1. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    Can you use Capstar on a hen w/ lice and mites? I don't have a problem but I noticed that there are a lot of mite and lice problems out there right now.
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    There are a lot of them aren't there?

    I wouldn't recommend Capstar, no. There are systemic products that are useful, drop on, but you'd be looking at ivermectin 5% pour on for cattle, or Eprinex by Ivomec - also pour-on. More on that later.

    Mite prevention is best done by painting the wood in the coops so that all the cracks, joints, and eyes on the wooden walls 3' up, on the roosts, on the nest boxes, etc are filled in. In the old days they painted with creosote, but we've found that it's not so healthy to birds (or humans).

    However, there are permethrin products for goats, cattle, and poultry that are very safe and easy to use.

    The simplest for birds is "poultry dust" that contains permethrin. Just check the label for PERmethrin. Its's marketed in shaker cans under a bunch of different names. You can also get a liquid permethrin to spray on the wood if you have mites. Mites spend the majority of their time on the wood, not on the bird. Lice are the opposite. So for mites you spray the wood, dust the birds (or use ivermectin or eprinomectin), and dust the bedding. For lice you dust the birds (and you can use ivermectin or eprinomectin) and the bedding, nestbox materials, but don't have to spray wood as they lay their eggs on the bird.

    There's a product called Poultry Protector that looks promising for washing lice eggs off of birds, mite eggs off of wood, but I personally would still have some chemicals around (as much as I hate chemicals) just in case.

    On ivermectin, it's also a wormer. So you would want to use it carefully as it's a very strong wormer.

    I personally recommend that you pre-treat with wazine first if your bird fits any of the following statements:
    - The bird is under 4 months old (then dust only, use wazine only)
    - The bird hasn't been wormed in 6 months.
    - The bird is thin or has diarrhea
    - The bird has an unknown worming history
    - The bird is shedding worms.

    Wazine will paralyze only adults, while ivermectin kills adults and larva. If your bird has an unrecognized heavy infestation, then starting with ivermectin could kill all the worms and shock or stress the bird unnecessarily. So it's a good idea to worm first with Wazine to get the numbers down so that you can use Ivermectin thereafter.

    I just worm with Wazine 17 (piperazine 17%) first, and then 2-4 weeks later use ivermectin or eprinomectin (or fenbendazole if I'm just treating parasites, not mites or lice). Then I use the ivermectin when needed for lice/mites, or twice annually for worming.

    But if your birds are likely worm free and you get mites/lice that take blood, you can certainly use the pour on versions of ivermectin or eprinomectin. I like the generic ivermectin as 250ml is only $14 and it lasts ages! I had lice come into my flock this year, sucking lice (not just poultry lice) and they bloomed quickly. I treated on day one and it took three days for all the lice to take blood, so over three days I saw all the lice die off. It's supposed to have a 28 day effect in cattle. I know it has a three to four day effect (at least) in poulltry. My hens also gained weight. (They were behind on their worming, which I do twice annually).

    So, I hope this info helps. Keeping this stuff on hand so it's there when you need it really helps. In my case, I had the stuff when I needed to treat for lice and thankfully because they went from practically no lice to absolutely covered quickly.

    Also checking for lice and their nits frequently helps. (Although obviously it doesn't keep them away, as I found out this year). Check for mites at night as that's when they move onto the birds on the roosts.

    Incidentally, some people like to try more natural products in hopes of reducing the threat of mites and lice, mostly lice really as they spend time on the bird.

    DE (food grade only please) can be used in the dust bathing areas - just sprinkle on top, stir into the soil. Scrape bedding aside- use on the floor, replace the bedding, sprinkle on the bedding, stir in. Never use to dust the birds, never breathe it in, and never have them there when you're applying it. Some people feel this helps to keep lice down. I think there's something to it.

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