3 clues that red mites are harm­ing your hens

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

RED MITE is one of the worst pests to af­fect hens at this time of year. The signs in­clude: 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.

Birds may ap­pear rest­less or un­set­tled when perch­ing, be anaemic (and die), de­pressed, eat more but lay less eggs, or get sick with other dis­eases.

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 around the roosts – the ash will smear red in colour.

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