Questions about red mites


Jun 29, 2022
Hello everyone, summer came by and I found out raising chicken came with a price, and that price included parasites no one had warned me about....

The infestation must have been there for a while, at least 2 weeks, but it became visible recently (about a week ago)
I have a small wooden henhouse and 6 chicken, only one still gives eggs

I'd like to be reassured and/or counciled on how to handle it, what I did so far is : burn the litter, use the blow torch once in all the corners, scrub with vinegar and soap, pressure wash and dry above a fire some of the parts ; my mom also pumps vinegar through the corners and crushes the mites that come out every other day

But I still see them swarming on my chick's back at night and it worries me, so here are my questions :
- I don't have a lot of diatomium powder, but I have a lot of ashes, are ashes as efficient as diatomium powder or should I buy more diatomium powder?
- how long should it take for the red mite population to deflate?
- is it useful to put ashes and/or diatomium powder on the chicken, knowing red mites don't live on the chicken? will it significantly reduce biting at night?
- how often should I use the blow torch?
- I have a straw bag that seems invaded, it's a LOT of straws... should I really burn them? can't I leave them in a corner of my backyard, far from the henhouse, and use them next year when I know mites left it?
- are there things I can do for my chicken's health? give them a lot of meat? I'm scared to death that one of them dies
- what are easy and cost effective methods you can advice me besides what I've tried?

and also : what are other things I should be warned about, say rats, mites, whatever... and how can I prevent them from bothering my chickens?

Thank you
hello @pouletfrancais - welcome to BYC :frow

Sorry to hear you are having this problem; it is a common one and it is hard to eradicate mites in wooden coops. If you can, I would burn the coop (as well as the straw) and get a robust plastic one which disassembles for easy and complete cleaning with plain water, like this firm's .

If that's a step too far, do the best job you can to clean every nook and cranny of the wooden coop, using a disinfectant recommended for use with poultry (your govt may publish online a list of such products, like this ), and then when it's dry, apply a thick coat of vaseline jelly ( ) to every nook and cranny, especially the ends of the roost bars. Any mites still left after the cleaning will get stuck in the vaseline, and you can wipe them away and reapply vaseline until the problem is solved. That's easy and cost effective, but thoroughly cleaning a wooden coop isn't.

There are lots of predators and pests that threaten backyard chickens and that vary with where you live and how you keep your chickens. There is a great deal of very good advice on this site, so I would suggest you search the learning centre for articles that deal with your kind of environment and keeping arrangements. Have fun!

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