May 2021 Newsletter

What can be done practically at farm level to monitor red mite?

By Megan Wood BVSc MRCVS, PHS Sheriff Hutton (York)

As we have now reached Spring, it is time to look ahead to warmer days and what can be done at farm level to control red mite through Spring and Summer. This month we will explain the ways of monitoring red mite and in our June Newsletter we will discuss the methods of control and treatment of red mite.

The prevalence of red mite on farm can be assessed by:

· Visual inspection of cracks and crevices and the ends of feed tracks and nest boxes. These are all typical habitats of the red mite. Hen behaviour such as head shaking, restlessness and a drop in production are also indicative of infestation.

· Red mite traps give a more accurate indication on the levels of red mite.  Our lab can post the kits with the traps to you and we can advise on where to place them. After 48 hours, the traps are collected, frozen (to kill the mites) and posted back to the lab. The lab can then count the mites in the trap and, using the red mite software, issue a report advising on the level of mites and whether treatment is advised or not.

Mite traps give quantitative results, identify hot spot areas and indicate population dynamics to aid in control and treatment advice. They also benchmark how successful different control applications are.

Monthly testing is a good way of understanding the yearly fluctuations in a particular shed. However, one off red mite trapping can also be beneficial for those that don’t do it regularly or perhaps don’t have too much of a known red mite issue. If you would like more information about red mite trapping or would like to order a kit, please contact your local PHS vet who would be happy to help.

Congratulations to Alex Royden!

Alex Royden, Lead Poultry Vet for the Northwest, was appointed as a member of the British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA) Committee in March 2021. Alex, together with other committee members represent the views of UK poultry vets at a national level. Well done Alex!

Biosecurity products and farm supplies

We are now able to supply biosecurity products which include farm disinfectants, detergents and water sanitisers to be used at turnaround and during the crop. We are also able to formulate C&D plans with costs per shed, so that you can be proactive and plan ahead; not only for when the birds are in, but before the birds arrive so that you can ensure the best possible start for your birds.

We can also provide farm hand sanitisers (effective against Covid), foot dips, gloves, masks, overalls and other farm consumables.

We are offering free of charge delivery for mixed pallets of disinfectants and detergents direct to farm (minimum order applies) and, as a large poultry practice, we are confident that we can be very competitive in price whilst giving you professional, independent advice. For more information, please contact Paul Mendham (Veterinary Support Officer) on with your particular requirements.


Gumboro Vaccination in Broilers: Bursa Plus

Gumboro disease remains a hot topic with some farms vaccinating twice in areas of high pressure. Bursa Plus’s unique V877 vaccinal strain has the benefit of high maternal antibody breakthrough potential whilst remaining gentle on the developing bursa of the bird. The vaccine also has very good potential for lateral spread throughout the flock to ensure good vaccine uptake. If you are considering changing Gumboro vaccines, please speak to your vet about how Bursa Plus could positively impact the performance of your birds.

Online Pig & Poultry Event this May!

Put the date in your diary now and be part of this valuable free online industry event. The renowned British Pig & Poultry Fair forums will be appearing online for the first time on 12 May 2021. To find out more and secure your place, please visit:

Social Media

Social media is a great way for us to keep you up to date with what’s going on at PHS. We also like to share the occasional funny post, so if you’re a scroller then look us up! You can find us on Facebook,Twitter (@Poultryvets)and LinkedIN.