Red Mite Management for Poultry


Whether the poultry you own keep you entertained while gardening or supply the local village their breakfast, I think we can agree that the red mite is not an ideal coop companion for your chickens.

If you are not familiar with the beastly creature, it is a tiny parasite similar to the flea in that it spends the majority of its life cycle hiding in dark places, using the animal of choice as its dinner. Before feeding they are grey in colour but turn bright red when they have feasted on your chickens. This is usually when we can spot them. If you are unable to inspect your birds keep an eye out for:

• The birds avoiding the coop
• Tiny spots of blood on the shell of the eggs.
• The birds may look pale, anaemic or irritated

If this all sounds familiar or you are starting to itch just thinking about it, then here is a short summary of the steps you can take to prevent or reduce infestations, keeping your feathered friends feeling fine.

  1. Start by, completely disinfecting the coop, using an animal safe product; take apart the coop if you can. Leave the coop out in the sun, the UV light will sterilise and kill any stubborn mites still alive.
  2. Once dry, use an insecticide spray to coat the inside of the coop, helping kill any red mites still around. Aerosol products are good as it can force the product into any tiny gaps.
  3. Again, once dry, a louse powder ideally containing Diatomaceous Earth can be used in the coop, in a dust bath for the birds and directly on the animals. (ensure you read the label before applying it to your birds) A layer of powder added to nest boxes can also be advantageous.
  4. Finally, pop a tonic or vitamin booster into the water to help the birds to bounce back from the infestation.

If the infestation is bad you may need to repeat these steps. It is best to keep on top of red mite populations as an adult mite can survive without a blood meal for a few months, their whole life cycle can be completed over seven days and each adult can lay thousands of eggs. Once under control use the steps above to prevent further infestations.

Pop into your local store today to obtain advice and products to help keep your feathered friends in tip top condition. You will also find a selection of feeders, drinkers and bedding in stock.

Top Tips For Autumn Grassland

We know this season has been particularly tough on grass and the grazing and forage resources are severely strained, but there are a few actions to make the best of your fields.

Don’t overgraze fields, leave a good residual to aid regrowth. Overgrazing puts the plant under extra stress and can induce tiller death which will limit the plants ability to regrow efficiently subsequently affecting yield and persistency. Identify a poor field and use this as a sacrificial field for feeding out on, with a plan to reseed this in the autumn.

Don’t apply fertiliser straight away when it rains. Grass won’t be able to use nitrogen straight away as its roots energy reserves are severely depleted. It will take around 21 days for the plant to recover, push up some leaves and rebuild its root reserves before the leaves are removed by a grazing animal.

It will rain!!
The good news is that some areas have seen rain, not in sufficient volumes, but there is more forecast, including in some of the hardest hit areas. The autumn sowing period will be extended, hopefully well into October with soil temperatures currently in the mid 20’s!! The wetter conditions and warm ground should give strong growth to buffer forage stocks.

Soils will stay warm well into the autumn and particularly heavy soils have the ability to retain heat longer. So with the rain, grass crops will germinate and emerge fairly quickly (within 7-10 days) this means that fields needing to be reseeded with perennial mixtures will still have a window. Later sown perennial ryegrass mixtures are ideal, contact the Carrs Billington forage line on 08000 234416 for specialist grassland advice on your reseeding options this autumn.

Kuhn Venta 3030 in stock

Now available in stock we have the new Kuhn Venta 3030 seed drill.
The latest model in the Kuhn range offers 10-minute tool change! The tillage tools’ roller frame is equipped with a patented system which makes it easier to fit and remove the VENTA seed drill. Fast uncoupling allows you to work solo with the power harrow or to change tools.

KUHN has made the settings simpler so that your seeding is more precise:
– Personalised application rate adjustment with electric metering unit
– Centralised pressure adjustment of the covering harrow
– Seed application rate calibration button at the rear of the machine
– Centralised settings for quick and easy seeding depth adjustment

The VENTA 3030 integrated pneumatic seed drill is equipped with a SEEDFLEX coulter bar with double-offset discs for perfect furrow opening. The discs are parallelogram-mounted with a press wheel that controls the seeding depth of each unit with precision. The SEEDFLEX seeding units are adapted to different uses with 35 cm spacing between the front and rear row. They require no maintenance.

Contact your machinery depot for more information on the Venta 3030 and other Kuhn products.

Giving your pet great dog food is even easier!

Consumer awareness of the food we eat has never been better. We know the source of our food, how many miles it has travelled, and even the name of the animal! Sadly the same cannot be said for the food we provide our dogs daily. Often our loyal companion never questions what is in the bowl that is put before it each day. Perhaps it is time, as responsible pet owners, that we started to examine the quality of the meal or meat we buy. You might be way ahead of most dog owners, and already buy a great dog food for your best friend, and it has loads of energy, a shiny coat and general good health, well done. Others might want to give their dog the best, but can’t justify the expense, well, it is time for a change.
New from Carrs Billington, Nature’s Bounty is a high quality complete dog food for puppies, adult dogs or senior dogs that is full of high quality ingredients, designed to allow your pet to get the most out of life, but at a price that won’t break the bank! Made in the UK, with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and completely natural, Nature’s Bounty is just what your dog needs. Choose from our gluten free, or grain free, hypo-allergenic diets. Ask in store today for more details.

Ensure your equine obtains the nutrition it needs.

Champion horse feed

The significant dry period we have been experiencing this summer has placed severe strain on the availability of grass for our horses, resulting in horse owners buying haylage and supplementing intakes. Your equine needs a range of grasses, herbs and shrubs to obtain the nutrition required for optimum health and an unbalanced diet can cause issues with hoof health, coat condition and general immunity. It is advised to provide a good quality balancer to ensure your horse gets sufficient essential vitamins & minerals.

Developed in conjunction with specialised equine nutritionists, Champion Horse Balancer is a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals specifically formulated to balance natural nutrient deficiencies in horses and ponies fed a forage only diet, or those fed less than the recommended cubes or mix ration. Containing high levels of Biotin, Zinc and Methionine to aid hoof support the Champion Horse Balancer is low in sugar, low starch and suitable for horses and ponies prone to laminitis. The blend also contains live yeast for improved gut efficiency, Prebiotics MOS & FOS to support gut health and natural antioxidants to aid the immune system.

Drop into your local branch and pick up a bag of balancer today.