Due to the recent warm and humid weather we have seen an increase in red mite infestation in chickens!
The common red mite Dermanyssus gallinae are blood sucking ectoparasites that can infest chickens and turkeys.
They can strike any hen house at anytime but especially during the warmer summer months.
Our best advice is to keep extremely vigilant where these parasites are concerned.
They can be quite difficult to spot as they come out at night to feed on your hen’s blood and hide during the day.
We suggest a regular check of your birds under their wings and around their vents, however, this will not always reveal their presence as they don’t spend all their time on the bird.
We recommend entering the house after dark with a torch and looking around the ends of the perches and cracks where they might be hiding.
You may see a grey dust-like substance, these are mites that have not yet fed.
Once they have feed, they turn bright red and then dark red. If you squash them you will see a trail of blood.
Alternatively, take a piece of white paper and swipe between the cracks and crevices – if red mite are present, you will see streaks of blood on your paper.
If you are concerned that your chickens are affected please call our surgeries and we will be happy to advise!