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Natural/Organic Chicken Lice Treatment?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hello,
I wanted to share with you all my natural/organic chicken lice treatment. I started with what chickenannie did as explained in her thread... http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=146550 I combined different things I had heard of people doing, using peppermint etc.
So far it has worked on killing the fleas but I am sure not the eggs.. so a second round will be needed.


What you will need:
three 5 gallon buckets
warm water
2 cups dish soap
2 cups salt
20 drops peppermint oil (I did this because I ran out of Bronners Peppermint soap... if I had that I would have just used Bronners instead of palmolive and oil)
2 cups vinegar (I used distilled)

5 gallon buckets:

One for: Salt Vinegar Water
              Soapy Water
              Warm Water

Salt Vinegar Water: I boiled a pot of water and dissolved the 2 cups salt in there then added it to the bucket w 2 cups vinager and then cool water to make it a comfortable temp.

Soapy Water: about 2 cups of palmolive dish soap, 20 drops of peppermint oil, fill up 5 gal. bucket w warm water.

The warm water bucket was just warm water for rinsing.

Ok then I just held my chickens under the water HEAD ABOVE WATER of course big_smile for about 5-7 mins in the SALT VINAGER WATER FIRST then 5-7 mins in the SOAPY PEPPERMINT WATER SECOND. Then the last bucket is for rinsing. I dryed off the chickens with a towel and lightly with a hair blow dryer. I did this all outside, it was a warm day so luckily I didnt have to dry them to the bone on my own.

NOTE-half way through I was getting to my more wild hens and so I decided to combind the Salt vinager water with the soapy water and just hold them in there a bit longer. What was happening was everyone didnt mind the first bucket, it was warm and comfy. Some of my hens and rooster lol almost fell asleep. But they didnt want to do it again! So that is why I made into 2 steps at the end instead of 3.

I will check back with you in about a week for thier second treatment. I am not claiming any resposibilty if you want to try this on your own and it doesnt work for you. So far it has worked for my chickens, but it may not be a for sure thing. Choose what is right for you big_smile

Oh yea and it did kill/drown the fleas!!! It loosened up some of the nits (eggs) too! One of my hens who had the most had little eggs on on feathers near her vent so to clipped off as many as I could before the baths. I used the same water for all 14 of my chickens.

Coop treatment: I cleaned out the coop,  sprayed the whole coop and outside with oils that I knew (and some I guessed) bugs didnt like. It was a mix of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil and water ( there were already some left over oils of Patchouli and frankincense but I figured they would hurt! Now the coop smells great!). I know these things are better for repeling bugs than kiling them. changed the bedding and dusted food grade organic DE.

Feel free to share any of your natural or organic sucess stories smile It is easy to just spray chemicals on things, but I am not so sure they are the best in the long run. Mother nature provides us will all that we need. Holistic remedies may take a little more effort but I think it leaves your pets, you and the earth cleaner and healthier. Best wishes to all in whatever you do!

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post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 

Oh yea and also in the coop I dusted down borax on the bottom layer, I heard that worked for someone on here big_smile

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post #3 of 37

Will you stop eating eggs from these chickens? I have an EE who's missing feathers on her behind but I can't see anything on her at all. Are lice/mites the same thing in chickens? Will I be able to see them both? I think I will try this method on her and clean out the coop/run and then see how it goes. If I see anything in the water then I will definitely do all my chickens but if I don't see anything then I am thinking I won't do the rest. What do you think? Also, did you at any point change the water between birds, if so after washing how many?
Thanks. CJ

post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by simpsoncj 

Will you stop eating eggs from these chickens? I have an EE who's missing feathers on her behind but I can't see anything on her at all. Are lice/mites the same thing in chickens? Will I be able to see them both? I think I will try this method on her and clean out the coop/run and then see how it goes. If I see anything in the water then I will definitely do all my chickens but if I don't see anything then I am thinking I won't do the rest. What do you think? Also, did you at any point change the water between birds, if so after washing how many?
Thanks. CJ


Hello CJ I will do my best at answering your questions based on my own experience smile.

I have not stopped eating the chickens eggs, though due to the lice I was only getting about 2 eggs a day from my 5 laying hens. My chickens had chicken lice.I have not used any chemicals so I am pretty sure the eggs are safe.

I am not sure if the missing feathers on the rear end mean lice or mites. Have you checked your chickens at night with a flash light? I heard that you can see the lice and mites better at night. Here is a link to pictures of chicken lice and thier eggs just scroll down on the page a little http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=chicken+lice&FORM=BIFD#focal=fc4b13967a670187ecc5cac716f78fe8&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fi26.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fc149%2FLesley-Jean%2Fchickenliceeggs.jpg  I found little clusters of eggs on one of my hens, but none on the others. They just had lice, but I didn't find any on them till I gave them the baths.

I washed all my adult chickens since they are around one another I washed 6 chickens in the same wash without changing. All my younger chickens I dusted with DE since they dont really hang out in the same area as the others. I did dust my whole backyard with DE and coop after getting rid of the old bedding. I also put down a thin layer of borax on the floor before the new bedding and DE in the coop. I had heard someone else do that for flea/lice pests. I am not sure how safe it is but it is natural and my chickens have been fine. I also sprayed all around and in the coop with a mixture of oils I had.... peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus and water.

Let me know if you have any more questions and I will try to answer them. Good luck. I plan to do this again for a second treatment. OH also... my one hen that I could visibly see egg clusters I carefully cut the feathers off (they were near her bottom) and let them drown in the soapy/vinegar/salt water, I plan on leaving them in the water for a good 7-10 days so that hopefully when they hatch they die in the water. I suppose if you also found some egg clusters you could perhaps put them in a ziplock bag to suffocate them?


Edited by CaliBlueChicken - 8/3/10 at 9:54am

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post #5 of 37

Wow, thank you so much calibluechicken for all your answers and especially your link! I can't see anything on any of my chickens and don't have any reason to suspect anthing is wrong other than the bare spot around her behind area and I think I may have over reacted to it! I don't usually see that part of her as you can only see it if you lift up her tail feathers. But when I looked at all the other hens they all have the same bare spot around their egg laying area so I think hers is just a little different looking. I am going to keep an eye on them though and I used the DE all over the coop/run and nesting boxes. I even put it in the spots where they dust bathe and sprinkled it around the backyard also. And I am keeping your message in case i discover anything in the future. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions!!
CJ

post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 

Oh for sure! Well, I hope that you don't have any lice or bugs. Your doing the right thing for prevention and keeping an eye on your chickens for any changes. Take care have a great day!

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post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 

Good day to anyone who is interested big_smile

So today was day 7 since I bathed my chickens. I checked them over and did not see any lice! celebrate  My roosters comb looks healthy (I noticed before discovering the lice that his comb was droopy and darker in spots, and I also noticed that the flock wasn't eating as much and some of my hens stopped laying eggs)
So today instead of a full on bath I just dusted everyone in DE and also did the yard/coop area again. I believe that chickenannie (http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=146550) gave her chickens a second bath after the 7-10 days. I chose not to bathe them again due to time and last week I had cut out all the nits from the one hen that had them. So if following these natural/organic remedies for lice treatment use your best judgement. I will check back in a few days or so and post if I have seen any signs of lice. Have a wonderful day! yippiechickie

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post #8 of 37

you must have the very best smelling hen house ...    pennyworth (herb) is used to repel lice-fleas from dogs - cats....worth growing your own & sprinkle mixed in with DE.    peppermint   is also used to repel rats & mice..nice added benifit in using to bathe chcikens with.  normally DE alone will do the trick in using on a regular basis..by dusting chcikens ,nest boxes, floor & all perches ,cracks along walls ect.ect.   is best to go by old rule of "Ounce of prevention..."..by keeping ahead of bugs is easy  the hard work starts when you get something on birds..spreads like wild fire..then is overwelming....glad you found a nice organic remedy that worked for you..& shared info.

post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 

soap&eggs :

you must have the very best smelling hen house ...    pennyworth (herb) is used to repel lice-fleas from dogs - cats....worth growing your own & sprinkle mixed in with DE.    peppermint   is also used to repel rats & mice..nice added benifit in using to bathe chcikens with.  normally DE alone will do the trick in using on a regular basis..by dusting chcikens ,nest boxes, floor & all perches ,cracks along walls ect.ect.   is best to go by old rule of "Ounce of prevention..."..by keeping ahead of bugs is easy  the hard work starts when you get something on birds..spreads like wild fire..then is overwelming....glad you found a nice organic remedy that worked for you..& shared info.


Well thank you soap&eggs smile for sharing your information. So do you make your own soap too? I made laundry soap, I don't think it is organic, but natural perhaps... scent free and gentle on the skin.

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post #10 of 37

That's so cool! I am glad all your hard work paid off! Thanks for sharing. I now have this thread bookmarked for future need!
CJ

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