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Mites - how to get rid of the demons?!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Celtics33, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Celtics33

    Celtics33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2015
    As I have been battling mites for a couple of weeks, I have been reading threads about the little demons. As that most are older threads, I haven't gotten any responses from my posts. So here is hoping for some advice and help with this thread. About a month ago, we had a huge snow storm with 12 - 18" of snow that kept the ground covered for a week. My flock did not dare venture outside for any of that time - the Prima Donnas! That's when the problems began. I have used permitherin powder on my girls liberally about 4x in the last month. This did not seem to be fixing the problem, so after reading another thread, I decided to try Ivomec. The flock appeared to look better (redder combs, wattles, etc.) for a day or two. Now, I'm seeing pale combs, redness on the legs of one of my roosters (don't know if this is in relation to the mite issue or not), and one hen's middle toe is swollen on both feet and I think she lost the toenail. I've changed the nest box material twice and treated with permitherin powder. One of my biggest concerns is that I have sand for the bedding of my coop (a truck bed load to be exact). I understand that I need to spray my coop, but do I need to remove all of that sand before doing so? I chose sand because I thought it would be cleaner, but now I am worrying that the little buggers are burying down and hiding in it [​IMG] My vet has suggested using something called Atroban to spray my chickens and the coop. Has anyone used this and if so, did you have any luck? I've mixed cedar shavings in with the sand. I've bought the DE and seven dust. I've also built a nice fire the last couple of days so I will have some wood ash. I would set off smoke bombs in the coop, but with all of the ventilation, I don't think it would be worth the time or money. I just want the little demons gone now!!!! I am willing to empty the sand if necessary and hand dunk every chicken I have (27),but if I get rid of the sand, what do you put down in it's place that's any better??? Also, while reading another post, I got very concerned. I cleaned out the litter of my coop last weekend (like a huge cat little box) and put the waste material in my garden area. (whole point of coop being built next to garden - natural fertilizer). Yes, it had some feather shafts in it - so now is my garden going to be infested? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you to all who have already posted about mites. I'm trying to learn all I can as that I'm a relatively novice chicken owner.
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel your pain - I hate mites! I started a thread a while ago in my lowest point in the battle. LOL There are so many great ideas and experience posted here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/945843/lessons-learned-in-my-battle-with-mites

    I finally bought Frontline Spray from Petco and used it on my roosters - which are normally the hardest hit. (It's using it off label and I don't use it on hens that I know are laying.) They've been mite free ALL winter now. I occasionally will use it on a hen if she's heavily infested, but usually just stick to permithrin dust when I see any on the hens. We still have mites, but it is NOTHING like it was. As stated in that thread, I changed my mentality from zero tolerance to control, and that has helped a lot!

    I don't think the toes are related to the Ivomec, but I've never used it. It may be more related to injuries from being cooped up during the snow or from frostbite. If anything, I'd be concerned that you may be over treating. I hope you get some answers!
     
  3. Celtics33

    Celtics33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the link. I'm not truly worried about total annihilation, but I do need to get a better grip on it. My hens are still losing feathers on their backs & around the vent area. I like the idea of treating the roosters & not the hens with Front-line. I think the reason it got out of hand was the inability to dust bathe for a week. I'm working on fixing that issue (trying to gather wood ashes from entire family to put in a plastic tub inside the coop). What kind of front-line did you use? The ones for cats or dogs? What is your opinion of the sand in the coop? We have some permitherin spray we use in the horse barn for flies that I'm going to use today in the coop. I think I'm going to try that before removing all of that sand. I now have two hens with a swollen middle toe - they are both light Sussex. It doesn't look like bumble foot or scaly leg mites to me, but I don't see that they would get frost bite and not the other 25. I hope I'm not sounding grumpy/bossy, I'm just desperate for answers. Thanks again for your link and help.
     
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone just posted on that mite thread that Frontline has a lifetime withdrawal period, so don't plan to use it on anything you want eggs or meat from. I understood I would not be using treated roosters for meat with it, so be aware of that when picking something. I got the Frontline spray. http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/frontline-spray-treatment-for-pets Again - do your research and make sure you know what it is.

    Winter has always been worse with us. I switch off with Sevin and Permithrin dust in the dust baths the rest of the year and it goes pretty well. I also occassionally spray my coop down with liquid permithrin and spray diluted on the chickens when needed in warmer weather.

    I have no experience with sand, but search on here - lots of people use it and love it!

    Maybe post pictures of those toes in the diseases/cures section and see what people say.
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    When you're cleaning, do you repeat the process in 10 days after the first treatment? You have to retreat everything to catch the next cycle of hatching mites, or the infestation just starts all over again.

    I would clean out the nests, sprinkle some Sevin on the bottom and cover with bedding. Spray every crack and crevice in your coop (you can also take a paint brush and some used motor oil to the walls and roost(s) and then mix a bunch of Sevin and DE into your sand. Ideally, you'd want to remove everything (twice), but I wouldn't dump the sand. If they're burrowing into the sand, the DE and Sevin will get them eventually. Obviously, treat the birds as well (twice).

    I have Silkies, they go broody a lot, and unfortunately broodies are a magnet for mites so it seems like they're something I deal with every. single. stinking. year. Ugh.
     
  6. Celtics33

    Celtics33 Out Of The Brooder

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    I treated the chickens with Ivomec about 10 days ago. I did spray the entire coop down with permitherin yesterday and cleaned out the nest boxes. I also added a plastic tub with wood ashes inside the coop. Tonight when they go on their roost, I intend to inspect all closely. If I see any mites, I intend to spray them with the permitherin as that we are having a little warmer weather.
     
  7. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you got a wood stove, or fireplace? I take the ash spread it around the run, and fill their dust bathing holes. Haven't had a mite yet.
     
  8. mrdiver

    mrdiver New Egg

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    Go to pool store and get chlorine. in pump sprayer mix half water half chlorine. spray every thing but chicken wire.
    replace all bedding with small Hard wood chips or similar. buy big bag of diatamatious earth ( have no idea how to spell that) and
    mix it heavily with the chips. dust everything with it. if you dust spring and fall you shouldn't have any more problems.

    keep the coop and laying boxes dry and clean. hope this help.
     

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