We found out that the chickens have mites. I think that they came with the chickens that we got from a local petting farm.

We ‘caught’ one, put it under the IntelPlay microscope at 60x and took some photos of it with the computer. Actually, there were four on my arm after putting chickens in the coop, so Hubby grabbed them with a paper towel, folding them up and brought them in the house. They only live on birds, so even if one got away we weren’t worried about an infestation of mites in the house (just in case you were wondering!)

Here’s what we found under the microscope.

Hubby mixed up some diatomacious earth, sand, and pyrethrin powder from the local feed supply store. He put it in an old wooden box that is about 5″ deep. I hope they decide to take their dust bath in the box, it will save us some time and headaches over treating each bird individually in plastic bags.

Vet2Be caught one chicken today, turned it upside-down and sprinkled it under her wings. She is one of the scraggly looking chickens from the petting farm. We’ll watch her and see how she looks in a few weeks. These little buggers are supposed to have a two week life cycle, so hopefully in two weeks we’ll see a little bit of a change.

We have always washed the eggs that come in from the barn. We’ll keep up with that practice as long as they have pyrethrin in their dust bath.

We’ll be cleaning the poultry pen next week, not a fun job. But between the cleaning and the dust baths I think we can be rid of them within a month.

Here’s a link to more info about mites.
Ohio State University Extension Service: Common External Parasites in Poultry.
If you scroll to the bottom of the page there is a PDF version of the web page.

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