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The Dogmother

Mites and lice abound - another warning

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We've got red mite in the cube for the first time - yuk! I'm now an expert at taking the cube apart (including all the brackets and screws - although I can't easily take the front off the cube because of the run), I've jet washed it, diatomed, used Total Mite Kill (aerosol and pink ready made stuff), and red mite powder. When you take the cube apart, there are lots of hiding places aren't there?

 

At the weekend, during major clean number 3, I didn't think about the bucket which I keep near to the cube to do the daily poo removal - I made the mistake of picking it up to realise that the mites were all over the handle and therefore all over my hand :shock: I think I'm getting there, there definitely are fewer, but yesterday I must have brushed against something as I was removing an egg, as I looked at the back of my waterproof to find loads of little grey jobs moving all over it! Cue panic power-washing of my jacket, and MORE clothes washing!

 

Seeing how easy it is to pick the mites up when you know they are around, I'm wondering if I bought any inside before I knew we had the infestation :shock: How would you know and if you have got them inside the house, what do you do? Just the thoughts of it is making me itch!!

 

The other problem is that my 3 chickens have all become flighty and although they quite happily eat from my hand, as soon as I try to get hold of them, they do a runner!! I just can't catch them. (The younger 2 have always been flighty, and now my old girl has decided that she will be too :roll: ) So I'm trying to deal with the red mite without managing to treat the girls...

 

Thanks

 

Jill

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Sorry to hear that, the girls will be tetchy if they're being bothered by lice or mites; it's like us itching when we have chicken pox.

 

Do bear in mind that red mite powder is more of a preventative than a killer; try Buz Busters (same range as Total Mite Kill) or Diatom. The former is very effective.

 

A tip to save you money; after you've washed the housing, instead of using the pink spray of TMK, buy the big 2 litre bottle, dilute it as instructed and either use it from a plant spray or (like me) sprinkle it on from a watering can. :wink:

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Thanks. Two of them are moulting as well, so that may have a bearing too! They don't look bald, but the feathers are everywhere, so I think they are doing it the sensible way :lol: But I think new feathers are sensitive when they are coming through aren't they?

 

Never mind - we'll persevere! As I write I've got flags going down where their cube and run normally go - I got fed up of having to lie down under the cube to clear out the aubiose from the holes they dug. It will be much easier to clear out and keep clean!

 

With the amount of money I've spent on keeping the chooks happy, and bearing in mind that only 1 out of the 3 lay eggs with any regularity, we must have the most expensive eggs ever!! :roll:

 

Jill

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Yes, you're right; best not to handle them when they are re-feathering. Mine always go a bit off the plot when they are moulting... refusing to go in when I ask them etc. They'll regain their senses soon enough but support them through the moult by adding some poultry tonic to the water, this will also help with any anaemia caused by the mites.

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That's a good idea -I'll do that. I'll also break out the tuna!

 

I went down to see them just now and poor old Daphne is losing feathers everywhere! (just when it's turning chilly and wet :roll: ).

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