they may cause anemia and even death. Skin mites cause skin rashes and severe irritation.
The pigeon fly sucks blood and causes severe irritation to pigeons. It is also known to transmit pigeon malaria that may have a devastating effect on pigeons racing performance. Pigeon fly may also transmit lice and mites from one pigeon to the next.
Visual inspection of the feathers of pigeons will reveal the mites on the feathers or on the skin. The placing of balls of cotton wool in nests in evening and removing them in morning will reveal the presence of red mite.