Today’s main focus was doing as much as we could to reduce/eliminate red mites from the hen house.

Red mites in the hen house

Recently we (and more importantly the chickens) have had a problem with mites in the hen house. Leading to lower egg production, discomfort for the chickens and the extremely unpleasant sensation for us entering the hen house and being swarmed by them.

First we released each chicken individually and ‘dusted’ them on their way out. Dusting them involves lifting the feathers on the back of the neck and sprinkling a little powder on them.

Then we cleared out the hen house thoroughly; brushed the walls and underside of the roof.

Join the farm and you too can look as glamourous as Asha in tasks such as de-miting a hen house! Join the farm and you too can look as glamourous as Asha in tasks such as de-miting a hen house!

Then we shut up the hen house and lit a smoke bomb to fumigate the interior of the hut.

Recently we’d had the brilliant idea to recycle an old chest of drawer unit for the hens to nest in, unfortunately we discovered that the mites absolutely love the hardboard backing and drawer bases. The texture must make it very inviting as there were thousands of eggs and mites on them.

We burnt the infected bedding and drawer unit as mites and their eggs can survive a very long time away from their hosts. We burnt the infected bedding and drawer unit as mites and their eggs can survive a very long time away from their hosts.

After several hours we allowed the chickens back in and gave them some nest boxes less likely to harbour critters.

Hens seemed happy with their new next boxes. Hens seemed happy with their new next boxes.

It was a HOT day

We had the sprinkler on most of the day, moving it around different locations to get as many crops as possible.

Here's James trying to keep cool. Here's James trying to keep cool.

As it was so hot and we were burning the mite infected bedding from the chickens we had water on standby in case of an accidental grass fire at the top of the farm.

James is dampening down the ashes to ensure that when we left it wasn't going to start up again. James is dampening down the ashes to ensure that when we left it wasn't going to start up again.

Harvest

The previous work day yeilded a superb crop, today’s however beat that by a long way.

Another fab harvest from LVCF: Potatoes, Courgettes, Marrow, Squashes, Red currants, Black currants, Blackberries, Apples, Salad, Carrots, Onions, Beans, Peas, Shallots, Tomatoes and Herbs. Another fab harvest from LVCF: Potatoes, Courgettes, Marrow, Squashes, Red currants, Black currants, Blackberries, Apples, Salad, Carrots, Onions, Beans, Peas, Shallots, Tomatoes and Herbs.
There'll be plenty more courgettes soon. There'll be plenty more courgettes soon.