Nesting Hen with Mites

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by farmergirl26, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2014
    hey all!
    My broody hen abandoned her nest temporarily yesterday to take a dust-bath. Maybe I was overreacting, but I put them in an incubator while she vacationed. :p Then she came back and sat in another box with just one egg in it, so I put her eggs back under her. To get to the main point, tonight I took out the eggs to check the progress and they have teeny black bugs crawling all over them!

    -Is that dangerous?
    -Is there something I can do about it?

    Thank you so so much!
  2. chickster5003

    chickster5003 Songster

    Sep 1, 2013
    Isolate that chicken, you do not want the bugs to spread, trust me it's nightmare
  3. Shabana

    Shabana Songster

    How big were the bugs ?
    You say black - red mite are grey/black and only turn red once they've fed in a chicken.

    Broody hens are easy prey for them.
    Treat your hen with a mite powder and completely clean the coop with a cleaner designed to eradicate them. Sevin dust is good to use in the nesting boxes and on perch ends etc.

    You will need to do this every week to catch any mite eggs until you are sure they're gone.

    Check your hen. You are looking for tail being down, pale comb ( although it won't be red anyway if she's broody), perhaps red skin , tatty nibbled feathers.

    Give her a boost by feeding her a tonic or some vitamins and some hard boiled egg or scrambled egg.

    I blummin hate mites :(
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Probably mites.. buggers...

    I just had the same problem lol never had them before either.. anyhoo... i stripped her nesting area(including the whole coop) i dusted her(oh and by the way i discovered this on the DAY her nest started to hatch so i had to contend with brand new babies popping out like popcorn..)

    I put DE in the nesting area and the main coop.. i also dusted her coop mates and sprinkled some of it in the main coop... i used a 5% carbaryl poweder specifically made for livestock, i opted not to treat her nesting area due to the hatching chicks because your still eggs you maybe okay to do so, when is this nest due? i continue to watch her wee ones but honestly what was on her should be enough for her chicks it wasn't a bad infestation, thankfully.

    Now there are some more natural approaches.. i'll link you to them as well, i opted for the pesticide i am usually more natural but with babies literately coming i wasn't about to let it get hold.

    I am going to keep this handy and make up the coop solution figure it cannot hurt to have on hand.. i;ve had silkies brood this year and nothing but this hen was free ranged so more vulnerable in general. Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  5. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2014
    Thank you all so much!!
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Since the mite problem has been addressed, I'd like to mention one other thing. When your broody leaves the nest to eat, drink, dust bathe, etc. There is no need to take her eggs and put them in the incubator. They will be fine. Hens have been hatching eggs for centuries on their own. When you mess with a broody's nest, you are taking a chance of causing her to abandon it. Hands off is a good policy with a broody. Just let them do their job.
  7. darkbluespace

    darkbluespace Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
    Portland Oregon
    Mites are a great reason to move broodys away from the flock. My broody got mites last month and fortunately she had chosen a nest spot that was in my shed, not near the coop or other hens. So when I discovered the mites, I pulled out her nest and burned it... dusted heavily with DE and did this a couple more times after the chicks hatched and I have not seen a trace of them.

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