We've never had this issue before and I can't help but wonder if having goats in the same barnyard as the chickens has made the difference or if it is because this was an unusually wet winter and spring for us. Regardless, I have a MASSIVE flea problem (I'm assuming they are fleas as that's what they look like, jump like, and bite like but are really easy to squish?) and egg production is almost nothing (having most of the birds go broody all at once doesn't help either). The flea prob gets esp bad under the broodies while they're laying on eggs. Has anyone had to deal with this? Did you figure out a way to fix it w/o using Permethrin? My local feed store said they would go straight to Permectrin II becasue it works --- I'm hesitant to use it but not sure if I should be. We have baby goats and one doe who is still pregnant, if I use this stuff I wouldn't use it near them. I don't see any fleas ON the goats but perhaps I should wash them? (that should be real interesting...)
Ideas if you have them would be SO much appreciated! Thanks mamas!
ps there is a MAD amount of DE in there already, hasn't helped as far as I can tell.
Should have added we use the deep litter method in the coop and I'm about to change it all out again (have once about 5 months ago when I noticed a few fleas here and there). Now it's really bad in there -- So I'd like to tackle it while the coop is empty if possible. We use pine shavings in there. Also, the fenced area the goats and chickens share is roughly an acre, the fence allows the chickens to get out of it if they want -- mostly keeps goats in and dogs out. Just thinking there is no way in heck I'd be able/willing to spray everywhere they go -- There is a smaller area next to the coop that is fenced to keep the goats out.
I don't have our chickens yet, but what I've read about DE is that you need to put in a dusting bowl for the chickens to actually dust themselves in. It works more effectively on the chickens, rather than just around the coop.
I'll be reading for future reference for sure...