No glamorous, starry-eyed lovers here, just a galaxy of bloodsucking monsters which creep from their hiding places as daylight fades. They are just little dots, until you look closer and realised each one is moving, swarming, drawn by the scent of warm blood. In the morning, they are turned from grey to magenta, glutted with the night’s feast. They live in the henhouse, and torment my girls every night.
They creep onto my skin when I go to collect the eggs. I shudder, and squash each one that fancies my blood with a revolted thumb. I douse them with insecticide, but it does nothing. There are still millions waiting for nightfall, waiting for their time.
The hens have their revenge. They sift through the henhouse, gobbling up beak-fuls of these red mites. But given the creatures must taste of their blood, I’m not sure what this says about chickens.