Got Red Mites in Your Hen House? These products will help...

 Welcome to Appletons now Online

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 

We are now online and easily accessible for all chicken enthusiasts out there

If you are looking for quality professionally built hen houses or chicken coops we offer a great range to suit all requirements. We build practical, sensible chook house accommodation that looks good, is easy to maintain, easy to clean and best of all easy to assemble. Please have a look at our range. Our KITSET flat packs can be freighted nationwide so please ask for a quote to a depot close to you.

We also offer a quality range of poultry supplies: drinkers, feeders, wood shavings, poultry feed and health care products. We only recommend and sell the products we use here at Appletons.

The long warm summer season has brought with it a population explosion in the sparrow and mice populations. If, like us, you are sick of feeding your local sparrow and mice families then investing in a vermin proof step on feeder is the answer. With one of these feeders in operation your feed bill will be surprisingly reduced and your chooks will have continuous access to clean, dry feed. Sparrows not only clean up your chook feed they also contaminate it with their droppings and they carry all sorts of nasty avian diseases. So the fewer sparrows in your chook house and run the better for your chooks health. We carry two sizes of the step on feeder depending on your flock size. We have the 12kg large capacity feeder for 8 +hens or the Chooketeria for a smaller flock which holds app. 4kgs. Both are a good investment as they keep out vermin, keep the feed dry and free of contamination. They are also perfect if you go away for a weekend as your chooks can self help from the feeder. In the long run this feeder will pay for itself.

We are excited to see more people moving to using the deep bed litter system in their hen houses and the feedback is great – clean smelling hen houses and chicken coops, no flies, and the gardens and compost bins are benefiting form the nutrient rich litter. With the deep bed litter system you do not need to clean the house out as often and the chooks enjoy it more as they will love a sweet smelling house with a floor litter they can dust bath in plus they will love turning it over looking for wheat and maize treats. (that's of course if you throw some in first!)

The dreaded red mites have been around with a vengeance this season. Red mites are tiny little insects that live in the nooks and crannies and especially under the perches in your chook house/s. They become very active at night and come out to suck the blood of your chooks thus making them red in appearance. We have never seen a season like it and good hen house maintenance is key to keeping on top of them as they can quickly turn into an infestation if ignored. We are delighted to now have Poultry Shield and Diatom stock to eradicate red mites. We have been using Poultry Shield in our hen houses with great success and best of all it is organic and not full of nasty chemicals. Poultry Shield is also an excellent sanitizer. So if you have not inspected your hen house for mites now is a good time to do so.

As we head on into autumn and ‘the moult’ we need to remember that we need to keep feeding our birds well. Even if egg production has dropped back or ceased the hens still require a high protein feed with calcium to replenish and renew their reserves for the new laying season in spring. Birds need protein to grow new feathers and be in good condition for the laying season. Once they have re grown all their feathers they will still need to maintain a diet of high protein as they will be laying eggs over the season. We think of eggs as being a high protein meal wrapped in a shell (calcium). So with this in mind please keep feeding your laying hens a quality high protein feed all year round to get the best out of them. Happy, healthy, well feed hens will be productive hens. We recommend and feed our birds Westons Peak Layer Pellets. We also feed out ‘ad lib’ so our birds have access to feed all day long. A step on feeder is ideal for this as the hens can self help when they feel hungry and each bird can comfortably eat the amount she needs without having to worry about more dominant hens up the pecking order cleaning up the feed if scattered on the ground.

As the breeding season comes to an end and the days get shorter we are already making preparations for spring and the new breeding season which will bring with it all the joys of hatching and new life. There is never any down time when keeping chooks! We hope you too have had a good chicken season and your chooks are all happy and healthy and going through their annual moult!.

We hope you find our site interesting and informative on choosing and keeping chickens. We will regularly be adding new information on’ all things chicken’ to our site and will keep you informed via our regular newsletters.

Thank you for your time and we wish you all the best in all your chicken adventures.

Gordon and Fionna Appleton
Appletons Hen Houses and Poultry Supplies


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