Broody on eggs - Mites! Yikes! Is Sevin dust okay?


11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
North Carolina
I have 9 silkie eggs under a OEGB. It is day 13 and I candled them everything is A OK, but I noticed that the eggs were crawling with mites. I checked the other chickens and couldn't find a mite.

Can I dust this hen with Sevin while she is sitting on eggs? I had already dusted the coop and the nest with DE a couple of weeks ago.
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I've dusted broody hens with 5% Sevin dust while they were in the middle of a set and there didn't seem to be any problems afterwards. I usually try to sprinkle some in & around the nesting place anyway, to ward off fire ants & other pests. I wish you & your hen the best of success!
I wasn't sure, but I thought that a broody hen might have mites once and I sprinkled the nest and also turned the hen upside down and sprinkled her and there were no ill effects to hen or chicks.

But now, when I know I am going to ask a hen to brood some eggs for me, I do all this before I put them under. Turn her upside down, sprinkle her with sevin dust, give her fresh hay for her nest, sprinkle it, too.

Then I know she can sit there in peace in her fanatic trance.

Mind you, I have not done this often. I am still a newby.

I sure would. Not fond of chemicals, but mites can be so devastating to young chickens, I'd go for it.

I'd dust the other chickens and the coop as well, even though you did not find any.
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Are these red roost mites or Northern fowl mites? This link can help you tell the difference. It also discusses lice.

If it is red roost mites, the rest of your chickens may be suffering also. The red roost mites (which are actually the same dark brown or black color as the Northern fowl mite) usually hide during the day and attack the chickens at night. If you check your chickens during the day, you would not see these mites on the chickens. An Ag professor associated with the University of Arkansas (he also breeds chickens) said that red mites kill more broody hens than anything else. Iggimom's procedure when starting a broody makes a lot of sense to me.

I asked the same Ag professor about the safety of eating eggs after you have treated the hen and nest with Sevin. He said it is not a problem. I personally still would skip a day, but that is just me. Point is, it should not harm the eggs as long as don't get a thick coating on them.

I would certainly treat for mites. If it is red mites, your treatment method involves more.

Good luck!
It is quite normal for a broody that has been sitting to get mites. I had my first broody get them and dusted her with food grade DE really well once I found the mites, then I carefully removed her eggs from her nest and dusted down the nest and surrounding area really well. That worked just fine and was chemical free. I now add DE to all of my broody's nests before I set them on their eggs and I've never had a problem with mites on a broody again.
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