deep litter method and bird mites

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sunshine ducky, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. sunshine ducky

    sunshine ducky Songster

    Aug 7, 2012
    Hey everyone, I might have a small infestation of bird mites in my coop and I know its easy to kill them. But, I'm currently using the deep litter method, I'm afraid that if were to use mite pesticide an DE I might kill the good microbes that's in the litter as well. then again, I heard those microbes ate small bugs like mites. thanks for reading and answering!

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Don't know about microbes eating mites, but DE will not eat your good microbes, but should work on mites.
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I'd just treat your roosts and the wood surrounding them and not worry about trying to treat the litter. It's doubtful they are living in the litter.
  4. sunshine ducky

    sunshine ducky Songster

    Aug 7, 2012
    thanks' everyone I will use DE in the coop and I will also treat the roosts and the wood surrounding them. Thanks again!
  5. I would never use DE or the deep litter method....DE is not good for you or the Birds to breath in...The Chicken Chick has a great read on DE...I use sand in my Coop and Run...Easy to clean and no stink...I clean daily with a kitty litter scoop and pail...I put Dusting powder around the edges of my coop and on the roost twice a year...Zero mite problem...

  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I just switched over to sand in my coops from the wood shavings I had been using for nine years. It's been three days now since I cleaned all the dirty, dusty shavings out, and I'm thrilled with the ease of cleanup, and zero dust. I should have done this years ago.

    As for controlling lice and mites, I highly recommend Elector PSP. It's not an insecticide. It's a biological control agent that's far more effective than dusting powders and completely non-toxic. It shouldn't upset the natural flora in the deep litter.

    However, I'm with chickensreally on the issue of deep litter. What a mess. I wouldn't be able to live with knowing all that poop was just fermenting under my chickens, inviting dry rot of my structures. And anything that adds to the dusty environment that chickens naturally create with their dander and other habits should be avoided. I wouldn't use DE for this reason, as well as not being very effective for the purposes you'd be using it for.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Could be your deep litter wasn't as successful due to using wood shavings all the time. Mine didn't start to really work well until I got away from wood shavings and started using a wider variety of materials.

    Since the poop is digested into the biomass of the litter, it's not just sitting there's being disseminated into the mass and eaten by bugs, utilized by healthy bacteria and fungi in the composting process until it is no more, bound up with the carbonaceous material into soil/compost. And it disappears really fast if you've got a proper litter going, so I can turn it into the mass one day and not find it there two days later when I flip again....the previous turn's poop is just gone.

    Dust in chicken coops happen whether one uses deep litter or not, so can't blame that on deep litter. No health issues with the flock, no mites in the coop, proper and clean disposal of feces...can't beat that.
    elaineinspain likes this.

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