Sustainable Living > Farm Livestock

Bird/red/chicken mites


I have soooo much to catch you all up on with my bees: bear attack, electric fence, swarm catching, my first cutout, the list goes on and on...  Hopefully I'll find some time to post pics and start some topics to tell you the excitement I've been experiencing.

Unfortunately, I come with a problem...

I got chickens this year!  So I build a beautiful 12sqft coop on top of an enclosed 21sqft enclosed run.  I designed it to accommodate 4-6 chicken. Well, we somehow ended up with 8 chickens.  They're actually doing well in there, but it's really too small.  Needless to say, I'm now building a 25sqft walk-in addition on the side of my shed.  Their new run will be about 45sqft, plus we do let them free range.

Sadly, and I know where they came from, we are battling mites.  We have been knocking them down through frequent clean outs and DE dusting... But that only does so much.  I really want to eradicate the problem before moving them to the new coop.  I have read more webpages than you can imagine and there are just so many things out there, as well as some completely contradictory advice.

I've read about DE dusting, Seven dusting, Seven spraying, torching (not setting ablaze, but rather using a torch to heat everywhere including the nooks and crannies), bathing the chickens, steaming, and on and on.

- the DE really doesn't seem to do much
- the coop is only about 30' from the apiary, probably not a good idea to buy/use Seven (dust or spray)
- torching may not be a bad idea, I may do that as PART of the treatment
- I really think pressure steaming seems to be the cleanest, yet least harmful
- we will bathe them before moving them to the new coop

Have any of you encountered bird mites?  What one earth did you do about it!?!?!!  I feel bad for them and it's obviously not good for them.  It hasn't gotten to horrendous, but it certainly isn't good.  And the flippin' things are disgusting.


Thank you all so much for your help!

OAV? :)  I've only ever had poultry lice infestation.  They live in the feathers, so I treated with a bath and occasional dusting with DE. Red mites live in the cracks of the wood. So a good wash with Dawn is in order,  Then a rinse with maybe a spray bottle of white vinegar.

The experts all recommend perethrin for an initial attack on a serious infestation.  I don't know brands but personally I like my spray bottle from HD, and I would find something I could apply with that, especially in a coop that small.


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