3. De­layed treat­ment

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

Fre­quent mon­i­tor­ing of mite in­fes­ta­tion is im­por­tant. The more vig­i­lant you are, the more likely you’ll keep a mite pop­u­la­tion lo­calised, mean­ing you only have to treat a small area to pre­vent an in­fes­ta­tion.

Mite pop­u­la­tions can de­velop very rapidly when they have op­ti­mal con­di­tions, so reg­u­lar checks of your flock and build­ings can pre­vent an out­break. You’ll need a torch to look care­fully for red mites. The mites will be white-grey and look a lot like ash when they aren’t feed­ing, then turn blood red dur­ing or af­ter a meal. At night, they spend about 1-2 hours feed­ing on the bird, pri­mar­ily on the legs and breast. It’s prob­a­bly eas­ier to look (care­fully and thor­oughly) with a torch dur­ing the day to find them, es­pe­cially around nest boxes and where perches join walls.

Other mites to look out for and treat are the north­ern fowl mite and de­p­lum­ing itch mite, typ­i­cally found in the vent area and on the feather shafts. The scaly leg mite is pre­dom­i­nantly on the legs and feet but can mi­grate up to the neck and comb.

bad hy­giene prac­tices al­low mite pop­u­la­tions to thrive

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