Trying to gather all the info I can on mites. Please advise

wbruder17

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
1,661
15
153
Portland, OR
My girls have mites. Nothing outwardly noticable, but since I hold and pet them all the time, I am seeing some. Certainly not qn infestation. So I am trying to learn all I can but still have some questions.

Here's what I do/have: about 20 chickens, 2 pheasants and 2 ducks. They have a huge outdoor run (about 430 sq.ft) that has sand, gravel, pumice, dirt and a large section of mulch. Their coop is large enough to sleep them all with perch to spare. I clean it weekly, sweepiing all bedding out, dusting with DE and rebedding. There is also DE added to their dust bath hole.

Questions:
1. As mites are so common, is there really any way to keep a flock completely mite free?

2. I DO NOT treat my birds with anything chemical and will not. Is there anything else I can do to keep the mites either away or under control?

3. If I do not treat them, will the mites inevitably cause damage?

These little creepers have greatly come between me and my chickens and none of us are happy about the lessened lovey dovey time, so what's the solution?
 

wbruder17

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
1,661
15
153
Portland, OR
Yea, mostly when I ask questions, the responses have to do with giving meds, and I just don't like giving them anything that will make their eggs unsafe. I try to keep them as naturally healthy as possible, so they can develop a strong immune system. I just want to be able to hold my chickens without worrying about the creepies. Sometimes when I am done hholding and massaging under their feathers, I will have a bug crawling on my hand and that makes me have the heebie jeebies and feel all itchy all over afterward.
 

Elite Silkies

Crowing
10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
5,410
49
251
Oklahoma
My Coop
I do have to tell you that if you do not treat them, they can die and the mites will only get worse until they are all infested. I use the Poultry Protector from TSC. That's about as natural as your going to get. I also use Adams Flea and Tick, Poultry Dust, Sevin, Viper and Ivomec Pour on.
 

Squishypuff

Songster
8 Years
Mar 14, 2011
442
2
109
Kernersville, NC
I actually bathed all 40+ birds (many Silkies, boy was that a long day!) last weekend due to mites. Everyone got a bath and dried, then treated with Sevin dust. I also deep cleaned the coops and pens, and treated them with sevin as well. I've yet to see another mite, thank goodness!

Mites can become a really serious thing if left alone- they have to be dealt with. they're a pain in the rear!
 

wbruder17

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
1,661
15
153
Portland, OR
Quote:I totally understand what you are saying....but what I want to know more about is anyone that DOESN'T treat with sevin or any of those other toxic chemicals. How do you control them? I read an article about garlic, and dandelion, wormwood, nasturtium, peppermint and a few others I don't recall offhand, as being natural controllers for both internal and external parasites.

I know people raising organic chickens cannot use any of the pesticide dusts, so what do they do?
 

wbruder17

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
1,661
15
153
Portland, OR
Also, can you tell me a bit more about this Poultry Protector? You say its as natural as it gets.... what does that mean?
 

littlenell1

Chirping
8 Years
May 25, 2011
120
5
89
UK
I use diatomaceous earth in the coop and put some in the areas the girls dust bathe. So far no mites. I also add it to their feed as a wormer. I have also read about using things like garlic in their water too as it makes them not so tasty for the mites to munch on. I am still reading about herbals I can use.

I avoid chemicals in my dogs and my growing poultry clan. I will use chemicals as a last resort but at the moment I find there are alternatives and am happy to use them. Our dogs have never had fleas, and just the odd tick when in livestock fields but I do check them over daily, as they are short coats it makes it easier than the feathered critters!
 

takos

Hatching
8 Years
Apr 18, 2011
8
1
9
I have been struggling with mites on and off for a couple of years, and don"t like to use ivomectin. I use spray on vegetable oil (Pam) on their legs and it seems to help--I spray in the evening when they are about to go to sleep. Also Last summer I painted all the roosts in the coop with a mixture of turpintine and linseed oil. I also use dicotamous earth--I sprinkle it in their bedding, leave a container for dirt baths and have even put some in their feed. I find mites are at their worst in the spring.
 

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