Anti-mite perches

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rick
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Anti-mite perches

Post by rick » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:38 am

I know I have been a little OCD about this but just wanted to share this anti red mite solution (one of many possible) as it really does seem to have stopped them in their tracks.
The bottle caps have some diatom in.
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dinosaw
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by dinosaw » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:27 pm

Well if you find it is working, it's good of you to share it. You do crack me up mind Rick with your inventions, in the best way possible I mean :D, wish I had such an inventive mind.
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Marigold
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by Marigold » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:33 pm

That looks brilliant, so long as you have perches supported in the way yours are. Mine, like many others, plug sideways into the wall of the coop. Any ideas for that type?
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rick
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by rick » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:16 pm

I couldn't think of a way to compact it in height to 2 x 3 inch Marigold, at least not easily. Painting diatom slurry in the sockets before sliding the perch in is probably the best option unless you have enough head height for the hens too raise the perch on the posts (obviously so the suspended perch doesn't touch the sides.

If there are any injection moulders out there I can imagine perch ends that go onto a standard bar and into the perch sockets (if perch sockets/perches were a standard fit.)

I did make this temporary free standing perch for the CLBs. The temporary perch is on the other side of the run where I had never seen any red mite until the main perches became a no go option. It took them about a week to appear on the other side to nibble the pullets which was interesting. Again, the problem is that the idea raises the perch higher than some coops can stand maybe.

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Just for the record - I think you could do it like below but it uses up perch length as the hens have to stay away from the join and the wall. I'll give it a rest now!
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bigyetiman
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by bigyetiman » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:51 pm

I hope it works for you, a simple cheap solution. Keep on inventing
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rick
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by rick » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:16 pm

Well I'll let you all know in 12 months time - if I knobble the anti-mite system for 2 - 3 weeks and they appear again.
Thanks Dinosaw and Bigyetiman - its a habit that's unlikely to change after all these years - get an idea and just have to build it!
Quite confident that the mites can no longer get to a hen on a perch now in the night when they do their main munching but
not sure about nest boxes. Do you think, if the boxes are not in the dark (just a bit of a half curtain), that they wouldn't try to have a bite in the daytime? I don't think they do as I first got worried about having mite around when Aerial was refusing to perch in favour of the nest boxes. Never seen any mite in there but, when they have to, they will trek quite a distance from an un-found crevice. But the idea that they might 'see' a hen enter a nest box then set out on a raid from a distance seems unlikely - not a sustainable way to multiply anyway.
Its a funny time of year to know anything for sure. Even Bonnie is now off lay (getting feathered up and Orp beautiful again though) - Aerial hasn't laid an egg in 2 months and that was a one off! Anyone else got a blacktail that just seems to have decided that laying eggs is for losers at 2 1/2 years of age?
RichmondHens
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by RichmondHens » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:05 am

Mites don't just crawl along perches, they will also live higher up near the roof then just drop off onto the hens at night. So just making perches "mite proof" isn't going to stop them, although I admire your efforts.

At the risk of losing birds to foxes, my radical solution to reducing red mite population this year was to not shut the hens up at all. Therefore during the longest days the birds were out of the houses by 4 am and not in again until at least 10 pm. Not only did I find almost no mite in the houses (two small colonies in two of the houses was the grand total and they were dealt with using creosote), egg production also increased, even amongst the older birds.
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Marigold
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by Marigold » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:25 pm

Yes I agree about not shutting them up in the coop at night, I never do that, winter or summer. There are so many advantages, mainly to the hens but also to the keeper - full ventilation and better air quality in the coop, no condensation from damp feathers in a closed coop overnight, hence less risk of bronchitis etc; no need to keep going round after dark, in all weathers, or to get up early enough to release the restless girls in summer. And if you have to go away, it's much easier to get someone else to pay one daily visit, to check, feed, water, clean up and collect eggs, than for them to have keep running around morning and night as well. Of course, you have to keep the flock in conditions which are safe from predators, but since foxes often strike during the day or before the hens go to roost, I think this should be a consideration anyway. Maybe my long-term freedom from mites in the coop is due to this method of management, if you've also noticed a big reduction in mites this summer, RH.
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by RichmondHens » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:46 pm

I'm sure you're right Marigold. Reducing availability of the mites' food source ie blood must have an impact on their breeding. I'm still not shutting the birds up and at the moment am thinking I'll leave the popholes open all winter unless the weather turns really nasty. We live on top of a hill and it's always fairly breezy up here so should we get driving sleet/snow/rain then I may close them for the night but otherwise am inclined to leave them be. Of course a fox attack may change my mind, but fortunately the foxes are very wary around here, and heavily controlled by the gamekeeper.
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rick
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Re: Anti-mite perches

Post by rick » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:11 pm

And you are right Richmondhens - it took a lot of finding and I am surprised but:
http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/4506/1/S00 ... 00403a.pdf
page 592, "As Maurer (1993) found during her experiments, PRM can drop from the ceiling,.."
Walking would be more reliable - in a smaller space though (like most coops) yes!
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