what soap to bath chickens for mites

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We have built a new chicken house and want to bath the chickens for mites before we put them in their new house any suggestions

-- Rita Nakata (alii@olemac.net), April 24, 2002


You don't bathe chickens for mites, you dust them. Seven dust is what I use and it works great. Get a piece of cheesecloth or something with a similar open weave to it and make a decent sized square. Pour about a cup full of dust in the middle and then gather up the corners to make your duster. When you dust the chickens make sure you are standing upwind. Grab them by their feet and if they are really fighting you let them hang upside down for a moment or two to calm them down. Dust really well around their backsides and under their wings. I would always take this opportunity to clip the wing on the chickens that would fly over the fence. Clip wings before you dust. You will want to dust any chickens you introduce into your flock and you might want to dust your chickens once a year. I normally dust the roosts and inside of the coop once a year also.

-- Amanda (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), April 24, 2002.

Just one point on Sevin. It has, I have been told, a half life of 99 years.

-- Nina (Ingardenwithcat@hotmail.com), April 24, 2002.

4-Hers use a Malathion solution in a wash tub. I think it's 1/2 tsp. to a 5 gallon bucket or some such. I will try to find the correct proportions...

-- Gailann Schrader (gtschrader@aol.com), April 24, 2002.

Non-radiological chemicals do not HAVE A HALF LIFE. That term only has meaning when associated with a verifiable radioactive decay. SEVEN is NOT RADIOACTIVE. The chemicals comprising SEVEN may be slow to break down in the environment. Definitely non-organic if you are concerned about introducing chemicals into your homestead.

-- Joe (CactusJoe001@AOL.com), April 24, 2002.

My birds have never had lice/mites/scaly leg. I dust the pens, nest boxes, etc. with food grade Diatomaceous Earth. I leave piles of the DE around, in the pens and outside of them, for the birds to dust bathe. I mix the DE into their feed. The DE will kill any insects the birds don't eat except earthworms. And when the proper amount is mixed into the feed, it will deworm the birds. I have never had to use another dewormer. I also use DE in other ways. DE is one product I wouldn't want to be without! :^)

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), April 24, 2002.

I also do what Rogo does, and do not have a problem. I won't use a chemical of any kind on my layers. They do the dusting themselves as they have favorite dusting spots already. I also sprinkle it in our feed bins as we have the food grade quality. Keeps meal worms away. If sparrows get in your coop at all, your chickens get lice from them!

-- Suzanne (weir@frontiernet.net), April 26, 2002.

I also recommend diatomacious earth, scattered in their pen. When you see a bird flailing in the dirt, they are dusting themselves for mites, and don't even know it. A farmer told me once, not to get chickens wet as it could cause pneumonia. Have ya ever heard the phrase "Madder than a wet hen?"...enough said.

-- Harmony (harmonyfarm57@hotmail.com), April 27, 2002.

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