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Treating with Ivermectin

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

Ivermectin Pour-on. I picked it up today to treat my chickens for lice and mites, I am going to treat tonight assuming I can get this worked out. There seems to be conflicting information all over the place. This seems to be the most accepted standards I could find, agreed?

1 drop - OEGB sized small bantam female   
2 drops - OEGB sized small bantam male   
3 drops - average bantams 
4 drops - large bantams, small commercial fowl   
5 drops - most commercial fowl, small giant hens
6 drops - giant breeds of chicken  




Mature: I have New Hampshire Reds, Isa Browns, Black Star. I don't think they are very big chickens... they are about a year and a half old, I am thinking 4 drops each for them?


Pullets: 2 Leghorns that are about the same size as my mature breeds, and the rest of the pullets are smaller, all in the vicinity of 20 weeks. I am thinking 4 drops for the Leghorns, and 3 drops each for the other pullets?


Rooster: Also around 20 weeks, about the same size as my mature hens, so thinking 4 drops there as well.


Does this sound good?


A few other questions:


Egg tossing. I have read that some do, some don't, so I am going to play it safe and toss for a couple weeks I think. However, I have also read that you can feed the eggs to the chickens, good idea? Bad idea? Could this overdose them?


Coop. It has a dirt floor and, in theory, straw for the nest boxes. The straw ends up everywhere after a couple days, though, of course. wink.png Should I rake out the straw and replace it now before dosing them tonight? Wait until after they are dosed and do it tomorrow? I will dust with DE after.


Thanks in advance for any advice!

post #2 of 57

Keeping in mind that ivermectin is a product mainly used to treat cattle and is off label for chickens, I hope you know that ivermectin's primary purpose is a wormer, it's secondary benefit is that it kills mites, but not chicken lice. Chicken lice do not suck blood. Cattle lice which are a different type of lice suck blood from cattle. If you're dealing with external parasites, you'll still have to treat the inside of their coops, nests and roosts...preferably using sevin dust and redusting in 7-10 days to kill nits hatched from eggs.

The dosings you have for your birds are good. Put the drops of ivermectin on the back of their necks, make sure it goes on bare skin so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It will quickly be absorbed. I dont recommend giving the eggs back to the chickens. This will increase the withdrawal time, additionally the wormer residue in the eggs will help build worm resistance against the product. Ivermectin will not kill cecal worms nor tapeworms, and large roundworms have been showing resistance to the product due to its overuse as a miteacide in chickens.

post #3 of 57

I usually only use ivermectin for horses.  For mites and lice I just use sevin dust.  It can be purchased and any home and garden store.  I dust the bird thoroughly and it works very well.

post #4 of 57
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys. I have been doing a lot of reading through this process. I first tried 2 weeks of DE, but to no avail. I read much about Sevin dust no longer being recommended / now in question, so that is why I was avoiding it. I haven't seen any evidence of worms in the chickens, so while Ivermectin does treat worms, I am using it for lice and mites. I had read that it did treat chicken lice, so I guess I will have to do some more reading... /sigh 


Lice eggs and lice are what I believe to have spotted on them, not sure whether mites are involved or not, but they are the ones that scare me. I have looked at lots of pictures, but I still couldn't tell you I am positive they are lice and not mites. hmm.png


Ugh, I wish this were more straight forward.

post #5 of 57

Read about poultry lice in this link if you need convincing that ivermectin wont treat lice.

More detail for you, "Chewing Lice," 4th paragraph, then read about all the different types of lice chickens get and what they feed on.

Edited by dawg53 - 7/10/12 at 7:24pm
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Dawg, that is one of the sites I read. And then you have things like this, too:


"Bird lice suck blood from both mammals and birds. The Suborder Mallophaga are sucking lice that feed on a bird’s feathers as well as sucking blood through the bird’s skin. These lice can live under and between feather shafts; but one species is so specialized that it lives on blood, other fluids, and pith within the shaft of the developing feather calamus.

Proctor, Noble S., and Patrick. J. Lynch. Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure and Function. New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1993."


My head hurts. dizzy.gif Please understand that it's not that I doubt you, specifically, it is just that there is so much conflicting information out there. The Vet at M.S.U. recommended Ivermectin and said 1 drop for bantams and 2 drops for standard size chickens.


I appreciate your help, I think what I will do is use this first to take care of any mites since, from what I understand, mites are the most dangerous for chickens, and it does treat mites, right? After that, I can go ahead with treating the lice if they still have them.


I read so much about it being horrible to breathe that I was scared to dust them... I can wear a mask, but it is much harder to put a mask on a chicken. tongue2.gif It just seemed difficult to not get that fine dust in the air while using it. The other thing was that most the lice I have seen are on the beards and muffs of the Ameraucanas, where you are not supposed to dust, so I was not sure how well that would take care of them?

Edited by Juise - 7/10/12 at 7:52pm
post #7 of 57

Good luck.

post #8 of 57

"Sucking lice do not occur on birds."


from Univ. of FL extension:


Dawg53 is absolutely right. The lice that occur on chickens are not the sucking kind- they are biting lice.


If the lice accidently ingest some blood from sore spots on the chicken, they may receive some of the ivermectin. But to ensure lice death I would really say that you need a nice dust.


Feed stores carry Poultry Dust for lice and mites (permethrin) and it comes in a spray too that you can use on the birds and/or coop after dilution.


Make sure to retreat every week until bugs are gone (including the coop).


Oh, and I have read on BYC that coconut oil will dissolve the nits after the bugs are dead.


I hope everything works out for you!

Edited by ChickensAreSweet - 8/6/12 at 6:29pm
post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 

Thank you, ChickensAreSweet, this has been much more of a headache than I was expecting it to be. I didn't mean I wouldn't use dust on them, it was just that up until now from everything I was reading, the Ivermectin took care of all of them and sounded easier to use. Keeping dust out of their faces seems intimidating!


Do you happen to know if it is okay to use the Ivermectin and the poultry dust at the same time? And also, If I have to keep the dust away from their faces, is it going to take care of the lice and eggs on their faces?


Thank you again to everyone.

post #10 of 57

this source says the lice feed on the blood


Hmm the literature IS confusing.

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