Potential disaster with imminant chicks, mites everywhere.


5 Years
Oct 9, 2014
I'll keep this short, a chook of mine went clucky 3 weeks ago, I decided to put 7 eggs of various breeds under her. It's now been 20 days and this mourning I heard cheeping sounds coming from the eggs. 9 hours later when I went to check up on them 1 of the eggs had hatched. The chick looked healthy and all looked well so I thought I'd leave them be for the time being.
Then I noticed there where a few small red dots on the mother, I soon realized she was absolutely covered in lice, and that there where some on the beak of the chick.
I was shocked, all my other chookuns are perfectly clean, they bathe many times a day and I hadn't seen any sign of parasites since when I got them, about a year ago. God knows how the mother got these.
Last time I checked, 2 or so hours ago, a second egg was hatching.
I considered moving the unhatched eggs to a uncontaminated location but I have neither a incubator nor another clucky chook at hand.
I do however have 3 other hens who are sleeping right now.
I don't know what the hell to do, I don't want the chicks getting mites, but I can't take them away from the infested mother.
Welcome to BYC. I would get some permethrin garden dust and dust the broody, and nest. It's difficult having to treat babies, but they will have a better chance if you start trying to rid your coop of lice. Sevin dust is also used for treating lice. The broody and other chickens should be dusted every 10 days, along with emptying out the pine shavings and removing them from the area. When the coop is empty, permethrin spray can be used to spray walls, flooring, and nest boxes. Here are some links to read:
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I had no luck treating for mites with ANY chemical until I physically BATHED the birds first, and wiped out most of the mites. I'd bathe Mom, and after blow-drying her, treat her. Then I'd spray or dip each exposed chick with WARM Poultry Protector (it's non-toxic, and works!) in a VERY warm (Hot) room, and get them dry AS FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE and back to the Mom, in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT area than they were kept before, with nothing from the old coop used in the new one.
You'll still have to keep on the situation, since it takes time to get rid of all of them, but you'll get a reprieve, at least, while the chicks get a start.

Good luck! (Of course, I wouldn't treat any chicks that hatched AFTER the broody was treated and the eggs were checked and relocated to a clean environment, as wetting them is REALLY risky.)
I believe that using coarse (construction) sand instead of shavings in my coop (including in the nestboxes! It was really HARD to get rid of those mites!) was one of the better things I did. Dust mixed in the sand seemed to work better. I don't think you can use sand with young chicks without impaction problems, though. Keep it in mind for the future. And SO easy to clean the sand daily! Just sift, (I use a waterlily planting basket for a sifter) and throw away only the poop! You need just a shallow layer of sand, and it keeps the coop dry.

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