I'm looking to buy a new chicken house - which material is best to avoid red mite?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sire12, Dec 10, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Sire12

    Sire12 Chirping

    204
    37
    91
    Aug 29, 2016
    Northern Ireland
    I'd prefer to get a shed rather than a coop as they are used to sleeping in a shed on roosts also a shed gives me more room to get in and power wash and is easier cleaned out, it's mostly for them to sleep in as they will be free ranging for the rest of the day so no need for a run. At first I was set on getting plastic because I assumed it would be easier to keep out red mite then I read that apparently it's just as easy for red mite to live in plastic / metal as it is wood, also which type of roof is better to get? I've heard felt is no good as the mites will live underneath it and be even harder to get at since you can't spray under the felt, I already have total mite kill and other products to keep them at bay I'm just wondering what you guys think would be the best option for a new chicken house if you were to to get a new one, I can spend around $250-300
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

    5,213
    12,140
    801
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    The only fool proof way to avoid red mites is to ensure no rodents or wild birds can get into the coop, as mites are tiny and experts at hiding out anywhere they can. They will even sit and wait on the under side of the roosting bar. Rodents and wild birds are the carriers (as well as hosts) and easily transfer these horrible pests when they come looking for food.

    I've had rats chew through thick pieces of wood to get to my quail. They will dig in as well given half a chance so they are the more challenging to keep out. Sheets of metal around the base of the coop around 3ft high (so they can't just jump over it) stops them climbing up to find a way in (or do any damage with those teeth).

    Hope that helps some.
     
    Sire12 likes this.
  3. Sire12

    Sire12 Chirping

    204
    37
    91
    Aug 29, 2016
    Northern Ireland

    Thanks for the info, I was planning on leaving the door to the run open all day so they can come in when it rains and to lay in their nest boxes so rats could still get in through the door even if I put metal sheets around the base :( do you know if material makes any difference like is it worth going for a plastic / metal shed or would it make no difference?

    Also I have some good thick tree branch roosts in their last coop but I'm not sure if I should bring them since the red mite eggs could still be there and hatch in the new coop, thinking of going with pvc roosts instead but again if material doesn't make a difference then I don't know
     
  4. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    3,048
    11,961
    692
    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    Red mite tend to live in cracks and in the end grain of wood in particular. The fewer of these you have the less places there are for them to hide in.
    Scaly Leg Mite lives on the chicken but you can find them (moving house) on the perch or the coop floor.
    Bedding often comes with mites already installed.
    I use plywood sheets to build my coops. This leaves the joint seams and the perch ends as the only hiding places for mites.
     
    Compost King likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    53,502
    36,975
    1,237
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do you mean like straw/hay that has been stored where wild birds and rodents have access?
     
    Shadrach likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    53,502
    36,975
    1,237
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Power washing is a great way to moisten the environment(especially wood) for bugs ;) if you soak it in anything with mites present, use permethrin spray.

    Not sure how much coop that will buy you in Ireland, probably close to in the US, it wouldn't get you much.
     
  7. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    3,048
    11,961
    692
    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    Yes, that's what we tend to get here. You can buy sawdust but often it isn't very well stored or packed.
     
  8. SW31

    SW31 Songster

    That’s why I like the Omlet stuff. We regularly clean it with a semi industrial Karcher power washer. There’s less nooks and crevices with the Omlet and it’s very, very clean after the Karcher.
     
  9. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    1,612
    2,064
    261
    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    You could caulk the seams I suppose, don't know how long it would last though.
     
  10. Sire12

    Sire12 Chirping

    204
    37
    91
    Aug 29, 2016
    Northern Ireland

    I was looking at their coops they looks great but are quite expensive, I would prefer plastic but couldn't a fox chew through a plastic shed / coop just as easily as wood?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: