In the Brooder
7 Years
May 15, 2012
I found lice on my chickens. Tomorrow I will be bathing them... I wondered what the best bedding is for mature chickens. We have pine shavings in there now. Does this promote parasites? What about cedar shavings? Straw?

I need to know what to use to keep the pests down.

Also, the lice aren't bad, but I am a little freaked out by them. Does nature take it's course here or do I intervene for the health of the chickens. I bought them 14 mos. and up from someone else. I did not raise them.

We do have 11 chicks growing in the brooder box right now. Do I need to start feeding them something special now to prevent as much bug and parasite infestations now? What bedding is best for them?

I did give the chickens mashed garlic. They took what they wanted and then left the rest.

Thank you in advance!

Usually there will be an area in teh yard where the chickens are dust bathing...these will be pockets that the chickens have worked into the ground. They will lay in these and use their wings to throw dirt and soil onto their bodies. Mix a little Diatomacious Earth into these will make the chickens dust bathing activities much more effective against parasites.

If there are no dust bathing sites...then you can make a dust box for the chickens...and it will serve the same purpose.
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you'd think with all the preening and bug eating they would take care of those vermin. I had a scare before with fleas so i liberally floured the dust bowl with sevin and happy the fleas from the puppy didn't make it the flock. I asked at the feed store if it's recommended for chickens and she said no,not by the manufacturer (standard disclaimer) but she said alot of people ue it for just that.
Having lived in climate where those things are impossible to get rid of, I brought out the big guns hot and heavy, de I heard is pretty expensive and not always effective so I cheeped out. Glad I did too. I use pine chips, sometimes straw and sometimes a mix of whatever they are cutting at the sawmill. Never cedar through as it puts off chemical that do deter bugs but harm chickens.

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