Library Chick's Chicks

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KarenE
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by KarenE »

Sounds like the girls are having a wonderful time, and pics of Charlie the puppy please!!! +f+
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper

Librarychick
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Library Chick's Chicks Summer 2015

Post by Librarychick »

Hello All. It's been a while and still no photos - sorry Karen
KarenE wrote:Sounds like the girls are having a wonderful time, and pics of Charlie the puppy please!!! +f+
because I still need to work out best way to take, store and load pics. Always too busy and likely to be so for the foreseeable. On Friday I discovered )de:. The dreaded RED MITE in my chicken house. Needless to say the whole house was more or less taken apart turned upside down and scrubbed with a very strong mix of Poultry Shield then Poultry Shield sprayed in every crevice. Checked yesterday morning and a small trace on the inside of the lid. I've spent the morning researching online including lots of posts on DTL. Am now VERY depressed. {cry}
Especially concerned to read that mites can transfer to humans, rabbits and dogs although it seems they will prefer to feed off birds. Poor Ginger and Bluebell. I don't know why I am surprised to be afflicted as we have lots of wild birds nesting in the garden and I have seen blackbird nests overrun with red mite. It's my own fault really as I don't think I have been so assiduous with the scrubbing of late (DH calls it OCD). Busy with the new puppy, I guess.

Been to Countrywide for supplies of Red Mite powder and will report back.

This is the second problem this summer as we have also had rats in the shed. I don't deal with these - DH has that job - but I think we are on top of that for now. Interesting that we had one of those plug in rodent deterrents in the shed which we thought clearly did not work until DH remembered that he had switched it off (something to with the sensor light) and had forgotten to put it back on again.

So the above hazards of chicken keeping were exactly what had put me off for so many years. The highs and lows I guess.

A good bank holiday to all.
From Librarychick, Bluebell and Ginger +f+ >ch<
Librarychick, Bluebell & Ginger
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KarenE
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by KarenE »

Hi

Sorry to hear you've got the dreaded red mite. Don't let it get you down though it sounds like you're getting it well under control. Just got to treat it long enough to break the egg and larvae cycles. Sandy says a couple of drops of frontline on the girls also keeps them off the chickens so might be worth doing too if you are worried about Bluebell and Ginger? And you could puff or mix up a paste of DE and put it all over the inside - it's good for killing the adults. I puff it into their nestboxes too and into their dustbaths whenever I remember.

And maybe give those blackbird nests a good dusting too :-D

And as for rats - get a cat )t' Or - remind your hubby to switch on the deterrent thingy.

Don't worry about red mite getting onto humans etc - they don't live off us or other animals, so no chance of moving the infection site or host. It's just yike* rather than a real danger. The main thing is getting it under control in the coop )t'

And yes - the highs and lows. Hopefully the highs are making up for the lows
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
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kitla
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by kitla »

Oh poor you, last year I had rats and redmite too, I felt like I was at war! I got
rid of them both eventually & have managed to keep them away this year. But I
have a battle bucket full of weapons ready & waiting just incase! Poultryshield,
Jeyes fluid, ant powder (with permethrin), Nettex redmite spray, chicken house
fumer (bombs), big tub of DE & brush to get it into cracks, vaseline for around the
perch ends, and a bottle of Redstop for the chickens water (puts the mites off feeding
so gives the chooks a rest). Keep at it, you'll get them in the end. Remember to burn
any bedding you take out - you dont want to infest your wheelie bin. Make sure
any )de: that make it to your hens have to crawl through a dusting of DE to get
back to any hiding places.
"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
--Immanuel Kant
bikesandbirdsbob
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by bikesandbirdsbob »

Hi, D E and spray/drops on chickens keeps them safe. I bought a cheap 5 pounds spray a couple of monts ago from T....co , not seen any bugs on the girls since. Not maybe the best way but the girls seem happy enough. I will give them another squirt when I weigh them next.
Best wishes .
Bob
Librarychick
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by Librarychick »

Thanks all for the sympathy and advice. Here is the latest on my red mite war.
So I discovered a trace of red mites last Friday. I cleaned the whole coop with poultry shield - every nook and cranny and turned it upside down took all the bits apart that I could. The hens were still laying most days and seemed ok in themselves. Straight down to Countrywide and got a tin of Battles red mite powder and coated the whole coop and liberal dusting of Bluebell and Ginger

Saturday very slight trace of mites on the inside of the lid and they'd been feeding on my girls. {cry} One egg and it had tell-tale red spots which washed off.

More powder and cleaned out nest boxes.

Down to Countrywide. More Poultry Shield and DE.

Sunday. Slight trace of mites on one perch end - not red though. Cleaned whole coop again. Powder everywhere. Perches like floured rolling pins. Eggs very clean no signs of red. Inspected girls as best I could - no sign of mite but hardly unexpected as the red mite don't live on the birds during the day - just when feeding after dark.

Monday. Very slight trace in nest box. Nest boxes cleaned more powder. Made big dust bath laced with Battles but girls not keen. Put them in nest box and dusted over. Eggs lovely and clean. Whole coop smelling so fresh and everything dry but I'm SO depressed. It's knowing that you work so hard but not succeeding.

Tuesday - No sign of living mites - thick layer of powder everywhere. Eggs lovely and clean.

Wednesday - Steam clean whole coop and took apart edges of nest box. Scrubbed inside and out all over with undiluted poultry shield. Dried in the sun and then DE everywhere especially perch ends and nest box. Decided to leave perches out and also the divider between the two nest boxes. Bluebell and Ginger always sleep in the nest boxes anyway. Less places for mites to hide.

This morning there was one egg in the nest box and I put it in a garden trug just outside the hens free range area meaning to take it into the kitchen but then got wrapped up in the red mite campaign and forgot about it. Later there was another egg and I went to put it in the same place but noticed the first egg was gone. Everyone was in the garden so just thought someone had taken the egg inside. Stupid me. I put the second egg in the trug but when I asked everyone said "no not me" then I had a sudden suspicion - Charlie the puppy? And when I went over to look there he was sniffing around. AND THE SECOND EGG WAS GONE. DH could not believe I had been so stupid and said was my own fault. All this hard work and no eggs. Anyway no ill effects for the pup but the evidence later did show that he was indeed the egg thief.

Anyway back to the mighty mite problem. No sign of mites. Whole coop covered in DE. Think leaving out perches and divider a good idea. Change nest boxes and clean every day.

Today found a couple of mites (literally) red so still not rid. The whole coop is coated in DE and the mites were in the DE powder. Tomorrow another scrub with neat poultry shield. But I was thinking I was beginning to get on top. Not eradication but control.

UNTIL. Notice poor Bluebell yike* Small bald patch on breast. When I picked her up to check she was completely bald underneath. Bum etc all fluffy and well feathered. No sign of mites on her and checked Ginger too. But G was ok and not bald (yet?). More {cry} and worry. Obviously must be caused by mite and irritation / itchy but her skin is not red or broken. No feathers anywhere. She/they must have eaten them ?
Had small wonder if Ginger had plucked out B's feathers overnight because I had taken out the divider between the boxes but there has never been any evidence of pecking each other. They're both beautifully well-feathered (usually). It is the )de: .

Meanwhile two beautiful eggs again today. In fact Ginger laid one in the nest box - she was in it luxuriously taking up the whole box (side on) when I peeked in - and then a very loud egg song when I was cleaning up outside. A beautiful quite dark brown egg.

I feel terrible that they are still giving us their eggs even though they are going through torture. Am hoping that they and I are over the worst.

Thinking about so many people whose diaries have petered out over time and wonder if that will happen to me. On the one hand considering getting/converting a plastic coop. On the other, thinking unlikely to carry on after B & G. +f+ & >ch<
Librarychick, Bluebell & Ginger
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KarenE
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by KarenE »

Oh no, don't let it put you off. Control is the key not eradication and it sounds like you've got it well under control. If not you';d be finding millions of the things. It's just the egg larvae cycle you're breaking. Did you try ant powder with permethryn as well? And is there felt on the roof cos that can be a hiding place too.

And as for your baldy breasted feather eater - yes, may be feather eating, she may also have plucked her own feathers out in preparation for going broody. If it were the mites she'd probably have patches all over. But if she isn't sitting on the nest then she may have changed her mind or perhaps you've broken it by turfing her out and coop cleaning (good!)

If you can get your hands on some proper creosote with the banned substance in, and paint the inside of the coop that will sort the mites out for you. The unbanned stuff doesn't work though. Alternatively Dom is experimenting with limewashing the inside and so far it seems to be working. You could add to your armoury with a smoke bomb insect killer thingy too. I use SMITE and so far touch wood it's worked, I spray it all over the inside every month or so as a preventative measure.

Try the frontline (for cats) drops on the neck - at least it will keep the mites off the girls.

And as for your naughty dog - blow an egg and fill it with mustard (assume that's not bad for dogs?)

Don't be so hard on yourself. Your girls sound perfectly happy. As long as they are healthy and laying and not pale and anaemic then you are winning the mite battle. As Xena would say - BATTLE ON! )t'
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
Katiee
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by Katiee »

HI L C, Really sorry you're having so much hassle. we have had our three girls for 2. 6 years and used a plastic coop from the start. They do free range all day ( so can dust bathe when ever they like ) and we havn't had any mite trouble at all. I would highly recommend plastic as it's so simple to clean and requires very little maintenance. I think it will change your feelings and cheer you up so much if you invest in a plastic coop. Enjoy your girls !!!
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sandy
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by sandy »

And as Gwen Zena would have said, us chicks can cope mum! We have all had to battle with those darn red mites so please do not give up or feel you are letting your girls down {hug} I have to admit I put about half a bottle of DE in the wooden homes every other day, works lovely
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Ingrid-Bergman,Georgia,Madeleline,Norma-Jean,Dora & Janice
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Librarychick
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by Librarychick »

Thanks everyone for your support. {hug} Librarychick Warrier Princess here. Well plastic coop arrived (flat pack) on Friday. Plan for major day in the garden and chicken enclosure. Also have accumulated various other weapons of war. More visits to Countrywide etc. More £. Disappointed to discover Countrywide no longer do the 5 litre Poultry Shield concentrate. Had to buy another 1 litre bottle at £12 odds. However, apparently there are still a few 5 litres bottles around so they have ordered one from another store for me.

Started Saturday by moving Bluebell and Ginger out of the chicken area and into another section of the garden. OH took the back panel of the enclosure off and the wooden coop out so I could start major clean and then build new plastic coop. TBH I think I'm on top of the )de: but just can't relax yet. Can't trust the wooden coop but think I'm probs just paranoid. I'll let you know how the work went in the next post. +f+ And >ch<
Librarychick, Bluebell & Ginger
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kitla
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by kitla »

Poor you, I understand your despair about the redmite. Getting rid of them can be
quite obsessional cant it?! Last year when I found them in my coop I became a daily
crazy woman - dressed in kagool with hood up, overtrousers & rubber gloves, armed
with sprayers, puffers & buckets. I'd be up there for hours cleanings & spraying, even
peering into the nooks with a magnifying glass! :oops: My next step was going to
be painting the inside of the coop with gloss paint to fill up the cracks, but I won
before that. What sort of plastic coop did you get? we'd love to see a pic when you
get set up. I'll be interested to hear how you get on with it, I reckon when mine
falls apart I may go for plastic.
"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
--Immanuel Kant
bikesandbirdsbob
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by bikesandbirdsbob »

Hi apart from usual cleaning and covering everthing with De I spread it on the straw they nest in . When they lay /nest they get De underneath them as well..I also carry a plastic cup with me when I feed them and sprinkle it over them when they get close for the food. Also get the cockerals to do the honors when they go courting as give their under carriage a good dosing as well. I use a flea sprat every couple of months just for good measure .
dust bath area s in the dry days get a cover as well.
Buy a 20 kilo bag and it last a few months from ebay. about 30 pounds when on offer.
I look at it as if they mites get on me I will get rid of them quick in the shower . Dont bite humans I am told ,so far can say thet is true. Girls are clear at the moment but I am sure they will make another appearance soon enough. A bit like childrens lice at school . Fact of life , but not discussed enough as feel bad about it. Main thing is to deal with them A SA P as it effects the girls health pretty quickly .
Bob.
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KarenE
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by KarenE »

Ah - another Xena fan perhaps? Excellent! You can join me and Sandy. )t'

All the posts I've read on here say that plastic is the way to go with red mite, just be aware that if you hose the little b**ggers off, they can trek right back in so perhaps hose (jetwash even!) a fair old way away, and put a ring of ant powder or DE right round so they can sneak back in.

Kitla - sounds like you were wearing a hazmat suit there! You must have been a sight for the neighbours {rofwl}
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
Librarychick
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by Librarychick »

Weekend was too full on to post an update but I did read folks messages of support which kept me going. Thanks all. This is just a short summary to keep you briefed on the {mr.angry} mite. So flat pack plastic coop arrived and I laid it all out on Saturday morning. 44 pieces plus screws. Piece 8 was broken (grrr). Supplier will send a placement but it will take 3-5 days. So delay to coop replacement til next week. Meanwhile. Shovelled out all wood chip from floor of enclosure. Swept and levelled off the earth - it was baked hard into craters in places. Laid new paving stones under the coop and made small repairs and barricaded the edges. Washed down the roof and swept all round. Pump action pressure spray with Poultry Shield on all areas of the enclosure and Permethrin spray in the corners. The wooden coop was removed and cleaned down again. Lots of DE and I shut the girls in away from the enclosure over night while I let everything dry and air. Feeding them dried meal worms, Apple cider vinegar and grapes (from the vines in the garden) as well as layers and some corn. Old bedding all burned.

I'm beginning to wonder if the baldness was really only down to mites as still only underneath. You can't see it unless you pick them up so may have been like that for a while. >coc< The rest still looks well feathered including fluffy bums and bloomers.

Also laid the foundations for a new shed to store chicken related stuff. The "utilitarian" area of the garden looks neater than the rest now. So tired but hopefully worth it. No eggs from Bluebell for a couple of days - she doesn't like all the disruption. but back to normal two beauties in the nest box again today..

Weather absolutely atrocious. Torrential rain. Glad I have the covered run but the girls still tried to escape for free ranging.

Cheers for now.
Librarychick, Bluebell & Ginger
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Re: Library Chick's Chicks

Post by bikesandbirdsbob »

Hi , Well done , You can say now you are full paraniod like the rest of us and will slowly get back to relaxing ,when excepted as normal .
Rain is annoying to say the least . Hopefully good weather and times to come .
My girls have bald parts as well . I think it is not totally down to mites it can be just moulting , broody and normal behaviour .
Bob

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