Summer Lovin' - External Parasites

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External Parasites - Pesky Pests

There are a number of Pesky Pests (Red Mites, Lice, Northern Fowl Mites and Scaly Leg Mites) which can live on your chickens or in their housing. Red Mites live in the housing emerging after dark to feed off the chickens. A heavy infestation will severely affect the health of your flock; it can stop them laying, cause anaemia and even kill birds. A regular weekly inspection and prevention routine is essential to get rid of them and keep them at bay. To remove the constant threat of red mites, a weekly 3-step programme is advised:

1.    Clean out the coop, remove all faeces, dry matter and bedding.

2.   Spray the entire coop with Nettex Total Mite Kill ready to Use spray - this will disinfect as well as eradicate mites.

3.   Apply Nettex Total Hygiene Powder  liberally over the surface of the coop interior, perches and nest boxes, and refill with fresh bedding. It’s also important to include the Nettex Total Hygiene Powder in dust baths.

Additionally, you should use Nettex Total Mite Kill aerosol monthly to treat hard to reach areas, its high-pressure spray reaches into all the cracks. Should you have an infestation these products will need to be used more regularly.

Unlike Red Mites, Poultry Lice and Northern Fowl Mites live on your birds and are transmitted from wild birds. If there is an infestation you will see lice or eggs, on the skin at the base of the feathers around the vent area. Lice are small brown critters; Northern Fowl Mites are smaller and black. Both Lice and Northern Fowl Mites feed off your birds’ blood, which makes them irritable and grumpy. 

It is relatively easy to treat these Pesky Pests, it is essential to treat the housing as well as the birds to help prevent any re-infestation:

1.    Clean out the coop, remove all faeces, dry matter and bedding.

2.   Spray the coop with Nettex Total Mite Kill ready to Use spray - this will disinfect and kill any mites and lice.

3.   Once this has dried powder thoroughly inside the coop with Nettex Buz Busters Louse Powder before replacing the bedding and roosting bars.

Scaly Leg Mites spend their entire life cycle on the bird and are spread by direct contact with other birds. Scaly Leg Mites burrow under the scales of a bird’s legs causing irritation, which the birds try to relieve by pecking, creating painful sores on their legs. The scales will look raised, with a crusty exudate under them. 

Scaly Leg Mites can be easily managed with the following 2-step programme:

1.    Spray the legs of affected birds with Nettex Scaly Leg Remover, this suffocates the mites, eases the discomfort and provides a barrier to deter mites and protect from further infestation. Apply to the legs with a soft toothbrush, in an upward motion, gently working it under the scales.

2.   Repeat every 5-6 days (to break the egg cycle) until the infestation has gone and the crusts have gone from under the scales. Note that the scales will remain raised when the mites have gone. It is important not to pick at any raised or loose scales.