so it looks like we have mites. after dealing with losing a number of chickens in the last 2 months (hawk, fox, mink maybe, and we had to have a few young silkie roos for dinner to balance things out), i am so not ready to deal with yet another issue..
several of our chickens and our big roo have black spots on their combs and waddles. haven't noticed it on the silkies. one hen is missing a patch of feathers on her back as of 2 days ago. i haven't identified the kind of mite yet, i am going to check tonight after dark see if they are northern mites or red mites. but it seems either way, i am in for an ordeal.
we had a hen with an injured hip recently that we took inside for a while. she was very lethargic, her comb turned pink, and she seemed to lose interest in everything. even though her injury was minor. now after ready up about mites i am thinking she may have been compromised by mites and had anemia, etc. unfortunetly she is dead now, we think a mink got into the coop somehow.. her head was gone a few mornings ago...
anyhow... i put a ton of fresh garlic in their water, and spread a bit of diatamaceous earth around the coop. but i am not sure what the next big step is. the coop is actually a horse stall in an old barn that we closed up and added some roosts and nest boxes in. there is hay on the floor and some hay bails too that they like to sit on and sometimes go behind some of them to lay their eggs.
have any of you gotten rid of mites naturally?? i am not willing to spray our coop or our chickens with chemicals. i need some real advice, thanks!!