Marigolds and Chicken Mites


Tags: Chickens, Mites, Health,

A photo of Michelle Three days ago, my other Rooster Cashmere, would not let one of my red sex-link hens into the coop. Poor little girl was out in the run cold and scared, with Cashmere blocking the way into the coop. She let me pick her up, which let me know immediately she was not her normal self.

Into the ER playpen she went, after I checked her over. Besides white pasty poo, she seemed fine, but to be on the safe side I let her stay in the house with me so I could watch her. Nutmeg was not eating much or drinking water, so I finally found cream of wheat, oatmeal and strawberry Kefir that she showed much interest in. After two days of this, plus the syringes of baby vitamins and water, I had something crawl up my arm while I held her. WE had mites!

Nutmeg, one of the red sexlink hens

Since it was very late, I was not about to go out in the rain to clean out the coop right then and there. But being a concerned momma, I did make a kitty liter and wood ash tub for her. Well, did she use it like I had hoped to dust herself? No, she fell asleep in it.

The next day, after a trip to the vet for my cat Frankie’s rabies shot, it was time to strip and clean the coop. We had just had 24 hours of rain, but now it was nice enough with the sun out to not have to wear a coat. Oh by the way, I live in Massachusetts, bet you were wondering where this was all occurring . A full 20 feed bags full of old straw, poo and scattered feed came out and into the now visible gardens.

I am an earth mother of sorts and hate chemicals if I can keep away from them. I have used herbs for years and knew that marigolds have many benefits besides looking nice and keeping bugs out of your veggie garden. I just so happen to have a bag of dried marigold heads, so I cooked them up on the stove to make a very strong tea. Not the prettiest smell by any means, but I hoped it would be a good wash for all the wood in the coop.

Cindy Newman
6/20/2011 10:41:21 AM

Thanks for the info, I am in Montana and just "enjoying" my first experience with chicken mites. So far have only found them in the coop under the nesting boxes and not on any of the "girls". I am not keen on chemicals either. I have heard that citrus oil is a good deterrent, though I haven't tried it yet. Orange Guard is a product that is also said to help with the situation and I am going to buy some when I am in town today to try it out. When my children were in school, I used to put sassafras oil in their hairbrushes and that was successful in deterring head lice, so am wondering if it would help to put a few drops into the girls feathers. If anyone has any suggestion regarding this, I would be pleased to hear it.

Kathleen Malmquist_1
3/22/2010 6:46:28 AM

Hi, I'm in Massachusetts, also, and had excellent results with using the Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for getting rid of mites on my flock. For anyone who would like to try DE just make sure it's the "food grade" DE and not the type that is used in pool filters. They are not the same thing. Kathy

Paul Gardener
3/3/2010 10:58:16 AM

Hi Michelle, I've actually found, strangely enough I thought, that I tend to get more mites in the cooler months as well. I'm in Northern Utah and while it get's too cold outside in the winter for most bugs to make it through (Even ticks and fleas generally don't make their homes here.) I find that the warmth and generally closed off nature of the chicken coop in the winter tends to foster Mite development. I've not tried Marigolds, but I can see the merits or sure. I too like to use natural and organic practices when I can and have found that a regular dusting of the coop and bedding areas with Diatomaceous earth every couple of weeks goes a long way toward keeping the problem in check. Best of luck with your little lady! Paul~

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters