Red Mites - I am afraid my whole flock is dying


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 21, 2011
Upperco, MD
Please help :( Let me start off by saying our chickens are our pets, really - I love them as much as my dogs and cats. Our most FAVORITE hen died today, Fluffy Face. I noticed her totally not herself last night so we made a vet appointment. The vet said she was emaciated, we had no clue...her feathers made her look perfectly normal. And she had red mites the vet told us. I have never dealt with a pest problem. I have no clue that they even had them, or they would have been treated instantly! Fluffy had her stomach drained where they found some yolk because of an egg getting into her abdomen. After all the fluid was drained she had a seizure and passed. I am a wreck tonight. Honestly, this was such a loss for me and my boyfriend.

Now I am SO worried about my other birds. I was reading that mites can lead to emaciation, lethargy and death - which is what happened to fluffy. I have no clue how long they have had the mites. I felt the chickens tonight and I can feel their breast bone and I am afraid they're dying as well. We also have a hen that we moved from another coop across the yard recently and I felt her chest and I don't feel bone so I am scared that the large coop has been infested for a while.

How can I get rid of them, FAST. I have heard pressure washing, but the inside of our coop is plywood. I plan on cleaning it tomorrow and I called a local feed store and they said they had a powder for them, I'm not sure of the brand.

Please, please send over recommendations. I am so worried and don't want anymore losses. Today was terrible enough.
the birds can be treated with frontline or ivermectin u can the coop needs to be power washed and a powder called diatin can be put in the bedding and on the perchs some people pour coke in the crackes in the walls guess it kills the mites if u can put your birds some were else the mites dont live on them
So sorry for your loss, I hope you can get rid of the mites. I haven't had to deal with mites but I did loose 4 of my 5 girls to a dog attack and they were our pets as well. The jerk who owned the dog was a a** and couldn't understand when one of the girls had to be put to sleep from her injuries. I digress...I know we are crazy for loving our chickens like our cats and dogs but it happens! I am so sorry!! Good Luck
I have been googling and there seems to be a lot of good recommendations for Diatomaceous Earth. I may see if I can find some at TSC or a local smal feed store.. Anyone have experience with this?
I am so sorry for your loss. Mites are stubborn and hard to get rid of. Try doing a search on BYC for Ivermectin and Sevin dust. These treat mites both on the bird and in the coop. Treatment needs to be repeated in 10 days to prevent re infestation. There is a BYC member named Dawg53 that is very knowledgeable about these things. He may be able to help you.

Good luck! I hope that you can beat this mite problem quickly.
You really need to take a deep breath and don't jump to conclusions. Your Fluffy had egg yolk peritonitis, which is deadly, and and she also had mites. You need to treat the mites and clean the housing, throw out the bedding, and dust everything--chickens, roosts, nest boxes, and the inside of the coop with sevin dust. DE will not do the trick now, but you can use it as a preventative if you think it helps later. Mites are hard to get rid of, but they can be controlled. Don't beat yourself up, just go from here and treat the rest of the birds.
DE will not work for an infestation, you will need to treat with chemicals. Washing first is a good idea, but follow up with the spray our dust product you settle on. Remember that these products have a withdrawal time for eating the eggs afterwards.

Your hen that died was probably weak from internal laying, making her more susceptible to the effects of the mites.

Good luck!
I have been googling and there seems to be a lot of good recommendations for Diatomaceous Earth. I may see if I can find some at TSC or a local smal feed store.. Anyone have experience with this?
I think that DE may be of some help as a preventive measure in the future, but once infested your birds will need stronger measures. Good luck!

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