I cleaned the chicken coop today and made it all gorgeous for the girls. I do it weekly (not weakly) so as to ensure they have a nice comfy place to plop the eggs. To be honest I don't know why I bloody bother; the Bantams have completely slipped from my radar screen, preferring to hide their tinsey-winsey white eggs somewhere within the grounds. Drives me bonkers. They have been warned and the market looms.
As if the fact that chickens seem to do all of their poo in the coop at night wasn't unpleasant enough, today I had to deal with yet more revoltingness. Leaning into the little coop to scoop up the sawdust, I noticed a little mass of squirmy red stuff near the perches.
Intrigued, I leaned in even closer, resting my head on the wooden boards above the back door and YUCK upon yuck!.. I could see that there was a mass of tiny red mites on the wooden slats, presumably having a bacchanalian party to make yet more mites..
The hot, humid weather has obviously been perfect for them. I have used mite powder before, dusting all the chickens just in case, but to see the little parasitic blighters was horrid.
I pulled back my head and started examining every crevice. That's when I realised that I had rested my head on another village of blood suckers, there were squillions of them but the moving mass was no bigger than a penny piece.
Since then I have mega cleaned the coop, I have dusted chickens, I have showered and scrubbed my hair and yet I seem still, some 10 hours later, to be being used as a human buffet by creatures that look like walking grains of ground black pepper, (or red pepper if they've feasted. Shudder.) They are in my hair, down my back, in the arms of my sweater and as I sit here trying to concentrate I feel sure they are about to penetrate my sturdy smalls. I cannot tell you how defiled I feel.
All my dreams of being a vaguely competent farmer in years to come are being dashed by something that is like red sand with teeth. [scratch, scratch, itch itch, SQUASH! SQUASH! ... oh look a blood streak! smile..]
If this is how it feels to be a chicken in a coop with mites then I really hope reincarnation is a myth.
....Oh my goodness I can't take anymore biting, I'm off to throw my clothes on the bonfire and then I'm washing again and again and again...
Bet you can't wait for the blogs posts when we get sheep..... have you heard of dagging or crutching?????