Keeping Our Hens Mite Free On The Cheap

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

We use wood ash as a natural way to reduce or eliminate mites on our chickens. We get happy hens using something that was previously just wasted.

I’m far from a chicken expert, but I thought I’d share what we do to keep our girls happy & mite free.

We use wood ash to reduce or eliminate mites on our chickens. We get happy hens using something that was previously just wasted. #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

Raising A Few Backyard Hens

RancherMan & I really enjoy raising hens each year. But we don’t typically sell many eggs.

We don’t really have a large market for the eggs since I no longer work in an office.

And most folks around here are raising their own chickens for their own eggs. Plus a friend of mine is selling eggs at the local Farmer’s Market so I don’t want to move in on her business. 

So every year we just buy 3-4 hens. It’s enough to provide us with the eggs we want.

Chickens out free ranging for bugs. #TexasHomesteader

And we allow them to free range part of the day so they get much extra protein (and some excitement) from running around the house eating grasshoppers and such. 

The garden pests are eliminated by them while providing us with even healthier eggs. That’s really a win/win, no?

Free-Range yolks are much brighter and orange. #TexasHomesteader

We typically sell our hens in the late fall. They’re still prime-age egg layers but we don’t want to have to overwinter them, and their value is much higher as productive egg-layers than meat in the freezer. 

Then the following spring we’ll buy new pullets and start again.

Cooled Wood Ash To Control Mites On Chickens

I’ve read that providing wood ash is good for the hens to dust bathe in, it’s said that the ash takes care of the mites.

Then I thought; our antique wood-burning stove has wood ash in it from the last fire we’d burned. That makes it easy to provide ash to them.

Antique Franklin-style fireplace to keep us warm in the winter. #TexasHomesteader

There had not been a fire in the fireplace for a while so of course the ashes were completely cooled.

I simply shoveled some ash into a large container for our chickens.

We use wood ash to reduce or eliminate mites on our chickens. We get happy hens using something that was previously just wasted. #TexasHomesteader

I spread the cooled ashes in the bare dirt beneath the little a-frame cover where they like to hang out during the day to stay cool. 

This keeps dew and rain off of the ashes and the chickens like to dust bathe beneath that cover anyway. Our chickens seemed to really love it.

Now I just top off this dust-bathing area with cooled ashes every spring when we obtain our hens. Since this is the chicken’s dust-bathing area anyway this location works out great!

Commercial Treatments For Chicken Mites

In searching the internet and chicken-raising forums I see most backyard chicken raisers also provide wood ash to their chickens. But of course no one thing is going to be good for everyone. 

There were a few folks moaning about how wood ash were not be used in their chicken coops. They prefer to use *Commercial Chicken Mite Treatments.

And there’s nothing wrong with that – to each their own!

Should You Use Cooled Ashes To Control Mites On Chickens? Do Your Research

Here’s my take on using wood ashes to control chicken mites:

We burn only wood harvested from our property. So there are no artificial accelerants or chemicals in our wood ash. I feel comfortable offering cooled ashes from our fireplace to our hens.

Our chickens love it and we’ve offered our hens wood ash for years with zero ill effects.

To each their own so if some prefer to use other concoctions – natural or not – to treat the mites on their hens that’s certainly their prerogative. As for us and our homestead – wood ashes to the rescue!

Of course if you’re worried at all about using wood ash do your own research, but it’s worked well for us. We have happy hens that are mite free using something that was previously just a waste product.  And that makes my crunchy heart happy.


Other Backyard Chicken-Raising Posts

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Saving Money On Raising Chickens

Other Chicken Posts

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2 thoughts on “Keeping Our Hens Mite Free On The Cheap

  1. Stacey

    Thanks so much for the advice. This is my first year having hens and I’m reading all I can on how to keep them as “crunchy” as possible lol.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We like to use as few chemicals as possible too Stacey. This has so far worked perfectly for us. Our hens are healthy and happy. ~TxH~


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