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How to stop infestations of pesky pests on your birds

PUBLISHED: 10:27 16 April 2019

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Itchy chickens? Grumpy birds? Issues with laying? Could your birds have Pesky Pests?

Itchy chickens? Grumpy birds? Issues with laying? Could your birds have Pesky Pests?

There are a number of Pesky Pests (red mites, lice, Northern Fowl Mites and Scaly Leg Mites) that can affect chickens. It is essential to treat and help prevent infestations to ensure your birds remain happy and productive.

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Red mites live in the housing, emerging after dark to feed off the chickens. Signs of infestation include:

● Birds not wanting to go into the coop at night

● Blood spots on eggs

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● Grumpy, pale or anaemic birds

● Mites or their faeces (grey ash-type deposits) inside the coop

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A weekly 3 step preventative programme will get rid of red mites and keep them at bay*:

1. Removing bedding and clean out the coop

2. Spray the coop with Nettex Total Mite Kill Ready to Use Spray - to disinfect and eradicate mites.

3. Apply Nettex Total Hygiene Powder in the coop, add to dust baths before refiling with fresh bedding.

Use Nettex Total Mite Kill Aerosol monthly to treat hard to reach areas.

* Should you have an infestation these products will need to be used more regularly initially.

Poultry Lice and Northern Fowl Mites live on your birds and are transmitted from wild birds. Lice or their eggs may be visible on infested birds. Lice are small brown critters; Northern Fowl Mites are smaller and black. These parasites feed off your birds' blood, which makes them irritable - pecking or pulling out their own feathers. Infested birds may look pale and stop laying.

To treat these pesky pests and keep them at bay:

1. Removing bedding and clean out the coop

2. Spray the coop with Nettex Total Mite Kill Ready to Use Spray - to disinfect and kill any mites and lice

3. Apply Nettex Buz Busters Louse Powder in the coop before refilling with fresh bedding

Scaly leg mites live on the bird and are spread by contact with other birds. They burrow under the scales of a bird's legs causing irritation (raised scales with crusty exudate) which causes the hen to peck - creating painful sores.

Scaly leg mites can be easily managed:

1. Spray the legs of affected birds with Nettex Scaly Leg Remover, this suffocates the mites, eases discomfort and provides a barrier to protect the legs from further infestation. Apply with a soft toothbrush, in an upward motion, gently working it under the scales.

2. Repeat every 5-6 days until the infestation has gone and the scabs have gone from under the scales. The scales will remain raised when the mites are gone. It is important not to pick at any raised or loose scales.

Birds are susceptible to stress, and parasites may cause an adverse effect on the immune system. It is essential to provide them with appropriate nutrition and supplementation to help support your birds' nutritional needs at this key time.

Ensure that you check any new birds you introduce to your flock to ensure they are free from lice and mites. New birds should be quarantined initially and introduced gradually.

For further information and advice concerning Pesky Pests visit www.nettexpoultry.com

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