Mites. But are they chicken mites?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by zoelovesmom, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. zoelovesmom

    zoelovesmom In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Hi there,

    I have some mites near my coop, but I have not seen any in the coop or on the chickens. So my question is: are they some other kind of mites, or are they chicken mites, and if they are chicken mites, what to do?

    I am fairly new to chicken keeping; my intro is here .

    Here's what my coop looks like:

    My four chickens free range during the day and only go in the coop at night. So they are able to take dust baths. I also have DE in the litter in the coop.

    We have had our coop set up for a few months now. I was planning to do DLM (deep litter method), but the chickens kicked the litter out of the coop and into the rocks around it. Everything was fine until it started raining every day, and then the litter in the rocks got moldy and it was all a big fail. I think we're going to switch to sand on the ground level once this is all resolved.

    So I was trying to clean the litter out of the rocks, and I noticed some little red mites running in a line. They seemed like miniature ants or spiders. I didn't think too much of it.

    Then I was reading Storey's Guide to Chickens, and saw the part about how chickens get mites, and the description sounded like what I saw, and apparently these mites can do a TON of damage.

    So I checked the chickens, and did not see a single mite on any of them.

    I took the coop apart and scrubbed down every bit of it, and I didn't see a single mite in any crack or crevice. Now I am scared to put the coop back on the ground, for fear the mites will get on the chickens. For now, the coop is set up on a cement patio, and that is not going to work for long.

    The ONLY place I have seen the mites is on the ground around the coop.

    So is there such a thing as some other kind of mites, near a coop? If they are chicken mites, and I was already doing DE on everything, what can I do to kill the mites that are left in the ground?

    I am trying to raise these chickens organically (just for our family, but still), but I don't know how to rid the ground of mites and keep them from coming back into the coop and maybe getting on my chickens.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.
  2. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    The red ones do not bother chickens. We called them rock mites growing up since we usually found on rocks or bricks. They are really red velvet mites or just velvet mites and are beneficial as they feed on grasshoppers and spiders .

    Here are some pics and info:

    mites are much harder to see!
  3. zoelovesmom

    zoelovesmom In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Thanks for the reply. These mites are smaller than 1/8". I would say they are about the size of a period at the end of a sentence, or smaller. I was only able to see them because they were moving en masse.

    I sincerely hope you are right, and that's all they are!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

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