Chicken Lice


5 Years
Jun 1, 2016
Rhode Island
Ok, I’ve had poultry for a few years now and this is the first time I’ve actually seen any poultry lice on my birds.

I have been checking everyone over and some seem to have a few here and there, where others don’t appear to have any. I have only found eggs on one rooster so far.

this may sound stupid, but I’m not sure what is a concerning amount of bugs on a hen. I’ve seen multiple different articles where people say, eh they get bugs 🤷🏻‍♀️ And others going ballistic cleaning out their coops. I guess I just need more clarification of what I should be doing?
Lice are easily controlled with either permethrin or spinosad. These are natural biological insecticides, safe to use on and around chickens.

With lice, one dusting or dipping, according to what form you use, should get rid of all the lice. A repeat in a week to ten days will get the nits that have hatched. You can yank out the feathers with the nits if you wish. The chicken will feel a slight discomfort and the feathers will regrow. Nit eggs are like cement on feathers, otherwise impossible to remove.

You will see the heaviest infestation around the vent area. But try to dust or spray the skin everywhere. Lice live on the chicken, not in the coop. To be certain you have only lice and not coop mites, too, check the roosts at night with a flashlight or run a damp paper towel over the roosts after dark when mites come out to feed on chickens. If you see mites, you will need to treat the coop.

A word of caution, read the labels carefully. Some manufacturers insist on putting petroleum distillates into these garden products. It's extremely dangerous to use these on chickens. Do not buy these.
I agree, I use permethrin and it has worked well for me. The best product to get rid of the mites and lice in my opinion is permethrin which is very cost effective. I have used the dust on the birds and in their nest boxes and sprayed inside of the coops, every crack and crevice, on and under the roosts, ceiling, walls, floors, anywhere for mites. It's best to clean out the coop before you spray. I use pine shavings in my coops. Wear special clothing including a mask and gloves. I did a weekly spraying for awhile and put permethrin dust in the nest boxes, originally I sprayed the birds getting under the wings and worked it through their feathers with gloves which you can also do with the dust. Permethrin only kill live pests, not the pests eggs. TSC and Amazon carries the permethrin powder, premixed spray bottles and the concentrate. I use the concentrate. It did not affect the birds but I did keep them out of the coops while it dried. I spray my coops as needed and when I spray I do weekly spraying for 3 or 4 weeks then stop as I don't want the pests to develop a resistance to the permethrin. Repeated weekly spraying is necessary because again, it does not kill the pests eggs and as an added benefit is there is no egg withdrawal period. Good luck...


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