Mite Prevention For Your Flock

This is a typical photo of what a mite infestation would look like.It is a simple fact that may make your skin crawl: all poultry are susceptible to mites. In fact, mites are one of the most common problems when raising poultry.
Your flock could become infected with mites by new birds being introduced to the flock, by wild birds, or by taking them to poultry shows or auctions that have mites in the coops. These external parasites live on the host chicken, feed on its blood and quickly multiply. Within a short amount of time, mites can cause a large amount of damage.
Chicken owners initially notice mites by seeing a distressed look in their flock and noticing decreased egg production. Though mites do not infest humans, mites can crawl onto humans and bite, resulting in small red lesions and intense itching.
For chickens, mites can cause a plethora of problems. Chickens with bad infestations don’t lay as well and have reduced fertility. A chicken’s vent, particularly, gets affected. The vent’s moist skin and rich blood supply make it a favorite feeding ground for hungry mites. Signs to indicate mites include: scabs near the vent, lethargy, mite eggs on feathers and feather shafts, soiled feathers, and small, dark spots from mite droppings.
Mite prevention is essential to poultry health, and it is essential to check your birds often for signs of mites. Once there is a mite infestation, owners usually need to treat with chemical pesticides for the best results. However, mites can develop resistance to chemical treatments requiring the use of different or stronger pesticides. Continual monitoring of your flock is imperative to keeping mites under control.

24 thoughts on “Mite Prevention For Your Flock

  1. We have 25 Leghorn hens, we get 23-25 eggs a day from them, but all of them have lost their feathers around their vent, their bottoms look terrible. A lot of them look like they are starting to molt, they are 14 mo old. Have you ever heard of chickens that lay a lot of eggs, loose their feathers around their vent like that before? Is it because they lay so many eggs or could this be mites.

    • Marcie,
      It sounds like you might have mites. Check for the tell tale signs that we talked about in the article. Molting birds typically begin losing feathers around their head and neck, then down the back and legs, with tail feathers going last. Molt is a specific sequence. What you are describing sounds like a parasite infestation, I would recommend checking for mites and lice as well and then treating accordingly. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Diane,
      It is in pellet form only for now, but crumbles may be a possibility in the future!

  2. Is this safe for baby chicks?I feed chick starter for a few weeks then switch over to adult food

    • Donna,
      Keep your chicks (layers) on NatureWise or Country Feeds Chick Starter for 16 weeks. At that time it is safe to switch them over to layer feed or NatureWise Feather Fixer. Switch them too soon and their internal organs can be damaged by the elevated calcium levels in laying rations. Hope that helps!

  3. What exactly is the mystery ingredient? I am not comfortable with feed that doesn’t say what is in it.

    • Hi Cindy,
      This is a great question. The Mite Fighter Technology is a proprietary blend of natural ingredients that work in the feces of the bird to deter mite infestations. While we can’t say what the exact ingredient is, you can rest assured knowing it is chemical and drug free. Feeding the Mite Fighter has had no ill effects on egg production, egg quality, nor doesit leave residue in birds consumed for meat. It does prevent mite populations, and as an added benefit it also reduces ammonia smells in the coop. Hope this helps!

  4. Cody,
    Our trials were conducted on infestations of the Northern fowl mite, but the Mite Fighter should work basically the same on any mite that tends to congregate in the vent area. Great question – this would be a great feed for all your feathered species!

  5. using d. earth mixed with granulated garlic the kind in the pizza place is 8 times the strength of fresh garlic and mites hate this . the d. earth keeps lava from re hatching in the poop and keeps down smell the oil from the garlic keeps the bugs off . use 8 ounces of garlic 2 pounds of d. earth mix this with every 100 pounds of feed . learned this from old game cock masters .

    • Thanks for the tip. Only caution would be that sometimes strong flavors like garlic can come through and be tasted in the eggs. Not a big deal if you like garlic and are making an omelette, but if you are baking a chocolate cake it may be a different story… 😉

  6. Can you tell me a the closest dealer THAT CARRIES the feather fixer feed please? Nashville, NC 27856

    • Sylvia – Thanks for your interest in Feather Fixer! Your local dealer is Murphy Hay Farm, Louisburg, NC. Another option is about 20 minutes away:
      Circle G Feed, Zebulon, NC.

      • Can you tell me where I would be able to find this feed in Wausau, WI 54401? Thanks I am excited to try it. Can I feed it to ducks as well?

        • Hi there,
          You may be able to special order it through Tractor Supply stores. Otherwise, you can use the dealer locator at http://www.nutrenaworld.com to find your closest retailer. Yes, this product is fine to feed to ducks. Thanks for the note!

  7. Sounds like great feed, but I agree with Cindy that I’m not too keen on feeding a mystery ingredient, even if it’s all natural. My chickens run around the pasture with my horses and my dogs have been known to eat the occasional piece of chicken poop. Is the secret ingredient safe for the other animals?

    • Hi Andrea,
      The ingredient is naturally occuring and safe for other animals that may come into contact with it, like the ones you mentioned.

  8. One of the worst things to create a mite problem is debeaked chickens. A chicken’s natural beak with its sharp point goes a long way in preventing mites. I know this from personal experience!

    Another thing that helps is to have dust bathing facilities available year-round. In the winter, I use dry peat moss (the stuff they sell for mixing with dirt in gardens) in a swimming pool for the hens to dust in. I recommend putting it just outside the coop door and letting the hens access on sunny days since it is very dusty.

  9. 2 years ago my flock was looking rather pitiful during molt and egg production almost stopped. ( 26 birds) . I pride myself in taking exceptionally good care of my chickens. I tried the Feather fixer and the girls loved it! It helped to speed up the molt and I switched to totally feeding Feather Fixer all year. The hens look really beautiful and I love Feather Fixer.

    • Hi Matt,
      We had to remove the statement from the bag, but the formula of the feed has not changed.

  10. I have five hens and one egotistical rooster and they all seem to be healthy except one who has scales down both legs and on her feet. They are rather puffy and appear to be as though the skin has raised, though her legs do not appear raw or anything under it. U treated her legs with d earth with no benefit.

    Also, can you tell me why my chickens usually poop in their nest boxes? I have never seen such a rude bunch of hens. 🙂

    Thanks for any help you can give me

    • Hello Carma, Thanks for your question. For your one with the scales on her legs, it sounds like scaley leg mites. Try VET RX, Vaseline or WD 40. They are parasites and not life-threatening, but they can spread to other birds.

      Regarding the nest box question – usually, the pooping in the nest box is either from not have adequate perches, or the perches might be in a draft. The hens started sleeping in the boxes as juveniles and got into the habit. Usually, it is the girls sleeping in the boxes at night.

      Thank you ~ Gina T.

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