Can lice kill my chickens? pic's inside

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kevlar, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. kevlar

    kevlar Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2011
    Okay I feel like the worst chicken keeper ever but I'm not sure how she died. So yesterday my chickens were free ranging and a couple got into my neighbors field behind our place, no biggie I just went an chased them back. When i got them back I noticed a few drops of blood outside my coop and then one of my EE's was up roosting on the window sill and there were a few drops of blood beside her on the sill. I thought maybe a neighbors dog or cat got her so I checked her over and she seemed fine. I did not do the best job though and this is why I feel so bad. today when I got home from work I went out to my coop/run to check on them and let them out to free range for a bit. When I walked in to the coop I saw one of my EE's lying dead on the floor. I took her outside and began to check her over I found that an area in her abdomen the skin was quite purple and then as I kept looking I found a bunch of lice and their eggs. The area that all of the eggs were at also had some bloody areas I'm not sure if this was caused by the lice eating at her or an animal that might have got a swipe at her or something. Here are a some pictures
    Now I need to deal with this lice problem asap but could they have killed my chicken or was it something else?
  2. nanaluvsgps

    nanaluvsgps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2012
    Yes, lice are highly toxic to chickens and if not treated, the toxin in the lice when it bites goes into the chicken can some time kill. Sorry to hear about your loss :(.
  3. Jnet

    Jnet Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2012
    I am so sorry for your loss! Apparently lice, mosquitos, fleas and other “buggers” are going to be out in full force this spring and summer. I have never seen any ticks in the 12 yrs I have lived here in atlanta, and I found 2 in one week! I just bought Diatomaceous Earth and hoping that will do the trick. any other suggestions?
  4. jruhle

    jruhle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2012
    I lost a hen from a lice infestation. She was weak and anemic so I had her killed quickly and burned the carcass. I spread cedar shavings from a nearby mill around the yard and give them really dry cedar shavings to roll in and it seems to help. Wild birds are always flying around my yard re-infesting the area so I have to keep up on thier yard with the shavings. Cedar repels and kills insects. I've noticed the mosquitos aren't nearly as bad too! The stray skeeters get eaten pretty quickly though.
  5. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    I thought cedar was a no-no - isn't it toxic if the chickens eat it?
    Chullicken likes this.
  6. kevlar

    kevlar Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2011
    Yeah unfortunately I have a lot of wild birds in my yard due to all of my walnut trees, mostly crows but there are also robins, blue jays, a couple of wood peckers, and a bunch of smaller one that fly to fast for me to bother trying to recognize. I feel really terrible this was totally avoidable if I had been more diligent with my inspections. I found a few on a couple of my birds a few months back, cleaned out the whole coop dusted them all with DE and gave the coop a good wash and dusting as well. I regret to admit that after that I kind of forgot about it [​IMG]. I am not sue if the DE did anything because I now have a full blown infestation on almost all of my birds. I went to the farmers supply today and picked up some Sevin dust and some powdered elecrto vite for their water (it supposedly is good if you have stressed out or sick chickens) I took the day off of work tomorrow and I am going to get out to the coop early and clean it out completely, burn all the litter/nest material etc... and thoroughly wash then dust the whole place with Sevin dust, I am then going to dust all the girls before they can go back in. I guess I will do this again in ten days as well. The timing for this could not be worse though as I have a broody hen in her own cage in the coop who has been sitting on her eggs now for 18 days[​IMG]. I was really hoping to let her raise them but I am now considering bringing them in to the garage and setting up a brooder. I am still on the fence about what to do about her and the chicks though. I checked her and she does not have any egg deposits around her quills but 9 of the other 11 do.

    and yeah x2 I also thought cedar was toxic
  7. nannysmountain

    nannysmountain New Egg

    Apr 20, 2013
    Do you think a hawk swooped down and tried to get her when she was visiting . ?
  8. Chullicken

    Chullicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2016
    Dorchester, NH
    Ironically cedar is really bad for every living thing as we all know its a natural defensive mechanism in trees. Think exposure that is limited is fine, eating though..that seems a little off. I know as a carpenter, every time I sawed that stuff I hacked and got a rash for a week.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by