Monday, July 26, 2010

Mites And Free Range Chickens

John, Going Gently, here, asked me if chickens have red mite over here in the states. I assume that we do because I have seen advertisements for products to kill the little beastie. I'm very glad we do not have a humid climate where we are located. 

Now if the question was specifically do our chickens have red mite then I would have to say that I don't know if they have red mite, but I suspect they have mites of some kind. Since our 16 chickens free range over three acres I would assume that they do have mites that they would have picked up from wild animals that pass through the property.

The hens like to dust bathe in this spot so I added some wood ash to aid in their natural solution to controlling mites and others pests. Since my chickens are exposed to all kinds of pests everyday there is no way I'm going to be able to keep a mite and lice free environment. (I would have to keep them in cages) I figure that the chickens are going to have some pests and as long as they are healthy they will be able to maintain a balance and tolerance and stay healthy. 
I have put food grade (DE) Diatomaceous Earth - here in dusting areas, the coop, roosts, and nest boxes a few times and should probably do it more often. (And be sure to wear a mask!)

Old jeans are the best. The material is so soft and comfortable. Trouble is that by the time the jeans are that great to wear the fabric is wearing thin. I love these jeans and kept them for outside work and painting, but they are wearing very thin, falling apart and won't last much longer.

I did sew up a side seam and tried sewing the large rips , but my sewing machine decided it didn't want to sew through the patches and the thread kept breaking. So, my solution was to haul out the duct tape. At least I will still be able to wear the jeans when I paint.

I love duct tape... it makes the best chicken saddles and comes to the rescue many times.
(July 26, 2009)

[5 eggs today]
Duct tape worked great on my hens.



Gail said...

It is good that you try to solve things naturally.

I found an old antique bottle in the barn of Black Leaf Forty used for chicken mites and lice. Interesting to own but would never use it.

Give me duct tape and a staple gun and I can repair anything!

lisa said...

Can't live without the duct tape! We make sure we always have it around!

Toni aka irishlas said...

I need to start dusting the pen area with DE. Thanks for the reminder!

Your last post also reminded me I need to do the same with our coop. Geez, it's always something.

There's nothing like faded old jeans and an old t-shirt.

Nancy K. said...

Duct tape and zip ties (cable ties) ~ what else could anyone possibly need?!

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Callie ~ I've enjoyed reading this post , wow ~ the wonders of duct tape never end. I've never thought of duct taping jeans or chickens (LOL). My RIR has had a bald spot on her head/neck area since we got roosters , going to try this method on her. Thanks for sharing the info.

~ Many Blessings ~

Jennifer said...

LOL! Ok...... I love the duct tape on your jeans idea! I know what ya mean I had 2 pairs of jeans that I wore in real good and love them but they ripped right under the butt part... hummmmmm wonder if duct tape will work for them, their still in my closet, lol.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

My chickens DID have red mites, and I discovered this the hard way. Nothing like firsthand experience. My dad was in the hospital, and I bent into the coop with the door against my back and head to gather eggs before I left to go spend the day with him. On the way there, and all day in the hospital, my head itched. I went and itched my head over the white sink, and all these little red bugs dropped into the sink. I FREAKED OUT. I texted about ten people from the hospital and had them research chicken mites. Once I realized that they weren't on me to stay, and that that's what they were, I remembered seeing signs of them in the coop that I didn't realize was mites. As soon as I had time, I scrubbed the entire coop, sprayed it with Sevin because I was SO freaked out by them, and they disappeared. Now that I know better, I, too, use fireplace ashes and FOOD GRADE D E in their dust baths. Problem solved naturally (tho the Sevin did not seem to harm them any, but we didn't eat the egss for a week or so after the spraying with that)but in answer to his question, I can unequivocally say, YES, US chickens get red chicken mites too!

LindaG said...

I love duct tape, too. Thanks for the usage ideas! :)

The Chicken Keepers said...

Duct tape is a MUST have! lol(: Still loving your blog!

The Chicken Keepers

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Dad has read that chickens control the bug population. That must be what you are doing right...
Yepper old jeans are the best.. Never thought of duct tape..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Marie Anne said...

Oh goodness, I use duct tape for everything too. Rather than use my 'good' sneakers when running around in the yard after chickens and dogs, I put duct tape to hold my old ones together.

Without it, I was getting dirt and sand into my shoes.

One of the best inventions ever!

Little Messy Missy said...

Love DE...My ladies had mite last winter. Really sucked!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a good dust bath to take care of buggies. I love your creative use of duct tape!


Porch Days said...

Duct tape on your jeans?? My husband did that on his favorite pair. He just wouldn't give them up!