Walked over to the allotment this morning to feed the chickens and planning to plant some bulbs ready for spring. Whilst we were feeding the chickens, and laying down grass cuttings from our back garden to rummage through, we checked the under the wings of Peggie for mites. Mites are nasty and lodge under the wings sucking the chickens blood, eventually weakening it so much that it dies. It is fairly simple to check for red mite, simply (if only it was that easy…) catch the chicken and check under the wing, close to the body that there aren’t any bite marks or mites. We checked Peggie and we saw a mark which may or may not have been a mite bite. So we borrowed some diatematous earth and prepared to dowse the chickens in it to remove any mites.
Our first problem: catch the chickens. And my goodness was it a problem! You wouldn’t think it but chickens are as fast as Usain Bolt when you are trying to catch them. They could win the 100 yards dash well under record breaking time.
We managed to catch Doris and Lottie fairly easily and sprayed a liberal amount of the mite powder under each wing and rubbed it in. Peggie, Masie and Maggie who had seen that we were picking up their fellow birds knew what was coming and legged it. Eventually we barricaded Masie into the shed and cornered her. It seems drastic but after 10 minutes of two of us chasing three chickens, you get a little desperate! Maggie was caught soon afterwards, although with a lot of very indignant clucking!
We also managed to get hold of Dave the Bee to ask him about keeping bees. He is dropping by a few books tomorrow for us to have a look at…