Chickens and Red mites


If you keep chickens you will probably have had to deal with infestations of red mites, tiny little red bugs which infest chickens and feed on their blood.

If you search on the web you will find many products which either poison them or make life difficult for them.

You may be advised to apply some of the powders directly to the chickens – not too easy a task but the neighbours might appreciate the spectacle of you chasing squawking, flapping chickens and then trying to liberally apply the powder between the base of their feathers to their skin.

I wondered if there might be another way.

I found out that red mites hide during the day in cracks and crevices in the hen house and then come out at night to feed before returning to their beds. Bit like teenagers.

So, I decided to catch them in their beds. First, I cleaned the perches, filled any cracks and covered the wooden walls of their house with a sheet of smooth plastic I then provided alternative hiding places by hanging squares cut from an old towel near the perches.

Every summer morning, I collect the towelling squares, put them in the microwave for one minute to kill the mites, shake them out and put them back ready for the night.

It has worked a treat. Happy chickens, no chemicals and costs next to nothing