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Dusting Chickens With DE?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Our chickens have got lice and / or mites (I'm not sure exactly how to tell the difference, but as far as I can tell the treatments are the same anyway,) and I wanted to try DE before buying anything chemical. I know some people swear by it, and some people say it does nothing, some say it helps prevent but not treat, and some say it has treated the worst ever cases fantastically. So we thought we'd give it a shot first and bought some food grade DE at the feed store.

 

I've dusted their nest boxes, floor of the coop and run, and favourite dust bathing spots around the yard. So here are my questions:

 

I know I need to re-dust after rain, but if it stays dry, how often should I dust, and how long should I be expecting to need to do this for before getting results / being done?

 

Also, the nice lady at the feed store told me to dust the chickens themselves with DE after they go to roost at night, but I can't find anywhere on the internet that says to do that. Everything says to dust the vicinity with no mention of applying it to the chickens themselves. Other treatments mention putting it directly on the birds, but nothing I have found concerning DE does. Should I?

post #2 of 10

Here is a nice primer on lice and mites...

http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html

note sevin is restricted in websites below (newer websites)

 

here is a good updated treatment section if you go with chemicals:

 

http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/pesticides.html

 

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig140

 

DE is a preventative at best (personal experience talking here) and I treat my flock with permethrin dust usually (Poultry dust from feed store).

 

You want to treat the chickens and the coop every week until gone, whatever you use. Make sure you get under the wings and around the vent area (everywhere except the face).

 

Mites can kill chickens and thus it is very serious. I do a dusting every 4 months or so and repeat in one week.

 

(When wet DE is not going to work against bugs.) I cannot stress enough that if you have an infestation I recommend using chemicals. All the litter must be thrown out with each treatment (including nest box material). (I didn't get rid of the bedding once and the mites didn't go away that time.)

 

I have found that I have fewer mites in the coop by using my scraping the floor technique (see my signature line).


Edited by ChickensAreSweet - 7/7/12 at 3:29pm

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

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Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply! I can't really scrape the floor because it is dirt, but I will do my best to remove and replace a good layer after treating. I hadn't thought about replacing the bedding after treating, seems like a "duh" kind of thing, but it didn't even cross my mind, lol. So thank you for that especially, and the helpful links!

 

All the chickens are acting fine and normal, I only know they have mites / lice because I check them, so...

 

I was wondering if they begin to exhibit symptoms before keeling over? As in, would I perhaps have time to say, "Hmm this chicken is beginning to look a bit lethargic, time to give up on the DE and bring in the big guns," or am I apt to just suddenly find one dead?

post #4 of 10

Mites suck blood causing anemia, then death. Lice cause skin irritation leading to possible infections, feather loss, overall stress causing reduced egg production. Sevin dust will treat external parasites. Dust your birds and coop, redust both in 7-10 days to kill nits hatched from eggs ending their life cycle. If there's a severe infestation, more dusting may be required.


     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawg53 View Post

Mites suck blood causing anemia, then death. Lice cause skin irritation leading to possible infections, feather loss, overall stress causing reduced egg production. Sevin dust will treat external parasites. Dust your birds and coop, redust both in 7-10 days to kill nits hatched from eggs ending their life cycle. If there's a severe infestation, more dusting may be required.


Yes I forgot to say that sometimes I use Sevin dust too. That stuff really works. I would treat immediately to get rid of them. Once I woke up in the nighttime with a mite biting me when my birds were infested! I had neglected to take a shower after collecting eggs that evening.

 

You don't want those bugs crawling over you, too, although they really want a chicken to bite and not a human.

 

Yes, you might just find a chicken dead (with mites, not lice).


Edited by ChickensAreSweet - 7/9/12 at 2:19pm

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all your help. I will pick something up right away, and just use the DE in the future to help prevent infestations.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just spoke with all the feed stores around here I know of.

 

The local feed store carries and recommended Garden Poultry Dust.

 

TSC and FFH both carry the same dust as the local store, and also a spray called Poultry Protector. They both told me that the spray was a safer and easier to use non-toxic alternative to the dust.

 

Those are the only places I know of around here, so it sounds like I would have to order anything else on-line, which I don't want to wait for after hearing what you guys had to say.

 

Is there one you would recommend out of those above others? Any experience with the spray?

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juise View Post

I just spoke with all the feed stores around here I know of.

 

The local feed store carries and recommended Garden Poultry Dust.

 

TSC and FFH both carry the same dust as the local store, and also a spray called Poultry Protector. They both told me that the spray was a safer and easier to use non-toxic alternative to the dust.

 

Those are the only places I know of around here, so it sounds like I would have to order anything else on-line, which I don't want to wait for after hearing what you guys had to say.

 

Is there one you would recommend out of those above others? Any experience with the spray?


I sprayed poultry protector under the wings of my chickens once and it didn't kill the mites with just a squirt. But I tried putting some on some ants that were going into my garage and it killed them immediately. SO I think that if you sprayed it well maybe it would be a good preventative???

 

The Poultry Dust is probably permethrin dust, which works great. You can also buy permethrin liquid, which you dilute and can spray on chickens and the coop- see here:

 

http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/pesticides.html

 

I would use the Poultry Dust (and do). I also buy the permethrin liquid and use it in the coop (sometimes I just bleach everything).

 

I think I didn't give the Poultry Protector a fair trial.


Edited by ChickensAreSweet - 7/9/12 at 4:06pm

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply
post #9 of 10

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural lice and mite killer for dusting chickens or for making them an area that has DE spread on top of the dirt or in their dust bath hole for taking dust baths.  There are MICROSCOPIC sharp points on the DE that kill soft bodied insects when the correct type is used.  DO NOT use DE meant for swimming pool filters as the sharp edges have been rounded.  Some DE can be included into their feed to kill internal parasites.  Some of it will be used by their bodies as a calcium supplement, the same as oyster shell.  Try a feed store.  They will have or can get DE.

post #10 of 10

DE will not treat nor kill internal parasites. It is useless when wet. Chicken innards are wet.


     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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