Simple approach to pest management

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jharrs, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. jharrs

    jharrs Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Hi all,

    I've had chickens for years, but I'm not really 100% on what is needed to control mites and other pests that concern chickens.

    At the moment they definitely have scale on their legs which I believe is treatable by dipping their legs in oil a few times. But is there a fairly simple and safe (for the chickens, our egg consumption and our garden) solution that covers most things that will affect chickens?

    I've recently discovered Spinosad for flea treatment, but it's broad insect treatment and safety profile makes me want to use it on the garden too. Is this a possibility? I've read up on diatomaceous earth but I don't think that's safe respiratory-wise.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes, you can kill scaly leg mites with oil or something like Vaseline. It works by smothering them.. A gentle washing of the legs with a soft brush first can help, by exposing the bugs.

    And yes, DE is highly irritating to your and their respiratory tract. It also has limited effectiveness for lice/mites, and none on anything else. I routinely sprinkle a bit of Sevin 5% garden dust about the coop a few times a year and haven't ever seen bugs on my birds. I realize Sevin has its down side, but am not sure there is a perfect solution. The permethrin/pyrethrin type products (like Adams flea and tick spray, or "poultry dust/spray" found in many feed stores) are probably less toxic and certainly quite effective. I've read a little about Spinosad and it does sound like a preferable alternative, although I understand it should not be used on the birds themselves, if there is ever an infestation. I was thinking it was developed for the garden, but really, have not researched it at all.

    None of these will be effective against worms. Some people worm at least once a year and some have never wormed. The worms that chickens get are definitely more common in moist, warmer soils, and may not be a problem at all in desert areas. Also, it's quite possible that some older flocks have developed enough immunity that their worm load doesn't really affect them. It's also possible that flocks with access to forage and wild plants may eat things that control their worm load. If you should decide to worm, probably your best bet is either Safeguard goat wormer or Valbazen cattle wormer.
     

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