The weather has been warm over the last few weeks and we haven’t had any significant rainfall over the last couple of months. I thought I would spring clean a few of my chicken houses with Poultry Shield before there is a hose pipe ban which is bound to be on the way.
Whilst dismantling some of the perches, I found the dreaded Red Mite so have waged war against them with Poultry Shield.
Red Mite multiply rapidly during warm weather and they are on the rise in backyard flocks. Red Mite never used to be a problem in days gone by because most chicken coops were traditionally coated in Creosote to protect them against the weather but it also had the effect of eradicating the mites as well. Creosote substitute was introduced a few years back and unfortunately this doesn’t provide any protection against the dreaded mites.
I was introduced to Poultry Shield about 4 years ago. It is one of the safer it is probably one of the best known products on the market, and has been really well tested by many fanciers
How does Poultry Shield Work?
Red Mites have a waxy coating on their bodies. Poultry Shield effectively dissolves this and over 24 to 48 hours, the mites dry up and die.
Poultry Shield is diluted down at a rate of 20 parts water to 1 part Poultry Shield for cleaning and protection but it is recommended to be used at twice the strength (10:1) when you are trying to eradicate a red mite infestation like this. Poultry Shield is available from various sources, expect to pay £20 for 5 litres but as a cleaner and Red Mite treatment, this should last a year or two for the average small flock.
Let the Red Mite battle begin!
So I have started battle with the Red Mite. I have washed down the house with Poultry Shield, inside and out and in every possible nook and cranny. I have concentrated my efforts around the perch ends where I could see clumps of mites and an hour later, I have hosed the house down before replacing bedding and straw in the nest boxes. I will rub diatom onto the perches tonight to catch any remaining mites that fancy a free lunch and will re-inspect (and probably re-wash) the house out again next weekend.