Those pesky red things

Those pesky red things

The new guys

The first week with the new guys has been eventful. Thinking back now I can’t believe they’re in with Snowy without much disruption.

We tried merging them all together, interestingly the three big ones weren’t bothered with Polo apart from a couple of light pecks. They were however very interested in showing Poppy that they’re in charge. They left Snowy alone too.

It didn’t go to bad, Poppy was hiding out of shot

New steps and perches

I decided to change the steps that lead to the big coop. The big ones fly up and down but Belle seems to struggle getting down. I don’t think she’s keen on jumping down.

While I was working, Polo jumped up onto the water bucket in the adjacent little run and seemed interested in what I was upto.

She’s very nosey
Wants to be high up

We’d trimmed her feathers a bit more and now that she can see, she’s getting up to loads of mischief! If I put my hands out she will jump on and walk up my arm then sit on my shoulder!

The new steps and perch
New perch in the little run

Bedtime routine

Polo hasn’t gone into the coop of her own choice yet. Poppy has it sussed.

Back on top of the water bucket to sleep

Every night Polo settles on the water bucket or on top of the Eglu and we have to transfer her to the coop.

Those pesky red things turned up

I was routinely cleaning the Eglu coop so opened the rear door and removed the piece of wood that Snowy sits on with the intention of sliding the trays out and emptying them into the compost. As I picked the short piece of 2×4 up and saw underneath I sighed as the clusters of red mite came into view.

I straight away took the piece of wood out of the run and plonked it down on a patio slab.

I was prepared for this, there has been so many reports of bad mite infestations this summer, maybe due to the warm weather. But I mistakenly had a false sense of security with the plastic Eglu coop and other than cleaning it I’d left it unprotected.

The main coop does not have a mite in sight, but I’ve ensured to keep the perches covered with Permethrin powder, which has possibly helped.

I covered the wood with powder to kill off the mites and I’ll dispose of it later. The coop was then given a dosing of powder too.

I have some Nettex Total Mite Kill spray in stock that I’d bought with the intention of spraying the inside of the big coop as it’s wood and I wanted to proactively prevent mites. This spray is another Permethrin product but the benefit compared to powder is that it gets into all the gaps and crevices and then has a residual effect.

It was a bit late to spray the coops as the chickens were getting ready for bed, so I hoped the powder would help. Later that evening I went to check with the torch and I could see a fair amount of mites walking around the sides and ceiling of the Eglu. Poor chickens.

I wondered if Poppy or Polo had brought the mites in.

The following morning I checked again and there were a few dead mites, so I knew the powder worked. More importantly I soaked the coop in the spray and left it closed so the chickens couldn’t get in. I also sprayed the inside walls of the big coop. Then powdered the chickens.

I was away that evening but Sam reported back that there were no mites to be seen anywhere when it had gone dark.

I’ve also checked myself tonight and there are loads of dead mites and no live ones anywhere.

Tomorrow I’ll jet wash the coop and moving forward I’ll definitely use the spray as a preventative anywhere we have chickens sleeping. I really rate Permethrin for mites now.

She loves exploring

Polo loves exploring, we’d put the big chickens in the outside run and let the small ones in the big run. Polo had disappeared and I found her checking out the nest boxes.

Exploring!
Close up of Poppy

Ground works

I’ve finally finished the block work and can continue the wood work to build the new storage shed where poultry food and consumables will be stored!

The last blocks are fixed in place
Comments 2 comments

2 thoughts on “Those pesky red things

  1. You may find that Polo will start going in when it gets colder and dark earlier. Ebony and Flame are now going in and speckles, sometimes, but sometimes Speckles will still be out on her own and I have to put her in. As it gets colder she has always reverted to going in on her own in previous years.

    I have had some red mite over the summer and I certainly find they come in with new girls. I use Smite and wet wipes for wiping away the dead ones. I have managed to get on top of it and find that I need to stay ever vigilant.

    Polo is very cute. I think as I am drawn to little girls she appeals to me. I also find the little girls are more tame.

  2. Bad luck, Kevin – I fully sympathise – and empathise. I have had an unpleasant infestation … in my plastic coop, where I had a wooden nest box and wooden perches. The beauty is that you can dispose of the wood and get out the power washer.

    Polo looks like a real little character.

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