Believe I'm dealing with Lice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Zahreenuh, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. Zahreenuh

    Zahreenuh Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    New York
    Hey y'all. I own about 9 chickens. 2 Bantams, 1 Amercuana, and 6 Silkies. I live in a winter tundra right now where I live in New York with below freezing weather for the past few months.
    My Silkies were loosing feathers on their heads lightly which I had thought was from boredom so I would give them things to do along with a dusting area so they wouldn't be so bored. Then one of my Silkies (I babied this one it was the smallest of the group when I first got them) started loosing a lot of feathers around the neck but still had... what would you say, whiskers of feathers (lol) left over so she kind of looked like a turken chicken on the sides but not completely bald. Then I got concerned so I would check them at night ALL over but I could NOTHING. I looked and LOOKED (chickens were getting super $#%# off at me, ahah) but I just COULDN'T see anything! So I stopped for awhile. Maybe it was pecking? They acted normal, laying 6 eggs a day, and very active when I was around them. No overly itching as I was watching or anything of the sort. just normal pecking each other because one of them is bossier than the rest.
    Then one night I decided to go out there before a shower because I just FELT like it. I checked the ones who lost feathers the most, couldn't see much. I decided to check a chicken I didn't really check yet because they still had their feathers A LOT on their head along with just being normal. AND I FINALLY SAW A BUG!!! (okay I freaked out a little when I saw this I won't lie because I didn't want to see a bug and didn't want to be right, heh) It was crawling on her back but it was kind of fast so thankfully I had my husband with me so I could stare long enough with the flashlight. I've checked the vent and head but nothing. All the rest I couldn't spot any bugs like that. This, I believe, is not mites because I can actually see one when I'm looking and it's yellow-ish light-ish with a somewhat long body. But I couldn't find any eggs on the feather shaft??? Maybe I'm not looking hard enough? They have so many feathers it's hard for me to dig into their feathers. near their vent wasn't much. I have been freaking out (maybe pregnancy hormones? And plus these are my babies I've raised myself.) and feel like it's ALL my fault that this happened.
    I feel even worse because it's winter so I can't bathe them, can't really go inside my house right now and the snow is really high so I can't clean out the coop like I want to. I bathed them and the coop in DE (I know this is more of a prevent than a solution but it's the only thing I have at the moment.) since I had recently changed their coop before I knew any of this happened before our big snowstorm came. No stores around right now that i can get to but I am thinking of getting Sevin 5% to do the job along with either Poultry Dust or Poultry Protector (even though I might have to wait until it's warmer to do that one because I don't like them being wet when it's cold out). When it's way warmer I'm going to run down ho down all that coop and clean it top to bottom to make sure this doesn't come back (Even though I've read it doesn't 100% go away which ugh that stresses me out more than it should).
    Am I catching this before it gets worse or what? Am I a bad chicken owner? I feel so upset and like I failed somehow even though I know it's probably not. I wish it was warmer right now so I could just do everything as much as I can... :/
    When I finally get that stuff, how should I go about it? Dust with Sevin & DE? I don't plan to eat their eggs either way. I just don't feel comfortable right now with it. I know I do it all over again in 7-10 days. I probably will try to do it a few times because I want to be safe.
    Would appreciate some positive feedback and help along with at least saying I'm not completely awful for this lol... (can you tell I feel bad? I think it's worse with being pregnant) [​IMG]
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    You are NOT a bad chicken mom!! Lice are fast and hard to see but it sounds like what they have. Sevin dust is the best solution in winter because of the cold. Have your husband do the work, you don't need to be by that stuff right now. Have him wear a dust mask, go out and rub the dust all over the chickens, right down to the skin (I know that's hard with silkies, be careful around face) Have him generously sprinkle and mix it all into the bedding and nest boxes (if you're not eating the eggs). Repeat in 7 days and clean out the whole coop as soon as you/he can. Expect to need 2 to 4 containers of dust for this. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    I personally find Fronline Spray to be much easier (spray for puppies and kittens,not the drops). An OEG Bantam show breeder told me that is what they use, just a spray under each wing every few months and no mites/lice etc...
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  4. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    That sounds great even though it's bitter cold where she and I live. Do you have to get that from a vet?
     
  5. Zahreenuh

    Zahreenuh Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    New York
    @justplainbatty Thank you!! I'm glad someone gets how bad the snow is right now. Sevin dust 5% is OK for chickens right? I was very careful to keep it away from their heads / mouth / eyes when I was even doing the DE and having their chickens doors open the whole time while I was dusting because I am a paranoid mama! My husband is going to have a FUUUN time doing all that dust by himself! It took us 2 hours just us 2 with what we did. just hope I can get enough for all of this. Tractor supply sells the stuff for a good price in a pack. And this will kill lice full throttle? I hope so... My poor poor babies.

    @Sonya9 Thank you for the suggestion. I had seen that but the cost is kind of a lot plus like I said, worried of them getting kinda wet when I am in such cold weather.


    Another question... when I use Poultry protector when it's warmer out, where do I spray this on them? All over? Near vent and under wings? I want to do it right!
    I'm just relieved it's lice right now and not mites. I don't think I could deal with those right now...
     
  6. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Yes 5% will work fine, I don't think they sell the 10% anymore. I get the 3pack at TSC too. Sorry for your HB's work there but it's 50% his fault you can't do it your self just now lol! [​IMG]
     

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