What are chicken mites you ask?
Chicken Mites, also known as Dermanyssus gallinae is an ectoparasite of poultry and other bird species.
These tiny, eight-legged insects can live both on the chicken and in the coop. Mites can be grey, dark or reddish in color and can often be seen along feather shafts and underneath roosts after dark. Mites are most active at night when thy venture out to leech blood from chickens. They are partial to cracks and crevices in wood, roosts and inside nesting boxes. Mites and lice are a common problem for chickens and can be carried in by wild birds, so if you have an infestation, it doesn't necessarily mean your management practices are bad. They can cause anemia, decreased egg-laying, and damage to skin and feathers. Some types even invade the lungs and other organs. Heavy mite populations can even cause death.
How to get rid of them??
The best way to help take care of the mites you must clean the problem area. Cleaning your chicken thoroughly is very important, you can use product such as Permethrin or there are several other good treatments. What is the best home remedy? Dawn Dish Soap!!!! It is safe on your chickens yet helps thoroughly clean them. However, if the problem is very serious and there is a huge mite infestation, more drastic measures need to be taken. This procedure could take two or three hours to complete so it’s important to allow that much time before getting started. The entire chicken house needs to be cleaned out and any loose bedding and other material should be removed. Take down the house as much as possible and remove most parts including the pop house. If the house has a felt roof, this defiantly needs to come off. A pressure washer or high pressure hose will be needed to wash down the whole house, if possible the chicken house needs to be washed down with poultry shield. To be sure that the mites are really gone, it’s also good to use several other products made to kill metes. You can purchase products such as Garden and Poultry Dust and/or Poultry Protector Concentrate. If you clean the coop as well as your chickens monthly, this alone can help prevent mites.
Help your confined chickens keep parasites away by giving them a large, deep box of sand to wallow in. Dust smothers and dislodges the parasite and cleans the body of oils, dust, and debris that some parasites feed on. You can use that all year round for the chickens to maintain themselves. Free-range chickens make their own wallows. Also, don’t let wild birds nest or roost in chicken shelters. Wood ash kills lice and mites that live on chickens. Yes, just the plain old ash you get from burning fire wood. If you happen to have a wood-burning fireplace or a wood stove in your home, you already have a way to create your own natural treatment to rid your flock of mites and lice.