Is it entirely impossible to be mite free if your hens free range? Mine get them every year,and there's not much to prevent them unless they stay confined in a run,,,is that right?
I've found that I HAVE to worm & spray my birds twice a year, like clockwork. With wild birds, cats, etc. around it is impossible to keep parasites out of my yard.
I'm sure your birds would rather free range and be happy little guys than spend their lives in a cage. :) Besides, the healthier your birds are, the better equipped they are to resist an infestation, and free ranging can help them be strong.
Hmm, my bird free range but I don't have a problem with mites. It may just be my location.
Boy, are you lucky! :(
We get some many sparrows, doves, starlings, etc. in our yard that they carry darned near everything in. Usually it's my big fat n' fluffy fluffy girls (cochins with big butts & feathered feet) that get them on their feet & fannies, and our two Polish girls on their head crests. The other chickens seem to be able to reach all of their 'special areas' and keep themselves preened and the mites at bay. :)
and how do you tell if they have these mites. do you have to look all in the feathers to see them or do they bite you or what?