Eggs hatching now.....hen has mites

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by weathjess, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. weathjess

    weathjess New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2015
    Hi,
    My hen has eggs hatching as I type this and I have just discovered that she is covered in mites. I have never had a chook with mites before so I have NO idea what to do - and I am obviously worried about the chicks. If they weren't in the process of hatching I would throw her off to take a dust bath but I don't want to interrupt the process.........


    WHAT DO I DO?????

    thanks in advance!

    Jessie
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Hatching is a critical time. I wouldn't do anything now. Once the hen takes the chicks for their first walk completely clean out all the nests. I would dust them with 5% sevin dust. Sides, cracks and everything. Put in new bedding and dust again.
    Then dust the hen, working it into the feathers under the wings and underside.
    I've never treated chicks so hopefully this bump will bring someone with experience with chick mite treatment.
     
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello and [​IMG]

    That is indeed a problem. Not many chemicals safe enough to use on hatchlings, none that I know of.

    Has she ever hatched chicks before? As in, do you think she'd be okay with a certain degree of interference? If you've ever had to remove her from the nest before and she's gone back, she should be okay with some interference. If she's an unproven mother that's a big risk, since you won't have any guarantees of how she'll react.

    If you think she'll go back to the nest you can try dusting her off, caging her while you change all nest materials, and putting her back onto them. This should work if she's bonded to them vocally, i.e. is responding to their peeps. It may pay to wait for night time, do all the dusting and nest material changing, and use a torch to show her the eggs and get her to sit again. Some hens are easier managed at night time.

    Identifying what type of mite they are will help too but at this stage getting rid of most of the population is obviously the priority. Your other chooks will almost certainly need doing too, if not now then in the immediate future. You won't be able to get rid of all of the mites on the broody both instantly and safely I expect, since I don't know of any mite treatments safe for chicks, but I use natural methods anyway so don't know that much about chemical ones to begin with. I may be wrong and someone may know chick-safe mite treatments.

    If she's eating at all, I'd give her something like hardboiled egg mashed up with a bit of yoghurt and three or four cloves of finely minced garlic mixed in, or some such concoction she shouldn't be able to resist that contains lots of raw garlic. I recently had my chooks catch some very nasty mites off the wild birds because I wasn't giving them their usual garlic maintenance dose, so I got them garlic and dosed their feed (2 cloves per bird average but you can go a fair bit over) and within a few hours the mites abandoned them. It gets through their systems very quickly and repels the mites very effectively, sickens them and rapidly dropped the mite population by 95%, but to kill the survivors it will take a sustained dose for a while.

    Obviously, with newly hatched chicks not eating for 48 hours on average, this won't help them though. My hens did hatch chicks just fine despite the mites, but it is a risk of course.

    If you're not game to interfere before any hatch and think the level of mites might not be too high, then as soon as one chick hatches and she bonds to it, you should hopefully be safe to move her onto fresh nesting materials and dust her inbetween the move. Many hens are much easier to move once they have shifted their bond from nest/eggs to a hatched chick, obviously.

    It's your call, depending on how severe the infestation is. They can kill chooks quickly.

    Best wishes and good luck.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    First like chooks4life suggested find out which species of mite that you're dealing with, then act in whichever way that will best manage or control that mite species.

    Since the hen is sitting I kind of suspect that she has red mites living in the box and nesting litter. these mites come and go to and from the chicken and spend most of their time hiding in nooks, checks, cracks, crannies, wood joints, shavings, and lap joints in the coop, nest, or pen. They are gray in color but look bright red if they have recently fed on chicken blood. You could wipe the inside of the nest with a white Kleenex and look for little red smears in the tissue.

    Mix some Pyrethrum in old, used, burnt, or discarded motor oil. Use a cheap disposable foam rubber paint brush to liberally paint the roost poles, wood joints, cracks, and crannies of the coop, nest, or pen. However hold off till this clutch of chicks are weaned. Since Red Mites spend the daytime hiding in the nest, roost poles, or in the crannies in the wood inside your coop, this treatment will kill red mites where they live, but most of all it will deny them living quarters inside your coop or run. This will also keep killing Red mites as well as their eggs for a good long time by denying the adult mites a home as well as a nursery. If you are frightened of used motor oil use diesel fuel instead. Remember when using diesel fuel to keep sparks and flames away from your coops and runs for a long time.

    Oil also will help preserve the wood and make your coops and pens last longer.

    Oh I almost forgot, let me be the second to wish you[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickengeorgeto reminded me... If you can get a potted chrysanthemum of the kind they use for pyrethrum production, and it's in flower, and you sit that within a meter or, to be extra sure, within a foot of your chook, it can begin repelling the insects within minutes. Marigold, also in flower, would work as well. Sounds a bit clumsy and strange but sometimes situations call for that, lol.

    It acts very quickly. It won't kill them outright unless they sit tight, but will drive them away in a sickened state.

    Some info on it:
    Quote: The petals work too so you could just throw them around the nest area, but I wouldn't overdose the actual hatching clutch with them, just the general area. There's a lot of breeds though, and the fancier it is the less likely it is to work, you want the plain ones for something like this.

    Other herbs/natural insect repellents people reckon work for them include lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, wormwood, rue, and some others, but if you're not sure if your hen or chicks won't eat what you put there, best not to use them.

    Even suspending the marigold/chrysanthemum over the hen would work, lol, it's potent stuff, you can keep a whole potato patch free of grasshoppers and other insects just by moving them around in pots. Each plant has a one to two square meter radius of effectiveness.

    Best wishes.
     
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