Help with mites, broody hens, dirty hatching eggs, bedding

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by woodman, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. woodman

    woodman Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Two of my Buff Orpington hens got broody so I put half a dozen eggs under each and they've been sitting on them for two weeks, my first time at trying hatching at home. They have one small coop to themselves and the rest of my flock is in an adjacent paddock and coop. Just found yesterday the broody hens are heavily infected with mites (?). They were all over over the outside lid of the nesting boxes and covered my hands when I touched the coop. Last night inspecting my hens I could see the same tiny little dark creatures all through their feathers, northern fowl type? I'm in Maine, we had a warmer sunny about 50F yesterday, the warmest in a while.

    I read some posts here and got some Sevin and some diatomateous earth today. I'm thinking of dusting with Sevin to stop the mites and then some DE for maintenance and for the rest of my flock in the other coop.

    Should I change bedding in the coop and nests or wait until after hatching so I don't disturb the hens too much>

    Also, one hen broke an egg early on and the rest of the eggs and nest are pretty dirty. I'm worried about contamination. Should I just hope for the best or replace the eggs and hope the hen will sit on them for a new incubation period?

    Thanks for help with my newbie questions!
     
  2. sparkly_diamond

    sparkly_diamond Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Norfolk, UK
    Hi,

    I would certainly dust the mites as they can make chooks pretty poorly, and also dust the coop well.

    How far into incubation are you? If you are over 5-9 days and under 18 days there is no problem with moving the hens outside and then (very) carefully replacing the bedding, and then the same eggs back in the same nest box/area. These days are the critical days for develpment and you should try not to disturb them at this point. My broody hens have a time once a day they get off to feed and drink, do yours? if so this is the time to do everything [​IMG]

    There is no point dusting everywhere and not the bedding as you will not solve the problem of the mites.

    With the washing of the eggs, there are arguments for and against. Naturally mother nature has put a natural coating on the eggs and this protect them from bacteria and nasties. If you wash the eggs you can remove this natural protection and there are some that argue that you actually push the bacteria into the egg itself, potentially harming the egg.

    However, if an egg has broken/exploded over the others, it is advisable to wash the others that need it in tepid water, no detergent, and replace them quickly as the bacteria that will grow from the mess can harm the newly hatched chick and even momma chook.

    I have hatched out a few eggs, and I think that I try not to wash the eggs unless I absolutly have too. Nature created chooks to live in mud and dirt and hedge rows, so a little dirt will not harm them.

    I hope this has been a little helpful, however there are plenty of peeps on here who are far more qualified than I to anwser this.

    Good luck with the hatch. [​IMG]
     
  3. sparkly_diamond

    sparkly_diamond Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Norfolk, UK
    I hope this has been a little helpful, however there are plenty of peeps on here who are far more qualified than I to anwser this.

    Good luck with the hatch. [​IMG]

    Sorry my computer went a bit do-lally I didn't mean to post twice [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  4. woodman

    woodman Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Thanks for the quick reply. I've never seen them move off the nests since I'm gone all day long but I know they poop elsewhere in the coop once in a while. I have to keep the coop shut so the other hens won't bother the sitting ones.

    Today would be day 15 so if I can get away with changing the bedding that would be great.
     

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