RED MITE is one of the worst pests to affect poultry at this time of year.
3 clues that red mites are harming your hens? The signs include:
• Your hens start laying or roosting outside the coop - Red mites live in crevices in wood framing, perches and nest boxes, coming out at night to feed, sucking the blood of your birds, which may be reluctant to go into their coop or actively choose to roost somewhere else.
• Pale combs, weight loss & depression;
Birds may appear restless or unsettled when perching, be anemic (and even die), depressed, eat more but lay less eggs, or get sick with other diseases.
• You find a strange, grey ‘dust’ on wood framing;
This ‘dust’ looks a bit like ash but is actually dried mite faecal matter. Check late at night or first thing in the morning by running your thumb under the roosts – the mite will smear red in colour. That is your hens blood!
Chook Manor’s tips for red mite recovery!
The first mistake a lot of people make is to water blast their coop. DON’T – this will only spread the mite further.
Apply a good quality, proven red mite product such as Smite Professional Concentrate, a mite killer and coop cleaner and disinfectant all in one... You may need to do this on a weekly basis for 2-3 weeks to get them all and to break the breeding cycle. For best results, use a good quality pressure applicator such as a knapsack or weed spray unit. Follow up with Smite Organic Mite & Lice powder. Simply puff the powder onto corners, joints, perches and nest boxes, and add some to a favourite dust bath. There’s no egg, meat or food withholding periods. You can also support your flock in their recovery from a red mite infestation. Agrivite Mite Rescue Remedy contains a spectrum of vitamins, chelated trace elements, iron and key minerals to assist birds in recovering from lethargy and anaemia caused by a red mite attack. https://www.chookmanor.co.nz/agrivite-mite-rescue-remedy