Treatment with red mites has been scientifically proven to improve animal welfare
“Whether you are a commercial grower or have a small herd in the back yard, quick and effective treatment will reduce the pain and suffering inflicted on your chickens.”
Red mites live and multiply quickly in the hen house and appear at night to crawl on the birds and suck blood from them. In cool conditions, they can rest for up to 9 months, but once the temperature is between 15-25 ° C, their life cycle can only be seven to 10 days. This means that the poultry farmers experience a sudden explosion of numbers in the warm summer months because only one female mite can produce 2,000 more mites in a month.
While low numbers of mites can be tolerated by laying hens, high infestation results in decreased productivity due to anemia, decreased quality and quantity of eggs produced, decreased growth in younger birds, and decreased immunity which leads to the occurrence of other diseases . Mites are also known to carry a variety of viral and bacterial pathogens that can be transmitted to both birds and humans, including E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.
“In recent years, the available products have decreased due to the enforcement of the EU directive on biocidal products regulation 528/2012, which controls poultry disinfectants and dust mite powders. Awareness of the safety of birds and humans as well as the issue of residues in eggs and poultry has also increased. Fortunately, there is a medically approved product that has been proven to be safe for both laying hens and breeders, ”explains Maureen.
Exzolt, a systemic treatment containing fluralaner, has been available for the control of red mite infestation in poultry since 2017, treating over 7 million hens on the island of Ireland. The treatment consists of two applications (via the drinking water) with an interval of seven days in order to reach all phases of the life cycle. The egg collection period is zero days.
At the beginning of this year, Exzolt became the first centrally registered veterinary medicinal product in the EU to include the improvement of animal welfare in its approval. “Studies in commercial laying hen farms have shown that eliminating red mite from infected hens after treatment with Exzolt significantly improves behavioral indicators for animal welfare. This included reducing nighttime activity, scratching the head, shaking the head and cleaning at night and during the day, as well as lowering the corticosterone concentration in the blood, ”explains Maureen. “This confirms what we already knew – that red mites cause real distress to birds and that treatment with Exzolt improves their well-being. You don’t have to make your birds suffer when there is an effective, licensed product that is so easy to administer and has been shown to have no adverse effects on the hens or the safety of their eggs. “