Hello Mutineers! If you’ve followed us here on the website or on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, you know that I like to share the things we actually use around Mutiny Ranch. Since our interests are diverse these items range from animal care to gardening implements but also footwear and kitchen gadgets. No matter what the item is though if we recommend it here then we personally own and use it or have researched it enough to have it on our “wishlist”.
The Mutiny Ranch Item of the Day for 4/30/2021 is Davis Pure Planet Poultry Spray. If you own chickens you’ll most likely have to deal with mites and/or poultry lice at some point. No matter how clean you keep your coop and how expensive your chicken feed is mites happen.
It took me a while to realize this fact. For a long time, I thought I was just a lousy chicken momma and that my coop cleaning skills sucked. I tried cleaning daily. Then I tried the deep litter method. I made a dust bath area in the chicken run and added playground sand, dirt, ash, and diatomaceous earth. I added apple cider vinegar to the chicken’s water, and vitamins, and oil of oregano…
The mites and lice still came.
It turns out that mites and poultry lice are generally introduced through wild birds. If your chickens are allowed to free-range and/or if your fencing has spacing large enough for wild birds to fit through you’ll likely have to deal with these pests at some point. I’m dealing with both issues…my chickens love to have time outside (when the foxes aren’t a threat) and our chicken run is covered with fencing that allows small wild birds to enter (and steal chicken feed).
Mites and poultry lice are a nuisance. Like fleas found on dogs and cats, they live on the blood of their host causing itching, irritation, and sometimes illness. This can cause the chicken to scatch so much they get bald spots. A heavy infestation is not only uncomfortable for the chickens but can cause anemia and death. The risk is higher for old, very young, and already ill/compromised chickens.
As I mentioned above, I’ve tried DE (diatomaceous earth) as a preventative but it has mixed reviews on effectiveness and safety…even the food grade DE. Chickens have fairly sensitive respiratory systems and DE is known to cause respiratory irritation. There are warnings on the packages to avoid breathing it in yet we’re often advised to add it to the dust baths and to douse the chickens in it…so there’s a 100% chance they will inhale the damaging particles.
As an act of desperation, I have, in the past, resorted to using Garden and Poultry Dust. It was my first experience with mites and my vet recommended it since the infestation had gone on a while before I noticed (I know better now). It was also readily available at our local feedstores. The problem is that the active ingredient is permethrin. As you know, we have cats…two of whom love to look for mice around the chicken coop. Cats and permethrin do not mix. Although the dust works (you have to reapply since the eggs of the mites and lice hatch in waves) it’s no longer my first choice in pest control.
After much research, I found Davis Pure Planet Poultry Spray. With a doubt-filled mind, I made my purchase anyway. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a few dollars on all-natural products, essential oil blends, herb mixtures, and non-toxic products just to find them disappointingly subpar (a lot of the time). I am happy to report I was pleasantly surprised with the effectiveness of this spray.
Davis Pure Planet Poultry Spray is safe and effective. It even smells nice. I find it much easier to apply to the chickens and I can do so with more precision. I also don’t have to worry about coming back into the house, stripping down to my undies, and washing my clothes so I don’t accidentally touch one of the cats with permethrin on me somewhere. I did have to reapply every 3-4 days for about a week because of eggs hatching but this stuff works.
With Davis Pure Planet Poultry Spray you can spray down all the areas of the coop including the nesting boxes and roosts. There’s no question that the chicken eggs laid during treatment are safe to eat as well.
A secondary option I’d like to share is Elector PSP Premise Spray. The active ingredient is spinosad, a natural substance made by a soil bacterium that can be toxic to insects. It’s approved for use in organic agriculture and is effective on Northern Fowl Mites and Red Poultry Mites. It’s also effective in controlling house and barn flies, thrips, spider mites, and mosquitoes. Valley Vet currently has the best pricing I’ve found and includes free shipping. It looks expensive but a little goes a very long way (2oz mixes with 10 gallons of water). This might actually be a more efficient way to handle mites for those with larger flocks and coops in need of spraying down. I’m ordering my first bottle so I can treat my coop structure before I introduce any new chicks this year. Just to be safe. I’ll report back later.
I hope this is helpful to you! There are a lot of articles you can find with more detailed information on mites and poultry lice which show you how to identify them. Prevention certainly helps but flock inspection once or twice a month will keep you ahead of the game. Always have your Davis Pure Planet Poultry Spray on hand to knock those pests out before they have a chance to cause serious issues.
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