Are Mites and Lice Unavoidable in a Free Ranging Flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by suzettex5, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I'm curious if lice and mites are just unavoidable when you have a free ranging flock. Will the birds always have to deal with a small amount of the pests, or is there a preventitive that some use?
  2. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    We just dusted with pyrethrins, some had them and some did not appear to, but I bet they just did not have as bad of a reaction- like some dogs have allergies to fleas, and other dogs do not.
    When wild birds are around, I would say there will be parasites.
    Put a sand box out for your chickens to dust in, that has DE in it.
    I have even wondered if my wild birds might appreciate a place to dust. I have wild bird feeders, and bird baths... maybe a covered dust bath may be used too. I had never really thought about that until we refilled the girls dust bath. It may slow down the wild population. who knows.
    I think people refuse to think about parasites because they creep us out, but They are everywhere all the time. Even mites have mites.
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I think it just depends. I've gone for several years without seeing any lice or mites. Then all of sudden I'll see some on a hen or two and treat accordingly. 3goodeggs is correct, it seems they are brought in by wild birds, as well as a host for tapeworms. I currently use sevin dust as a preventative, a light dusting in their house and nests helps.
  4. soap&eggs

    soap&eggs Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    my main flock free ranges & locked in at night. i use DE as a preventative ..dusting birds every once in a & nest boxes more often ... the birds who are in outdoor runs..& cant free range takes a bit more prevenative measures. like dusting soil digging soil & flipping it over..sort of like tilling..removing as much poop as be completely honest when i had guinneas we never had any bugs on chic.kens..goats dogs or cats..apples hardly ever had worms in them either. ...didnt have any snakes either....once the guinneas were gone three yrs later i found first lice on animals...cant have guinneas (( threat of lawsuit by neighbor )) by using DE helps but has be used often...

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