chewing lice vs sucking lice? Ivormec?

Miss Chuckles

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
Hi, We recently discovered a lice infestation on the chucks and immediately powdered them but on one girl there was quite a lot of lice eggs (not easily grossed out but ewww). Two of the girls also have naked butts presumably as a result of the lice. I'm a little worried about their skin as it's very raw looking and a little scabby. One girl in particular is very bad and she seems lethargic although she is eating and scratching around a little bit, but she mostly sits in the nesting box which I assume is not helping with her backside. My question is this - how do you determine what kind of lice you have (chewing vs sucking)? I'm thinking of bringing out the big guns (Ivomec) because I don't want them to deteriorate further, but does Ivomec kill both types of lice or only the sucking lice? Is it normal for chickens to have some lice or should NO lice be tolerated and is this even possible? A week after the powdering I checked them again and still saw a few live lice (like 3 in total on 4 chucks) and presumably those eggs are going to hatch at some point. Once administered (I have topical) will the Ivomec kill the nits when they hatch? Thanks!
pour on ivomec.... that is the big guns... yep it gets em.
This is the fact sheet on lice and mites that I found helpful from the Univ. of Calif.: (with photos)

All lice are chewing (not sucking) parasites that feed on the skin, blood, scales and feathers. As a result, the bird's skin becomes irritated to the point of bloody and can become infected. You may wish to add antibiotics to the water or treat each individual bird with an antibiotic ointment applied topically.

Pay close attention to the information on retreating your birds at 7-10 day intervals. Lice eggs (nits) are resistant to chemical treatment so it is important to do this re-treatment within the appropriate time frame in order to kill any newly hatched lice before they can mature and lay more eggs. You must break this lifecycle in order to rid your birds of lice. Treat your entire flock for lice, clean the coop and nesting boxes, and sprinkle the bedding with DE to help prevent future infestation.

You'll be surprised how quickly your birds will perk up once you delouse them and squash any secondary skin infection caused by the lice.
Thanks for that! Do I repeat the ivomec treatment or follow up the ivomec with a delousing powder a week or so later?
Please explain the Ivomec piece of treatment. I also found lice on my girls and am somewhat freaked out. I cleaned out the coop and sprinkled the powder around and powdered the girls but I thought Ivomec was a liquid to be used to kill internal parasites like gapeworm. I dont get it when you say pour it on. Please explain
I only use Ivomec for internal parasites, i.e. worms, so I can't say from my own experience how effective it is against external parasites, like lice. I use Sevin dust (carbaryl) which is still available at my local hardware store. If you can't get that, you can use Permythrin powder available at the feed store. With both, dust each bird thoroughly, ruffling the feathers to get is right down to the skin, clean the coop and nests and spread the dust liberally around all cracks and crevices. Dust the birds a second time about 10 days later. Ten days after that, check your birds for live lice. If you see any, dust a third time. The egg clusters (nits) will not disappear from the feathers. They are cemented there quite firmly and will remain until the bird molts, so don't mistake that as evidence that your birds still have live lice. It is easiest, BTW, to spot live lice after dark using a flashlight.

I have also read some posts about using Frontline drops (the flea killer) for lice and mites. If you wish to explore that, try a forum search for "frontline."
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