mites in chicks?

surf-chick

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
4
0
7
Kailua, Hawaii
Just got my chicks yesterday and want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. My husband is paranoid about mites so I've promised him I would do as much research as possible. Can chicks that are not exposed to the outside get mites? I'm assuming it may be possible to transfer mites in from where we bought them??? Are there things to do to help prevent an infestation? Any help is appreciated!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
721
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
The following is just a train-of-thought post, with some info. for you:

I have to treat at least every 4 months or more with permethrin otherwise we get infestations from the wild birds.

If they have never been outside then they cannot get mites. Diatomaceous earth doesn't treat an infestation.

I would set up a dust bath for them with some sand or dirt out of the rain and that will help them keep bugs away. You can put some DE in the bath too- it might help some.

Be sure to spray your coops as well. When you treat for mites, do two treatments, seven days apart due to the life cycle of the mites (if you have poultry lice then do a third treatment as the life cycle is longer, or just two treatments two weeks apart). I use poultry dust for this, and make sure you get under the wings, around the vent, and don't dust the face.

Baby chicks don't require dusting unless they already have mites. Mites will bite humans but cannot reproduce unless they have bird blood. The Northern Fowl Mite lives for 3 weeks with no blood meal and the red mite lives for up to 9 months with no bird blood meal. So if you collect them in the home and then they are gone off your chickens, simple vacuuming will get rid of them (and changing sheets etc.) eventually.

But on the chickens they will reproduce and eventually even kill some of the chickens from blood loss. So it is a part of keeping chickens, the keeping away of mites (or treating when they do get infested). Look for mites around the vent and under the arms. I never have seen them on the chickens though- I find them on me or biting me- that is how I know when they are infested.
You can also put the poultry dust in the dust bath for them but they will eat it and I don't like that so I dust them with a tied-off sock (powder inside it), turning them on their backs and holding onto feet on ground, then flip them over.
 
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Noobchick

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
389
11
108
Creedmoor, NC
I've had my grown girls for 2 years. They've never had mites. Never. And I check routinely. They had lice once, when I had to keep the poor things in the coop for 2 weeks to let their feet heal from bumblefoot. (What a nasty, hot, wet summer that was!)

It's not a big deal if they get mites or lice. Most of the time, they'll dust bathe and it'll never be a problem. If you practice basic coop care, it shouldn't ever be a problem. (BASIC! Not talking about bleaching everything down and bringing in Hazmat suits! Lol)

If, for some reason, They end up getting a case of lice or mites, the cure is easy: add a little bit of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to where ever they dust bathe.

I hope you're not considerin keepin them inside to prevent them from getting lice/mites. Chickens take care of the problem themselves, when they're allowed to do so. I've learned in the last two years that the more I interfere with what comes naturally to them, the more problems pop up.

Good luck. You'll be fine.
 

Noobchick

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
389
11
108
Creedmoor, NC
Also, I just read the reply above. "If they've never been outside, they can't have mites". That's true for newly hatched birds, but that doesn't mean that you can avoid mites by keeping them inside as they get older. Lice and mites can and will crawl into the coop.

Asomething else to keep in mind is that the lice and mites that chickens get do NOT feed off humans. They are species-specific. They feed of chickens and birds, not humans, not cats, and not dogs.
 

surf-chick

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
4
0
7
Kailua, Hawaii
Thank you for the replies! My chicks are only one week old, hence the reason they are inside. Eventually, they will move outside to their coop. I just wanted to gather as much info beforehand so that I am prepared :)
 

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