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Archive for May, 2011

Effective Solutions for Controlling Red Mite in Chicken Coops

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Owners of chickens want the best for their hens and therefore provide the utmost care and precision when it comes to the general health of their brood. Unfortunately, there are certain complications with keeping hens that simply can’t be avoided; one of these being Red Mite (Dermanyssus gallinae). We at Cotswold Chickens will discuss some effective solutions for controlling this mite within chicken coops to ensure the welfare of your chickens is always at a peak.

A Dust Bath:

Chickens love to keep themselves clean so it is imperative that you provide them with a place where they can ‘wash’. This doesn’t cost the earth and a simple a trug or cat litter tray filled with soil and wood ash can provide a chicken’s equivalent to a human bubble bath!

A concoction of Paraffin and Vaseline:

This is used by many chicken owners and is a safe method of keeping Red Mite at bay. By smearing the mixture in and around the crevices of the coop where Red Mite tends to breed, it smothers and kills them leaving your chicken coop free of Red Mite and your chickens healthy.

Test regularly for Red Mite:

As any good chicken owner should know, regular hen inspections are a must. These highlight any potential threats to a chicken’s health that would otherwise go unnoticed.

The best method to controlling Red Mite is to regularly check for signs of the bugs by having a thorough search in and around the coop. Simply wipe a tissue around the underside of the perch located in the shadows of a the coop and see whether any blood stains are present; if so you need to ensure you use an effective method to rid the coop of the mite ASAP.

There are also many Red Mite control chemicals that can eradicate any noticeable signs. These can be found online or by speaking to specialist retailers and come with full instructions which must be followed.

So, if you have any questions or need more advice on how to care for your chickens and keep Red Mite under control in chicken coops, don’t hesitate to contact the team here at Cotswold Chickens either via our online contact form, or by calling the number on our website.

3 Solutions to Prevent Feather Pecking in Chickens

Monday, May 9th, 2011

The keeping of chickens as garden pets has become increasingly popular within the UK and for good reason. Pet chickens can not only provide a wide range of affection and entertainment for the family, but they can also provide a food source via their eggs. However, if you currently have pet chickens or you’re planning on keeping chickens you’ll need to ensure that you’re fully aware of certain traits that can occur, such as feather pecking, which can have serious consequences if not dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Here at Cotswold Chickens, we appreciate the dangers connected with feather pecking and we also understand that the issues are usually caused by one of several reasons, including a dietary deficiency, boredom or lack of space, as outlined below.

Space:

In an ideal scenario, the flock should be allowed to roam around the garden freely as not only will this provide them with the exercise they require, but it’ll also prevent them from being in uncomfortably close proximity to the rest of the flock. However, it’s understandable that this isn’t always possible. In the unfortunate situation that birds do need to be caged, you need to ensure they have an adequate amount of space.

Entertainment:

If your flock are able to explore the garden, chase bugs and roam free they’ll be happy and content. However, if they’re penned in for whatever reason, it’s important to provide them with a source of entertainment, such as something for them to peck at and shred.

Diet:

Your flock’s diet can have a substantial effect on whether they suffer from feather pecking or not. If their diet doesn’t consist of enough protein, they will look to find it elsewhere – and unfortunately the feathers of other birds is usually a good source.

If, despite following these tips, you’ve found  some of your flock are starting to lose their feathers, whilst others remain fully clothed despite them all having the same space, entertainment and diet, then it may be necessary to fit those fully clothed chickens with bumper bits, which will prevent them from pulling feathers out.