Mites on Chickens, Turkeys and Geese
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Daniel Levin
Posted on: November 27, 2006

What herb can we use to deter and get rid of mites on our chickens, geese and turkeys either in their water, as a spray on or in some other form?

You do not mention what type of mites have been affecting your poultry : are they "Red Mites" (Dermanyssus gallinae) or leg mites (Chemidocoptes mutans)? If the former, preventative measures would include:

1. After cleaning the coop, dust the cracks, corners and floor with either diatomaceous earth or wood ashes (from a wood stove) as well as in the hens’ "dust bath" places

2. Brood hens: dust the corners of their nests with diatomaceous earth and use cedar shavings in their bedding

Treatment for poultry already suffering from this ailment would include dusting the hens with diatomaceous earth or a herbal powder produced for this purpose (animal supply store) or a combination of powdered Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Oregano (Origanum vulgaris) and Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).

In all cases where diatomaceous earth is employed take special precautions: use a respirator as well as protection for your eyes. As well, isolate the affected birds from those who are still free from infestation.

If your poultry are suffering from leg mites, the standard preventive method is to paint the roosts with kerosene or used motor oil. As for treatment, I have heard of two types, both external applications: mix one cup of canola oil and a few tablespoons of sulphur powder and diatomaceous earth. Stir well and rub or paint this mixture on the birds’ legs. Another formula is blending two parts lard to one part kerosene. Wash the affected legs well and then apply this kerosene ointment.

Again, in all cases, proper nutrition, reduced stress, sunlight and fresh air help to maintain optimum immune health as well as reduce healing times. In addition, the more one can keep the coop(s) clean, the less likely mite infestation may occur.

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