Dust Baths and Longer Beaks Can Make Cage-free Chickens into Mite-free Chickens

By Meredith Swett Walker Life is improving for America’s chickens. Due to consumers’ increasing interest in animal welfare, large portions of the poultry industry are shifting towards less restrictive housing. Many poultry farmers are replacing the conventional conjoined small wire cages, called “battery cages,” with cage-free housing in large open poultry houses. Cage-free housing gives […]

Battling Chicken Mites with Bags of Brimstone

By Meredith Swett Walker The northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) plagues chickens, causing inflammation, anemia, and basically making them itch like the devil. The mites are the most common ectoparasite found on poultry. But researchers from the University of California, Riverside have come up with a diabolically clever way to control the little bloodsuckers — […]

Backyard Chickens Harbor Greater Diversity of Ticks, Mites, and Lice than Farm-raised Chickens

By Meredith Swett Walker Today’s backyard chickens are not your grandmother’s birds — they sport jaunty sweaters, go for walks on leashes, and dine on treats like “chunky chicken caviar.” As keeping chickens has become more popular, the bird’s status has been elevated from practical livestock to pampered pet. And though they may indulge in […]

Backyard Chickens May Have Mites, Lice and Fleas

By Amy Murillo Backyard chicken flocks are growing in popularity, and hobbyists all over the country are keeping birds for eggs, meat, or just for fun. However, when you introduce a new animal to your home, you’re also offering a tasty buffet for some of the local arthropods that may be laying in wait. Just […]