Start preventative red mite treatment
Red Mite are notoriously difficult to remove once they’ve taken residence.
They love the warmer weather and can multiply very quickly; if you don’t treat them you’ll soon have a serious infestation to deal with.
If you find mites in your coop treat the coop urgently:
Wash the house down with a mite killing liquid and use a product such as Smite or any mite killing powder such as Diatomaceous Earth to kill them.
(Serious cases need repeat cleaning and powdering every 3 to 5 days until no evidence remains)
1. Clear out the coop including all bedding. Anything that will disconnect from the coop – remove it. If you have felt roof on the house, remove that (they live underneath the felt too).
2. Jet wash every inch, crack and crevice of the coop. When you stop jetting, the mites will start to move around. Repeat the process, until you see no red mites moving around.
3. Rebuild the coop. We wouldn’t bother re-felting the roof, use a removable waterproof cover such as an old ground sheet or some large sheets of plastic.
4. Dust all over the inside of the housing with a product such as Smite, including bedding. These mite powders contain silicates that damage the waxy cuticle on the mite’s surface, causing them to dehydrate and die. Coat the perches with the powder, reapplying it every couple of days.
It is very difficult to keep on top of Red Mite
To control numbers and eventually rid yourself of Red Mite, you need to break the breeding cycle – you must repeat no more than 7 days later. A female red mite in warm conditions can lay 120,000 eggs in one week!
Your brooder needs to be set up with a suitable heat source to keep your chicks nice and warm. Whatever you use, make sure you choose red bulbs; injury doesn’t show under red light. Under white light, any bloody spot will immediately attract pecking by the other chicks, who will happily peck each other to death.
Young chicks need to be close to water and food at all times. Make sure you use shallow drinkers to prevent them drowning. Line your brooder (a small animal cage) with wood shavings with large flakes or try Easichick wood fibre bedding (do not use sawdust which gets ingested when pecking and can make your chicks ill).