Fancy Fowl|August 2017

Victoria answers more of your questions… (

Q1. What is the latest thinking on red mite? What would you advise is the best method of treatment?


Products with extraordinary claims of treating red mite are advertised frequently. There are very few that have been scientifically proven to work, however, and I distrust any product that does not say what the ingredients are, so label reading is very important. What is needed is a) methods of killing the mites that are safe for hens, b) chemicals that kill red mite are safe for hens, c) effective chemical or mechanical knock-down and persistence of the chemical to catch future generations, d) removing red mite hiding places, e) avoiding re-infection.

The cheapest and easiest method of control is a blow torch. Obviously, this must be used with care in wooden huts! It is best used when the hens are out of the hut and can be directed into nooks and crannies where the mites spend the day. It will need repeating several times and checking at dusk with a torch for more mites is always beneficial.


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August 2017