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How old for Sevin?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 2DogsFarm, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I use Sevin dust in my coop & have never had a problem with mites or fleas.
    I never dusted my hens, just the floor of the coop, roosts & nest boxes beneath the pine shavings I use in the coop & boxes.

    I just added 2 baby chicks (going on 3 weeks old) and have sectioned off part of the coop for them.
    I have a plywood floor in the baby coop with shavings on top of that so there was no contact with the Sevin I used in there.

    How old should chicks be before I dust Sevin under the shavings in their coop?

  2. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    I found this information for you. I hope it helps you decide.

    address to this post: http://www.plamondon.com/faq_healthcare.html


    Roost mites are little eight-legged bugs that hide during the day and swarm over your hens at night. They can kill your chickens -- I've had chickens killed by them. Before feeding, they're gray; after feeding, they're red with your chickens' blood. They seem to be everywhere in North America; I don't know about other continents.

    Roost mites breed very quickly in warm weather. During the day, they hide in cracks and crevices, and in litter. When they're engorged with blood, they're fragile; they can pop like balloons. If you start noticing eggs with little pinhead-sized red or brown dots on them, these are mites that were squashed by the egg in the nest box. This is a bad sign. Having a "crawly" feeling up your arms after an egg collection is another bad sign. It means that mites have crawled up your hands and arms while you were collecting eggs. Roost mites aren't dangerous to humans, so far as I know, but it's a very disgusting feeling.

    The best early warning sign of mites is to flip the roosts over and look at the undersides. If there are lots of tiny little bugs crawling around there, this is bad.

    Because roost mites don't actually live on the chickens, they're controlled largely by treating the houses and the nest boxes. There are a variety of treatments. The one that has worked best for me is to paint the undersides of the roosts with linseed oil or used motor oil thinned with kerosene. Mites are killed by oils because a film of oil blocks their breathing pores and suffocates them. Probably any non-drying oil would work, though petroleum-based oils have the advantage of not being edible by vermin. Mineral oil would probably be okay for people looking for organic certification. My roosts are not nailed down, so I can flip them over, paint them, and flip them back. By painting the undersides only, the birds' bodies don't come into contact with the oil. (This is why I don't mind using old motor oil.)

    Insecticides also work against roost mites. Malathion and pyrethrins both work and are relatively non-toxic to the birds and humans. They also break down fairly quickly. Sevin works, but you're not supposed to use it around eggs. As always with chemicals, read the label and follow the directions. (Different insecticides are legal or illegal in different countries, with little rhyme or reason that I can see. Follow local regulations, or at least be furtive.)

    You can also kill the mites with steam or boiling water, which would be convenient if you have a hot-water pressure-cleaner handy. Whitewash is supposed to be reasonably effective, but most of the old-time poultry whitewashes had their effectiveness goosed up by chemicals which are banned nowadays for being carcinogenic. Whether plain whitewash is worth the effort is something I don't know.

    Some people will tell you that you can prevent roost mites by providing dust baths, using cedar shavings as nest littr, and putting diatomaceous earth in the nest boxes, dust baths, and everywhere else you can think of. I tried this, and none of it seemed to have any effect at all. I had some hens die while I was messing around with these "cures." Then I got out my sprayer and applied about twenty cents' worth of Malathion to my henhouses. That worked..

    Remember not to confuse prevention with cure, though. Oiling the roosts is mostly a preventative measure. If you have a serious infestation, you need to kill off the mites now.
  3. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Um... thanks but your post doesn't really address my question.

    I do not have mites in my coop - probably because I use Sevin.

    My adult hens show no signs of any infestation - they are healthy, pest-free birds.

    I was asking how old the chicks need to be before I use Sevin in their coop.
  4. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Songster

    Apr 10, 2010
    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    Sevin is really dangerous around your chickens. I grew up using it but it is probably best to avoid if at all possible. With that being said, your chicks are going to be at a pretty high rate of vulnerability if you choose to use it. I asked some old timers who have sworn off sevin too and they have switched to Adam's Flea and Tick. It works like a charm and isn't nearly as invasive as Sevil. You can use that around your chicks as long as they don't eat it.

    I wish I knew of an organic way to kill mites and have tried the ash and lime but didn't really work for me. I've also used plastic and metal roosts but then winter comes and... well lets just say I learned an ugly lesson about that!

    I know this isn't EXACTLY what you asked but hope it helps anyway. [​IMG]

  5. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Songster

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    I don't use sevin any more but I have found two alternatives that are really working for me. I use Diamataceous earth, and Boric Acid Powder. I sprinkle a little in the bottom of the nest boxes, and around the base of the coop underneath the shavings. I have also made a sand pit with a little diamataceous earth mixed in with the sand. The chicks love to take a sand bath in the stuff. I have used these for 10 years and it kills all the pesky mites, as well as any cockroaches or other insects. Diamataceous earth is volcanic ash that is harmless to your chickens and pets, just don't breathe the dust. I usually use a mask when I replace the dust. It is fairly heavy, so it is easy to apply. I usually replace it when I clean out my coop. As far as I know I haven't had any problems using these products and it only takes a small amount. Good Luck!
  6. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Thanks Dave & BunnyMomma
    My hens were 9wks old when I got them last June and I did not start using Sevin with them until late Summer, so they would have been about 5mos then.

    I'll look for the DE & Boric Acid powder but for now I think I'll just keep using Sevin for the grown hens' part of the coop and nothing for the babies until they're 5-6mos.
    Hopefully residual effect from the Big Girls coop will keep mites/vermin off the babies.

    I am handling them a lot - checking them over as well as getting them used to it so I will notice if anything is living on the chicks & can then treat accordingly.
    I know prevention is better than a cure, but for now that will have to do.
    They are healthy little babies, growing like weeds!

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