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It's been a while......
So I thought I'd better reintroduce myself.

It's great to see all the familiar names still here. *cheer*

I've still got my hens, but it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride this last year.  I sadly lost my Rhodebar cockerel just before last Christmas in a freak accident.  He always roosted on the floor and his girls on the perch and for some reason, the perch slipped out of it's slot and fell on Mr Rhodebars neck with all the weight of his girls roosting. He didn't struggle, but what a way to go!! Confusedcared:

I've been battling the worst red mite I've ever dealt with, to the point we've had to completely close down a large hen house and part of the garden with it.  None of us dare go near or we get covered in red mite.  Believe me, we've tried just about every treatment.

So, now I've resolved to keep just a few hens for eggs (4 rhodebar girls), but my daugher (age 7) keeps breeding her bantam pekins and bantam orps so we have a fair few of those too laugh

Welcome back!

Poor Mr Rhodebar, what a weird accident!

"Just a few hens for eggs" - yeah, right! :rolleyes:  Just love bantam orps - lost mine last year and have wanted to get another one (or two) ever since.

Never forget that life is a finite resource.

Experience is something you gain just after you needed it most.
I think I remember you Sue, welcome back.  No wonder there a rare breed if thats how you treat them :hysterical  I think everyone has suffered this year with mite to some degree or another. I don't know what to suggest apart from  either treating them all with creosote  ... or petrol and a match Confusedcared:


I agree with Sutty  few hens! ........ :hysterical



The view is much better from the naughty step ... Cool
Hello SS   Confusedmile:  Lovely to have you come and join us again  Confusedmile:  What a way for your poor chap to go. It is good to hear from you that you are still keeping hens, do you still have your horses too ?

CHUCKLERS RULE THE ROOST - Dave. Zen Seeker of The Board. rabbit run
Yes, I still have my horses. Another reason for downsizing as we're so busy with the ponies, one of them a youngster which I've been re-backing. We still have Jess the Labrador and a cat and two kittens which are recent additions.

A petrol and match is my hubbies favoured way of dealing with the old hen house. Trouble is its underneath some huge conifer trees and needs to be moved bit by bit as it soooo heavy. If you go under the conifers you get red mite in your hair as they're dropping out of the tree! So, for now we've sprayed Blacks disinfectant all over (this is like Jeyes), sprayed with insecticide and covered the house and ground with lime. There are still pigeons roosting in the trees, bless them. It's the stuff horror films are made of!
Eeeek SilkieSue that does sound bad.   And so sorry about your Rhodebar.   But its good to hear from you again.    I had to treat my main house this year too although it wasnt a really bad infestation.  Sounds like the tree might be the problem,  can you cut it down?  

It never worries me when I get a little lost, all I do is change where I'm going
Hello Teazel Smile

The trees are huge and old and a big feature in the garden, so sadly chopping them down isn't really an option. We've moved all the chickens to the other side of the garden. Fortunately there is lots if space. I'm hoping that if we keep liming the area and don't keep the chickens there, the red mite will eventually die off.
Hey, welcome back.  Sorry about your lad.  Red mite have been stupid this year, everyone on here been battling them.  I am at the burning the coop down and building a new one stage!
If they can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love.
Lovely to hear from you again SilkieSue *cheer*

Patterdales..there is no doubt they are addictive,therein lies the danger.While living with lots,you will grow poorer and stranger. dog run K9
Hi SilkieSue, good to have you back again.  I've had a nightmare with red mite this year, despite a new shed!  The weather has obviously been perfect for them this year.  Sorry to hear about your cockeral.

Hallo SilkieSue. Good to have you back. You have certainly been having an "interesting" time there. I think red mite are planning to take over the planet Confusedcared:  We are coming up to your part of the world in a couple of weeks. Bringing the dogs and staying in a converted farm building near Otterburn. Do you know that area? Daughter is staying here to keep an eye on the chickens and cat.
Today is the First Day of the rest of our lives.
hi Silkie Sue - lovely to read your post and catch up. I have found my red mite has occured every single year roughly at the same time (give a fortnight or too). I have just got used it and now expect it to kick off, and literally go bananas from the outset. I torched one hen house the first year, but have managed to avoid doing this again (costly, but you just get desperate don't you?). I have the ficam, creosote, diatom stuff and some duramitex which has done the trick this year. I am changing what I use every year and then as soon as I treat, I shut the coop off and find an alternative. We've got to the stage of marking it on the calendar. Funny it should run so routinely .... We no longer have the panic we're just resigned to dealing with it Sad
hello SS! its so great to see you back! im sorry to hear the dreading mite is causing you problems too,fingers crossed you soon get ontop of it again.
Moola -funny you should say that, it's the same time every year here too, usually the week before we go away on holiday!.  It has got progressively worse for us though, each year.  Ficam W stopped working last year and the year before.  Lots of other treatments haven't worked either, or they work the first time and a week or two later, they're back. I try not to overuse any one product.  The problem started with a secondhand house which I'm sure came with them.  What has made this problem worse is the conifer trees are infested with them. I've had pigeons dropping out of the tree that are covered in RM, dead!  The ground underneath is also full of them.  These areas I can't really treat, so we've moved the hens away.

My latest treatment is the Blacks disinfectant and Harkamitex (fingers crossed that will work, for now, the pigeon guys here really rate it).  I've also treated all the wood with Cuprinol which has sent them running out of every crack and crevice. I'm also hoping to trial some limewash on one of the houses to see if that would help.  Grrrrr!

Keep fighting the good fight SS! The pigeon and tree situation sounds a complete nightmare - it sounds like your are in one of those situations where it is just about manageable but not 'beatable'. I'm going to use more powder on the chickens and in the house next year from April onwards and see if a preventative approach works any better.

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