NICK REID (NR): What about if you’ve got chickens pecking each other? What’s creating that and is there ways that can be dealt with?
PHIL VAN GENT (PVG): Sometimes it can be the environment, if it’s too humid that can create a bit of pecking. It can be from a pecking order issue and also here on the bird by the Parson’s Nose there’s an oil blend and it’s like slight musk to hens I suppose, and if you see a birds being pecked there you should either put Stockholm Tar on it, or take her away from the other hens till she’s recovered from the injury. The other reason could possibly be a lack of feed, or even a nutritional imbalance, and that’s why, obviously you’d need to buy or feed the birds a reputable feed that’s got all of the vitamins and minerals that the birds need.
Are wild birds an issue?
They’re gonna eat the chicken’s feed and you don’t want to be feeding them just for the heck of it and from a biosecurity stand, they could transport any avian diseases to your chickens.
NR: I know a lot of people have problems with mite infestations, what can be done to deal with mites?
PVG: Mites are an inherent problem, they can cause production issues, lack of production because the birds are not happy, you’ll find in the cooler months that the mites will migrate around the vent of the birds. You can visually see them and obviously that’s causing them discomfort. A lot of backyard people use a natural product called Diatomaceous Earth. You put that on the birds and it actually dries out the mites and if you do that once and then again in three days that should get rid of the mites.