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Lice and Hosts...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Question... 


I have been treating my cross beak girl for lice (and my flock since she has them though I didn't see any on them). She was coated since she can't groom herself. With the help and guidance of our vet and a local no kill chicken rescue in town and such I decided DE was the best choice for us.

 

I have treated her twice now (the first time wasn't well since I was afraid to use it, finally researched enough I felt comfortable and treated a 2nd time 2wks later properly) . 


Also *daily* I spray everyone with the lice/mite preventative I have, even her. Everyone also gets ACV and garlic daily too.

 

They can't switch hosts correct? Like to human? Only asking because we have to feed her daily and I have never had this problem before but she cuddly so I pick her up. I pick her up today LITERALLY for only 30 seconds. When I got inside I felt itchy and I was COATED in them. ALL over my arms, my back, neck, and chest. Literally only held her for 30 seconds. Could it be because they are all trying to escape because of the treatments I have been doing? I have never had one on me before and I usually will hold her for a good 20 minutes or so. This was just a little pick up, said hi, and placed her down. But I have noticed to since treating she has been a lot more itchyer too... Is it because they are finally freaking out and trying to vacate?

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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post #2 of 9
Sorry Robbo, but DE will not kill lice. You are getting them on you now because the DE didn't kill them intially & now eggs have hatched producing more lice. This cycle with keep happening if it isn't broken. There is a pyretherin based Y*Tex Gardstar garden & poultry dust I would recommend you try. I take a knee high nylon, shake the dust into the foot of it & lightly tie off close to the dust. I use this then as a powder puff to dust each bird with, paying close attention to their vent area & under their wing area. I would recommend that you wear an approved dust mask & avoid getting the dust in the chickens face. You must dust them 3 times in 7 day incruments in order to kill the adults, the eggs & the nits. Be sure to clean out the coop, paying close attention to the nest boxes. Sprinkle poutry dust in the bottom of the boxes then add bedding. It is important that you clean up loose feathers that are just laying in the coop & run because they could have lice on them reinfecting your flock. Poutry lice cannot switch host, but i would bathe after spreading poultry dust on your flock. I have found when treating multiple birds that keeping them in the coop in the morning & then removing one at a time to dust, then place them in the chicken run. Repeat until all birds are treated. Best of luck to you 😊
Edited by ChickenLady2014 - 11/17/15 at 3:08pm
Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, but with Faith, Family & Good Friends, we can find a way to overcome them!
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Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, but with Faith, Family & Good Friends, we can find a way to overcome them!
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post #3 of 9

Hey Robbo I am sorry to hear that you are going through this.

 

Having experienced a lice infestation last November which is the start of our Spring/Summer and Wet Season and also when the gals go broody, I can sympathise.

 

I agree with ChickenLady2014 that what you are seeing is probably not them vacating but increased numbers.

 

Last year I had them in the lawn, on the coop walls, on me to the point they were sticking to my clothes.  While they do not survive on humans, that does not stop them biting you and yes, the bites are extremely itchy.

 

As ChickenLady2014 has suggested, dusting all of the flock is essential because if one has them, they all will have them. 

 

I stripped the coop every weekend for three weeks in a row, washed everything down with soapy water and then sprayed with diluted Neem Oil.  Nesting material was thrown out and replaced each week with new material which was also dusted.  The hens were dusted.  Any clothes that were worn outside were immediately put into the washing machine and I lost count of how many showers I had because any trip outside to the coop was followed by a shower and change of clothes.  Sheets were also washed on a daily basis.

 

To be honest, it was a nightmare and at one point I considered torching the coop and starting again, but it was also a nightmare which can be beaten.

 

From that point on, every weekend I have stripped the coop, washed it down and hit it with a spray of diluted Neem Oil and while not actually replacing the nesting material every week, ensured it was changed regularly and always had a dose of lice/mite dust.  No dramas for 12 months until just last week when I spotted some on the coop walls again.  November and 2 x broody’s :rolleyes:

 

Anyways, caught this one early and at the recommendation of a fellow BYCer, after stripping the coop and washing it down; while the girls were out on free range, I used a low irritant natural Pyrethrum based surface spray on the coop walls, roosts etc and that pretty well nipped the outbreak in the bud.

 

I hope my infestation does not scare you, it was a bad one and yours may not be so bad .. I also wish you the best for getting rid of them.

Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have sever anxiety and panic so the amount I have found on my cross beak sent me through the roof. I only found a couple on one other bird out of my 14. But any is too much for me. I had a huge break down to my vet telling him that these birds are completely my stress relief and my babies yet I was at the point I wanted to rehome every single one and never touch birds again... until I learned just how common it was and it wasn't anything caused by me (i went through feeling awful and beating myself up that it was my fault... though they live in amazing conditions, we just have well over 500+ finches that live in all of our trees and with the birds). 

 

It was DE or pyrethrum and we cannot use pyrethrum because we have cats and it is highly deadly to them and the way we frequent outside and our birds frequent up by our house there is no way we can keep it away from them safely. 

 

I just don't know what to do anymore. Everything I have read here, the internet, and vet said DE is perfect to kill lice, just to treat a few times when I do (with the week to kill the newly hatched) and a couple times a year. I really don't want to use anything that has egg holding days either as that would fear me enough I would never eat any of their eggs ever again. 

 

I set up a new dust bathing area for the birds with their lose dirt, DE, and all of our stove ashes. My coop is a large walk in with 3" sand floor. I clean the poo off the poo boards daily, shift (with a kitty litter scoop) the poo out of the sand every 3 days, I scoop out the loose feathers and straw from the nesting boxes when I do the poo - so every 3 days. I spray the coop down with the preventative spray once a week as well and also clean the actual poo boards with soap every time I spray down too. 

 

It looks like every one else controls their bugs nicely like they are suppose to, the only problem I have is with my cross beak since she can't groom herself. She has never dust bathed either... I see everyone else and she doesn't even go near it. 

 

 

The "duster" I use you fill up and squeeze it and it puffs out the end of a long tub. So I place that under the feathers all over their back, breast, and under belly area (vent/bum/tummy area). Then I kind of rub it in with my gloved hands.

 

Thank you all for the suggestions, too. 

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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post #5 of 9
Your welcome Robbo, I absolutely hate creepy crawlies. The first time I had a hen get lice I freaked out like you. I was ready to get rid of them all lol. Still hate the crawlie things , but some of it I know is parr for the course.
Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, but with Faith, Family & Good Friends, we can find a way to overcome them!
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Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, but with Faith, Family & Good Friends, we can find a way to overcome them!
Reply
post #6 of 9

Deep breaths Robbo .. like you, I blamed myself and my chicken husbandry, even though I keep everything clean because my gals are my babies also.

 

A BYC friend said something the other day which may help “I compare chicken creepy crawlies to weeds in my garden. I can spray ,clip ,mow and manicure but as sure the sun will rise tomorrow, the weeds will be back next spring, if not sooner.

Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone... 

 

I called our vet up again who sees chickens and he said to bring one of them in and we can discuss more options since I haven't seen a down fall yet, if not I am seeing more. It's tomorrow, we shall see what we get from there, haha. 

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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post #8 of 9
Pyrethrin is fine around cats, it's even in kitten flea powder. Permethrin, the synthetic version, is dangerous for cats - and birds, I think.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
We went to the vet. She said permethrin since so many are sick. I ended up losing one. They are biting lice and my birds were awful anemic. Permethrin is the one that gets cats. But she said I'd be fine since my cats are inside.

I have to say!!!!! First dusting NO more lice. I can't find one!!!! Not even on my girl who had them falling off of her. 2 more dustings to go but so so so happy already.

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch...

 

 

 

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