Tiny tiny bugs on broody's clutch of eggs

chics in the sun

9 Years
Apr 1, 2010
I am on day 17 of my broody White Leghorn sitting on eight eggs. She wsa off the nest dust bathing today and I took the opportunity to look at the eggs. There were very very small, barely visible bugs crawling on them. I am not sure what they are, or if I should try and do anything about them this late in the hatching game. I don't want them to get on the chicks when they hatch. My broody's comb looks like a shriveled up fall leaf, but i just assumed it was from her being broody for so long (she was broody for a week before I gave her the eggs, too). Should I pick up the eggs and put some DE and fresh pine shavings down? She doesn't get too upset when I reach in there, and when whe candled them Saturday night she only made minimal teradactyl noises at us.
That won't affect her newly hatched chicks? I'm scared to use chemicals on the nest so close to the eggs hatching. I just checked her, and she has them too.
They are mites and they are draining her blood and will do the same to the chicks. Ivermectin is relatively innocuous stuff- I use it on three day old puppies. Mites in large enough quantities can kill setting hens.
What should I do about the pine shavings? Should I move all the eggs and replace it, or is it too much of a risk to move the eggs on day18? Will treating the broody eliminate them without messing with the nest?
At this stage of the game, she will not abandon the nest if you take the shavings out and replace them with clean fresh ones.....Good Luck with the babies..not long now.
Thank you! I will do it verry carefully. She has been a good broody, and only gets off the nest for a short while once a day, so I'm sure you are right. I'm so nervous - Stupid Mites!!

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