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#75348 - 04/21/08 12:25 PM Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Bad Seed Girl Offline
Feather

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Tennessee
I am helping to raise my Nephews 4-H chickens (black star sex link). My father was supposed to be doing this project with my nephew but he passed away 6 days before the chicks arrived. I was left helping him keep them alive and so far they have thrived. We have 26 hens and a rooster, so much for sexlinking! I live in Middle TN and have just moved the chicks outside to the coop. The chick are now 5 1/2 weeks old. (Yes, we are putting a heat lamp in the coop at night so the chickens are staying in the 70dgr range). My cousin has been all though 4-H and came by to check on the chicks with me. He said I need to put sevin dust out for the chicks to roll in to prevent mites. I try not use chemicals in my yard and around my house because I have a spring fed water source and don't relish the idea of chemicals in my drinking water. Are there any organic remedies to mites? This is just the first of many questions I have about chickens, but I'm taking things one at a time.

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#75349 - 04/21/08 01:25 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Ridekool Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 313
Loc: Canada
I use DE to keep the creepy crawlies away, but I found that it didn't work to kill the buggers if the chickens had them...once I killed them with louse/mite powder DE is great for keeping them at bay.
DE...please don't ask me to spell it frown

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#75350 - 04/21/08 01:57 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Diatomaceous Earth

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#75351 - 04/21/08 02:17 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Bad Seed Girl Offline
Feather

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Tennessee
Can that be picked up at any farm supply store or Co-op?

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#75352 - 04/21/08 02:59 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
The Diatamaceous Earth (DE) will act as a preventative as long as the chicks don't already have mites. Clean sandbox quartz sand or good clean dirt will act in the same manner (i.e. for them to dust bathe in). You need food grade DE (Codex) and not the regular garden variety DE which is like a chemical. my local Co-op only has the regular garden variety DE, not food grade DE. Others on here say that they can purchase Food Grade DE at their local feed store; I can't-- I order mine online.

If the chicks are infested with mites already, then we can give further advice as needed. If infested, there are other ways of ridding the mites & lice without poisoning your groundwater. Chris

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#75353 - 04/21/08 03:25 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Bad Seed Girl Offline
Feather

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Tennessee
Thanks so much Chris, They are not infested yet, my cousin said to use sevin to prevent the mites. I will check with co-op and TSC locally.

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#75354 - 04/21/08 03:59 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Cold, dry wood ash works too. Hardwood ash seems to be the best, so if you have a wood furnace, you're all set.

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#75355 - 04/21/08 04:52 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Well, you cannot prevent anything you do not have??? That would be a waste of Sevin, and if you have them, it takes something to kill them--right on the bird, because that is the only place they LIVE. Best to inspect the birds for mites, regularly--they may not get them. Mites have to come from mites--other birds, mite eggs left behind from other birds that have them, wild bird feathers that "might" have an egg attached. They do seem to appear magically--but they don't---- there must be a source Dry, dusty bedding makes a difficult place for them to move. Suggestions for dusting places for the birds, is good, their natural behavior to keep comfortable and maybe, Mite-free! Good luck, CJR

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#75356 - 04/21/08 05:22 PM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
P. Smith1340 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Oregon
badseedgirl, I dont know what you're using for bedding, but along the same lines as CJR mentioned, dry dusty bedding is best. I clean out my coop weekly, as the chickens are only in there to sleep (yet still manage to make quite a mess). I sprinkly DE on the floor, in the nest boxes, and on the perch. Wear a mask, as it's a very fine powder and can irritate the lungs. I let the dust settle and air out, and then I put in clean shavings on top of it. I haven't had my girls for long, but I do check them regularly for mites. None as of yet. Whether thats due to good hygiene on their part, or keeping the coop clean, or luck, I dont know. You can also mix it in with the dirt or sand in the areas that they dust bathe in. Do a search on here and on Google for DE. Some swear by it, some think its bogus, who knows. I know I don't have mites, and no chemicals either smile

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#75357 - 04/22/08 09:06 AM Re: Organic mite protection, does it exist?
Ckvchestnut Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 346
Loc: Canada
What types of environmental areas or climates would make mites come around? I have never used the DE yet but I did use the advice of putting a sandbox of ash from our woodstove in the coop and I have never seen a mite. I thought there was a possibility of one of our hens having them last winter as her bum was getting kind of bald, so that's when I put the wood ash in the coop and her feathers are growing back.
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Ckvchestnut

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