Keeping chickens mite free


In the Brooder
May 7, 2017
Is there anything I should be doing to help keep my chickens lice and mite free?
Also, how often do you clean out your chicken coop? We use straw in our nesting boxes and cedar shavings on the floor... I've been cleaning every two weeks but it seems to get pretty yucky by then
I clean every weekend.Provide a dust bathing area for them to dust in and it can keep/prevent/control lice and mites.
Some people suggest using DE. Or just put some in the dust bath area.
When I let mine out they often find old burn piles and bath in the ash. So I've started adding ash to the dust bath area in the run.
I use semi deep litter in my coop. About 6-8" deep. I haven't cleaned it in 2 months. About every two weeks I mix it up really good. I'll do a complete clean out this fall.
We've never had mites. When we first started raising chickens I read wood ash helps to deter mites & lice so we mix that in the dust bath (we use peat moss & wood ash). I also sprinkle a little DE in the nesting boxes.

The coop is only cleaned out twice a year but we do have a poopboard under the roost that gets cleaned daily. There is a deep carpet of pine flakes on the floor.
I only have 2, so a 3 minute poop-pickup daily is easy enough for me. Mine don't roost. They sleep in their nest box, which I know is very naughty of me to allow but I don't really care about poopy eggs. Eggs can be washed. Anyway, I'm not willing to let them sleep in the previous night's poop, so hence daily poop pick up.
Wild birds and rats can carry mites. My girls don't free range but we had huge rats start hanging around, making a home for themselves under our raised (mud free) run. We had mites turn up when they moved in. I battled them for weeks over summer.

Mites hide on the bottom side of your roosts and in nest boxes. Make it a habit to run your hand under the roosts every now and then. If you find smears of blood that's squished mites! Painting the roosts and boxes with neem oil has worked for me.
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