Less than a day after the hatching of chick number two, Kermit, left the nesting box. She moved herself and both chicks down to the larger brooder area, leaving five eggs behind. I have seen this happen with Chardonnay, but normally that took a good four days, or so, before she totally let the eggs go cold. This move was definitely early, but this was her first brood, so I chalked it up to inexperience….until…….
……WAIT…….WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT!!!!
As I was reaching down to move the eggs back under, Kermit, hoping she would hatch one or two more….I paused…..looked….what’s on the eggs? Tiny, tiny little specks…and they were moving!! I looked at my hand…tiny, tiny little specks were moving on hand, on my shirt sleeve, both my hands….WHAT WAS GOING ON??!!!
MITES!!! Oh my gosh!! It was so gross. I have never had mites, at least I have never seen evidence of mites, on or around my birds. What was I supposed to do??? I remembered the goat rancher saying to get diatomaceous earth (DE) to powder the goats if they got itchy….in other words, fleas, ticks, etc. I had some…..I ran to the shop.
By this time I was feeling things crawling on me….on my face and in my hair. KEEP CALM!!! I put on gloves, and a heavy duty mask….I was already wearing glasses so I thought that would suffice for eye protection….put a bunch of this fine powder into a bucket and ran back to the hen house. I doused the nest, the brooder area, and even mama hen, Kermit.
There was no evidence of the creepy crawlies on any of the eggs laid that day, but I wasn’t taking any chances….everything got dusted….every nesting box, every roosting board, window eaves, and the entirety of the floor of the hen house. The place went from a pine, wood board color to grey. I left a good amount on the roosting boards so that the hens, and Benedict would be laying in it as they roosted for the night. Then I went out to their usual dusting spots, and dusted those areas.
I dusted the goats…for good measure. I used the residual dust on my gloves to run my hands over Penni and give her a light dusting, I dusted my clothes….then….oh gosh…I can’t believe I’m admitting this…..I very, very, lightly dusted my hair.
OH MY GOSH!!!! SO GROSS!!! I could feel the creepy crawlies on my scalp….. BLEH!!!!
I left it on for about fifteen minutes, then showered. They critters were gone, which gave me good hope for the hen house.
That night, however, I didn’t sleep well. My mind was all about having to clean up the chicken house, and having bugs crawling on me. Thankfully, after leaving the place thoroughly dusted for three days, when I did clean it from top to bottom this weekend, not one creepy crawly was felt, or found on me, or anywhere else.
OMGOSH!! I don’t know what caused this to happen. I’ve never had mites in my flock!! There are two things that I suspect…I used straw as bedding the last couple of months; I normally use pine shavings. Straw, apparently, has hollow spaces perfect for little mites to thrive and populate…ok…back to shavings we go!!! Secondly, mites are spread by other birds…and the other birds hanging around ALOT right now are my neighbor’s peafowl (two peacocks and a peahen), the Canadian Geese have gone.
In the meantime…this little beauty hatched in the incubator….
…..and is running around with Mama Kermit…and his siblings…
All is well!!!
Thanks for visiting today….no itchies for you!! Hahaha.
Have a great evening, afternoon, or morning (depending on when you’re reading this!!
Your friend from Oregon,