How exactly do you use DE on chickens to get rid of mites?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rachelwright, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. rachelwright

    rachelwright Out Of The Brooder

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    I found a couple mites crawling on an egg in the nesting box. I checked 1/5 of my chickens and didn't see any on her, but couldn't get hold of the others. What should I do? Also 2 of my girls are missing a couple tail feathers, do you think this is related?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  2. Themehmeh

    Themehmeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Possibly related to the missing tail feathers if they're doing a lot of scratching.

    All you have to do with Diatomaceous Earth is sprinkle it all over the bedding, run and nesting boxes, paying special attention to their dust bath. if they don't have a dust bath, get them one. A large kitty litter box full of play or swimming pool sand is good. You don't need a ton, a light sprinkle is good enough. If the birds are heavily infested, you can sprinkle some on their feathers and ruffle them around a little to make sure it gets underneath but don't do that unless it's bad because it can cause dry skin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

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    DE is not the most effective way to manage mites and other parasitic pests. IMO, it's more or less useless. Clean out and spray down the whole interior of your coop with the stuff below. Harmless to animals, deadly to insect pests, good stuff. Then, get some poultry dust, and dust your birds down. Poultry dust has perithene (Spelling?) in it, and will kill the mites. DE would be a waste of time.




    http://happyjackinc.com/product/kennel-dip-ii/
     
  4. rachelwright

    rachelwright Out Of The Brooder

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    Will either chemicals affect the eggs at all? Have either of you tried DE? If so what was you experience?
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    No. What you likely saw was common chicken mites. They don't live on the chicken. They live in the cracks, nooks, and crannies of the coop or pen. These mites swarm out at night and suck the blood from your hens. DE will have zero effect on them unless you take the sack and drop it on each individual mite. You will need an insecticide like Permethrin and spray it on the roost, and wood of your coop. There are a kind of mite that lives on the hen called the depluming mite and the northern foul mite but they mostly live on the chicken. Check up on your mites and chicken lice, and count the number of legs to learn whether you have lice (which I doubt) or mites, then treat accordingly.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Same as JackE reported.

    If you use a dust like Sevin you are supposed to discard your eggs for 7 days. Few do and anyway the FDA allows Sevin dust to be used on tomatoes right up to the time that you slice them. Permethrin does not require you to discard any eggs, it is the same chemical that marigold flowers produce to kill insect pests and is likely the active ingredient in JackE's dog spray or shampoo.
     
  7. Themehmeh

    Themehmeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had an issue with fleas in the summer and the issue seemed to resolve when I sprinkled DE all over the yard, concentrating it in the coop. It's not a heavy duty solution but it seemed to work for me.
     
  8. rachelwright

    rachelwright Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone for answering! I had bought some DE before all the answers came in, so I decided to give it a try anyways. It did not work. It seemed to reduce the number of mites (that may have just been the cleaning that did that though), but there was not the eradication I was looking for. I've tried again today with permethrin, and I'm hoping for better results!
     

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