The Mitey Fright!

June 30, 2011
Well, hello there arugula, don’t mind if I do…

There once was a chicken with mites.

It gave the poor owner a fright.
For when she looked there,
Beneath chicken hair
She saw them there in broad daylight.
~ Tilly’s Nest


Yes, indeed broody Dolly has them.  This is probably because she is broody and has not been dust bathing as usual and keeping up with the hygiene.  You know, those invisible eggs are pretty important to a broody girl!  Immediately, I dusted her with DE and sprayed her with the Poultry Protector.  So far she is the only one.  When I blew on her feathers, I saw five.  Yes, panic has set in!

Mind you, I have been incredibly vigilant about mites this year.  To say the least, upon this discovery, I went a little crazy!  First I dusted the entire run with food grade diatomaceous earth (DE).  Then I locked the girls out of the coop and gave it a nice cleaning.  Before, replacing the pine shavings, I sprayed everything down with Poultry Protector including the removable roosts.  I also sprinkled and dusted the entire coop with DE.  I replaced the pine shavings and dusted the nesting boxes with Nesting Box blend.  I even took it a step further and sprayed around the entire coop and it’s entry ways with the Poultry Protector.  Can you believe that while I was cleaning the coop, I did not find one mite?

Then one by one, I grabbed each girl and dusted her under the wings and on her fluffy bottom with the DE before I even let them step foot back inside of the coop.  Oyster Cracker ended up getting the royal spa chicken treatment.  As she sometimes sleeps on the pine shavings instead of the roost, her fluffy bottom is not as pristine as the others.  Today, she ended up getting a bath and a nice warm blow dry with the hairdryer.  I also dusted her with DE for good measure once she was an adorable dry fluff ball!

Yes, I did go a bit crazy, but could you imagine how you would feel if mites were crawling and biting you?  I even found myself mentallly writing that silly limerick while working to keep me from getting the heebee jeebies!


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4 thoughts on “The Mitey Fright!”

  1. I noticed one of my fellows limping and was apalled when I took a close look at his feet. They are a mess. He has even lost some of his toes. After googling and discovering that the cause was these Scaley Leg Mites I feel just sick. We treated him with the warm water soak, oil and a slathering of petroleum jelly. We will be treating the rest of our flock in the same manner over the nest few days. We will be power washing the coop every 10 days for a month. We don't have valuable birds (in the traditional sense) but they are our pets, each has a unique personality and they have weedled themselves into our hearts. I am sad to know they've been suffering under my watch.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.