Monday, 26 October 2009

Hen Care

Several of our chicken keeping friends have reported infestations of Red Mite. Red Mites are nasty little critters a bit like lice – blood sucking parasites. We’ve been told that the signs to look out for are egg production going down and the chickens starting to peck each other and getting bald patches. Apparently Red Mite has been increasingly common in recent years due to our relatively mild winters (and the mites not getting frozen to death in the coldest months). If your chickens get Red Mite it can be very hard to eradicate and the chicken coop can get re-infested again and again. So prevention is better than cure. So this weekend the children had the job of trying to catch each chicken and dust them all over with a special Red Mite powder. Easier said than done and there were all sorts of clever kids plans involving lettuce leaves and trap doors. However the simplest solution was just to catch each bird using our patented chicken-catching towel , a quick dust and away they go. The children really enjoyed the chance to stroke the birds – who are generally not that keen on being handled. Certainly a fun (and useful!) way to while away an afternoon…

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