Chicken Lice Treatment


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
Hi everyone! I just wanted to share my experience with you all on how I have been treating my Wyandotte Banty's lice infestation. I recently purchased Monica from a farmer who had many fowl of all types. I was so happy to have the silver laced I always wanted when I brought her home I noticed she had a small bug that crawled across her back. after much research and examining I concluded that she had a lice infestation. She had big clumps of lice eggs that were hard as rock under her wings and by her neck. I was heart broken since I am so new at this and had no idea how to treat it. I did a lot of research and there were many options from DE to Sevin to sprays of all kinds. Now at this point I have not yet put her into her coop so her coop is unaffected since it is brand spankin new. I went to co-op seed stores, farm supply stores, pet stores and even a vet. All these stores had nothing in the way of a specialized insecticide specifically for this problem. The feed store offered me a dust made for bovine, the pet store offered me flea shampoo for dogs and the vet wanted to make an appointment which would cost, and the farm supply offered me nothing. All I knew is that whatever I used needed to be gentle, chemical free and effective.....a pretty tough order.
Several years ago I made some cold pressed tea tree oil soap and gave some to my mother in law. She uses the soap on her horses to "keep the bugs away" so she says. Thought, hey, why not! I had a brand new bottle of tea tree oil gel face cleanser that I had purchased from my local body shop and thought I would give it a whirl. I ran a warm bath, sat my girl in the water and carefully began to pour and rub the gel all over her into her skin and between her feathers. Soon the water became littered with dead lice. I was astounded at the amount that came off her! I had to drain the water and refill the tub a second time! I made sure to pay special attention to areas under her wings and around her vent. She was pretty relaxed as I am sure it was a great relief for her. The bathroom smelled heavily of tea tree oil and my bird was falling asleep as the lice just fell in great numbers from her body. After I was done with her bath I gave her a good rinse under the running tap then wrapped her in a towel. I took a pair of tweezers and picked off the dead lice I could find as I carefully separated all her feathers and inspected the skin (much easier to do while wet). Using a pair of cuticle scissors ( and help from my husband) I carefully cut away all the eggs clumps. My son held the blow dryer as I spread out her wings and trimmed her vent feathers. She was back to her fluffy self and she looked quite content! I have inspected her with magnifying glass precision and I can honestly say I did not see one louse! I
Rubbed Vaseline on any tiny egg clumps I could not get to and well, let's just say that Monica slept quite peacefully on her roost by my window that night.
Now This method was time consuming and a group effort (hubby and son) and probably not a great solution to those that may have a large flock but it really worked! And my bird smells pleasantly like tea tree oil! I may have to repeat the process in a week or so just to be on the safe side but so far so good. My mother-in-law was right! Tea tree oil really does keep the bugs away!

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