So, I know that Cedar, is supposed to be really bad for birds respiratory systems, but I found a natural mite and lice repellent and the main ingredient is cedar-tree oil. I don't plan on spraying my chickens and ducks directly with it. But is it safe to use in and around the coop. I checked with the actual company and they said that it's all natural and safe, but birds do have sensitive respiratory systems, and that I should just air out the area after I use it. Would you think it's safe as long as I put them out in the pen and open the windows to let the coop air out afterword. I checked all the other ingredients and they would be fine, it's just the cedar oil I'm unsure of. Thanks!
Is Cedar Tree Oil safe to use in and around your flock as a mite/lice prevention?
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
- Monkey Lookout
Not sure - i guess are oils are likely to be less volatile, but they are still there. Pyrethrum is 100% natural, but it does not mean it does not pose a health hazard, so I'd ignore that claim personally. In your situation, for my own peace of mind i would look for an alternative.
I agree, I wouldn't use cedar tree oil as it is the oil in cedar chips that causes respiratory issues in birds. For the same reason, I do not use DE as it is known respiratory irritant (though reported to help with insects IF kept dry).
For ongoing mite/lice prevention, be sure the birds have nice dry dusting areas for their daily bath. Sprinkle wood ash and permetrin/poultry dust on those areas and let the birds do their thing.
Keep coops and bedding clean, sprinkling permethrin dust under the shavings/bedding, then add fresh bedding.
You should do regular checks and dust any bird with poultry dust that shows any evidence.
If you have a lot of birds, or want long term protection, you can purchase "No Mite" strips and place in areas where the birds will brush against them such as the coop doorway. These are a permethrin embedded strip and said to be very effective for many months https://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=MITE. I've just purchased a package from Meyer hatchery at very reasonable cost to see if I can keep the infestation under better control this year as I had my first time ever population explosion with mites last summer due to unusual weather conditions, and I am already seeing evidence again as we had a very mild winter.
The other alternative, though off label but used for chickens for years, is seasonal application of Ivermectin. You can periodically place cattle injectable into the water and let them drink from that for a few hours. Or, many of us buy the cattle pour on and place a few drops on the back of the neck between the shoulder blades (skin level). You treat, then treat again in 7 to 10 days, a third time if you have a heavy infestation. You will need to pull eggs 7 days after last treatment (although a number report eating the eggs without ill effect as the residue is moderate and the dosage well below human threshold for a medicine that is used in humans). Some suggest the pour on Ivermectin stays in the system for 6 weeks, but I have a study that shows all Ivermectin, no matter how it is applied, becomes systemic but clears eggs after 7 days. I've used cattle pour on with great success.