YUCK! I’m scratching my head over here trying to figure out what is happening in the hen house. Sunday was a nice warm day here for us and as I was in the middle of mucking out the coop I took a pause and looked at it’s walls. There were little (tiny) crawly bugs everywhere on the walls and ceiling. They were evenly spaced except for a few places where they were more clumped up together.
I got worried we had mites so off Lee and I went to get some food grade diatomaceous earth. The only store where we could find it only carried 50 pound bags, so I am well stocked on that now. I went nuts with it dusting down the coop. Then I got two of the girls and checked around their vent areas and other places as well as I could. I still didn’t find any of these bugs or eggs on them. Later that night, when I went to go lock the hens in for the night, I looked around the walls again. Most of the bugs had disappeared. I don’t know whether this was because it was colder by then or if it was because of the diatomaceous earth.
Today when I went out to do another dusting of diatomaceous earth in the coop I still saw them but not nearly as many. It was also a colder day so I don’t know if that affected the bugs any. So what I am wondering is if I have a mite problem or a spider problem. I can’t seem to find anything that tells me you can find mites during the day time in plain sight on walls and such. The hens are laying just as fine as always. In fact I have more eggs per day then last year. They don’t seem to be adverse to getting into their coop. Those would all be signs of mite infestations. Now they do have some peck marks to their combs but I am attributing that to their 5 days of being stuck in the coop.
Here are two links that talk more about mites in poultry.