mites??!!!! but they don't look like anything I'm finding!

newbie2this

Chirping
Apr 14, 2015
32
2
60
Ok - so when I went to get eggs this afternoon I saw two little bugs scurrying around on two of the eggs - at first glance they looked like little ant(but the color was off, and movement was wierd ) I let the Girls out of their run to roam and went back to the eggs - these bugs weren't ant! And a few of the girls are having feather problems..... so I'm guessing mites -- but can't find a picture that looks like the type of mites they have?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I wouldn't worry about identifying them, I would just get some poultry dust and dust your birds, especially on their bottoms and under the wings, I will also put some in the nestboxes under the bedding.
 

Lady of McCamley

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x2

With dusting the birds and sprinkling dust on their dusting area, I'd also clean out the current bedding, get rid of it, and sprinkle poultry dust on the bottom of the coop then apply bedding over that and sprinkle some poultry dust on top. I'd also in the process spray the coop nooks and crannies with either Permethrin spray or something like Orange Guard.

If they are red little mite like creatures, like specks of pepper that move slowly, it will be essential you attack that coop with a vegence as Red Roost Mites take hold in the coop itself and can be very hard to get rid of.

That is what I would do right now and repeat in 10 days, and again in 10 days if I see any evidence (and probably even if I don't).

If you are seeing bugs on the eggs, there is a definite problem of overgrowth.

If that doesn't work, come back to us and we'll walk you through plan B.

LofMc

Edited to Add: BTW...while there are the typical commonly found varieties, there are actually an alarming number of different external parasites that can invade a chicken. Rule of thumb is if it is fast moving, it is probably a louse (lice), if it is very small and slow moving, probably a mite. Mites tend to suck blood creating scabs (and itching) while lice live off of the skin, dander, and feathers and typically produce the most feather damage.

Further investigation at night with a flash light may help you figure out which one it may be, which can help with follow up treatment if the Poultry Dust and spray regiment above doesn't help eradicate (albeit you probably never eradicate to 100%).
 
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newbie2this

Chirping
Apr 14, 2015
32
2
60
They were definitely fast moving. Will the dust kill louse too.... if that is what it is?? I immediately went to the feed store last night and bought dust, cleaned the coop, dusted the coop. I will get some pyrethrin spray too and spray the coop. Poor chickens :(

We have had them for almost a year and this is the first time I have had this problem. I read that garlic powder/spray is effective too??? Anybody try this?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I have always eaten the eggs. It is normal for there to be some mites, chickens usually take care of them when dust bathing, once in a while things can get out of balance, so make sure they have a nice dusty hole to roll around in.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
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Mar 19, 2011
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I have always eaten the eggs. It is normal for there to be some mites, chickens usually take care of them when dust bathing, once in a while things can get out of balance, so make sure they have a nice dusty hole to roll around in.

x2

I agree. Lice and mites are constant enemies and the goal is to keep them in check. You will likely never completely rid your birds of them, but healthy dusting areas and clean coops go a long way in the battle against them.

I've never had a big issue as long as I keep the coop reasonably clean and provide a good dry dusting place with sprinkled poultry dust atop of that. In my wet Oregon, my poor birds are hard pressed to find a dry spot to roll around in during winter. For that reason, winter is a common time for lice/mite build up. The birds have difficulty finding a good place to dust. I had to create one for them with a hard plastic baby pool and some soil from the flowerbed placed under a shed awning that is in their run.

Poultry dust will not harm the eggs (you may want to wash the shells if they were sitting in dust).

Permethrin Poultry Dust or Carbaryl (Sevin) will help with both lice and mites. Sevin is technically no longer approved for use on poultry, but has been used for years to do so.

Chances are your birds have body lice if it is fast moving.

BTW: you can also use ash from a wood burning fireplace in the dusting area. Remove any large chunks or nails. The birds like it when its still a bit warm. Just be very careful it doesn't sit in water as that produces lye.

LofMc
 
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