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Chicken lice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fluffyxx, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2012
    Okay. So, I need some help with treating my chickens. I only have 10 girls.
    And I am not 100% sure if they have lice or what it is. I can never get them held down long enough to check them. I get ahold of them, and as soon as I start to get their feathers parted to check near the skin, they start flapping to get away from me. Ha.
    But, I do feel sort of sure that it is lice I'm dealing with. I can see several crawling bugs inside of the coop. I've only spotted them on our little chicken walkway in front of their nest boxes, and the bugs are also on the chicken eggs when I collect them, they are long, tan colored and they move pretty quickly, they are pretty teeeeny tiny. But, I do notice there seem to be several different sizes.
    I have several girls with feather loss as well. I also have a few that seem to have wattles that are becoming pale. But, they all are still very active, eating, drinking, etc etc.


    Pretty much I need some advice as to what to do as far as treatment is concerned. I currently have some of that Poultry Protector & some DE. I have been spraying the Poultry Protector in the coop and on the birds the last couple of days. Of course, I couldn't get them ruffled to get it all down to the skin. Just sort of doing the best I could. Its like they know I need to ruffle them up. When I go down there just to set and spend time, I can hold them and fool with their feathers as much as I want. But, now trying to check to see if there are any bugs on them, or to try and get that spray on them, they want no part of me. Brats. xP

    Anyways, I put a little of the DE in the coop, on the walk ways and in their nest boxes, I also put some mainly in the areas of the yard where they dust bathe. But, it has been raining so much here. I don't think it stayed on the ground too long.



    I do have some Sevin dust & spray. But, I'm really trying to avoid using that stuff, I just don't want to use a poison on or around my girls, unless I absolutely have to.



    I haven't done a complete coop clean out yet. As I haven't had a day off in about a month or longer, where it hasn't been pouring down rain.


    So, I am desperately seeking some guidance as to what is the best process to take. As I am not FOR SURE that the lice are on the girls. I'm just assuming. I'm also looking for like a timeline, as to when to do things, for how long, and when results should start to show up. I know this has been asked a million times before, but doing searches just has made me more confused.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
  3. buckaroogirl

    buckaroogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2013
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    I use "dusting powder". I think it's the same as 7. I use it once. Then again two weeks later, check again in 2 weeks to see if there's any left. I hold the chicken upside down, powder near his vent( rub it in so it gets down to the skin) under their wings, along their sides, breast and neck feathers. Making sure you get it right down to the skin. Take out all the shavings and new ones in. I put the powder in the coop also. DE won't help once they have bugs. Helps for protection, so instead of putting powder in the nest boxes. I put DE. Good luck!
     
  4. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2012
    Thank you for this. The bugs I've seen look like the lice. But, in that article it says the lice are only on the chickens. Which is why I'm confused as to why there are several bugs that are on the walkways, & in nests.



    So, is that what I search for, is dusting powder? Like, is that the actual name of it?







    I've read about the frontline spot on & sprays, anyone with experience with those? Or with Ivermectin?
    Those sound a bit easier than dusting for me. I have one girl who is really hard to get ahold off, she runs like lightning when I try to fool with her.
    The spot treatments do seem to sound a bit easier for my situation. Haha. I'm thinking I could get them at night, while they are roosting. Hopefully.
     
  5. buckaroogirl

    buckaroogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2013
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    Well I'm in Canada. It's actually called "dusting powder" it's for all livestock. It's 5% carbaryl I think. Worked great the first time, after two weeks I didn't see any live lice but I powdered them anyways incase the eggs hatched. I have 40 chickens and had to do it over two days. I also have hard ones to catch, but its gotta be done. I've never seen lice anywhere else other than the chickens. So makes me wonder if you have mites?
     
  6. buckaroogirl

    buckaroogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2013
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    Grab a couple chickens, hold them upside down holding their feet, football them in one arm and look around their vent.
     
  7. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2012
    I'll try and get one tomorrow to check them. Hopefully they will cooperate. [​IMG]


    The bugs are still crawling around in the coop, same area. I got a piece of tape and stuck a couple of the little bugs down. They look exactly the way lice are described. Long body, fast moving, tiny & beige colored. I can try to get a dark colored tape & see if my camera will take pictures of it. I don't know if it will or not.



    I'm thinking of just going ahead and using the sevin dust on them.
    I really hate to. But, I've read a lot of people using the sevin on here.


    So, my plan of attack will be - remove all the shavings and nest material. Spray with my sevin spray, I think its a 22% formula. And put new bedding in, with some DE mixed in the bedding.
    I'll dust the chickens with the sevin dust, I think its a 5%. How do you do this, so that it is safe for me & the girls?


    Also, should I use a cleaner of some sort while cleaning the coop, like a bleach spray of some sort? Or will that matter?


    And then in 10 days, I'll do the same thing again.


    Oh, and when I spray the coop with the sevin dust, how long should I let it dry & air out before I put the bedding back in?
    And should I let it set for a while before letting the girls back in?


    Hoping to get this done on Saturday. I'm off then & so far we only have a 30% chance of rain.
     
  8. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2012
    Oh, and I'm thinking about possibly worming them. More than likely on the 10 day re-treatment day. Will that be okay? Figure might as go ahead and do that, they've never been wormed before either. I feel like a bad chicken mom.


    Also, is there any good treats or supplements I can give them? To sort of boost them up a bit? I'm sure having bugs on you, or whatever these things may be. It has to take it out of you. So, maybe some extra protein or something?
     
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: If they are let go when they start struggling, that teaches them how to obtain release from you. They will then repeat this anytime they don't want to be held. Every time they successfully repeat this, the lesson is reinforced.

    If you catch them, hold them gently but firmly, so they both feel stable and secure and know they aren't able to escape. I hold them a few ways but often with frightened newbies I use one hand to hold both legs above the knee and the other to restrain their wings, and of course tucking them under your arm like a football helps. Once they trust you they will sit on their breastbone on your open hand, legs relaxed and wings folded. In fact they can get so trusting that if you try to let them walk away they fall on their heads, lol.

    I would suggest you to train them to submit to handling for both your sake and theirs. Most people don't want to have to handle them at all, period, which is fine --- if you don't intend to do any hands on treatments and your handling only ever occurs around culling. Otherwise, handling training is necessary for times like this. If your response to infestation or injury is not to cull outright, but to treat them, then they need to have been handled or trained to allow handling, and being bred from tame stock often does that work for you, hands free.

    I train my chooks to be handled from a young age, it doesn't take much; all that needs to be done is to make those few experiences positive, and it helps to not breed from unreasonably frantic stock. But mine settle as soon as caught because they know there is nothing to fear and struggling won't get them anywhere; I will release them when I want, so they just wait for it.

    I have a rule of never releasing a chicken that is fighting to get away; it's potentially harmful to both me and them, and the instant lesson these not-so-stupid birds learn is that they choose when contact ends by struggling. That is not workable.

    Some say all handling is stressful to chickens, but that's flying in the face of endless mountains of proof of the many, many pet chickens --- plenty of which had no effort put in to tame them, but choose to be held just like a friendly dog chooses to be petted; there is no fear. Because mine allow handling, I can do anything I need for their own good; treating wounds and checking for potential health issues are two hugely important things. Calm livestock benefit the owner and all other animals they live with. During hatching etc my hens must be calm otherwise I'd lose chicks pointlessly. So it all depends on what you want them for.

    Regarding lice, I maintain parasite free birds by feeding them anti-parasitic herbs (sage, etc) including raw fresh garlic as part of their staple diet. (Average of one garlic clove per bird per day). The sulfur levels alone from garlic that build up in the flesh and bloodstream are toxic to parasites both internal and external. I don't treat any other way for lice and mites, even though when I bring in a new bird it will have several populations that it will share around. They die off as the bird becomes an unfriendly host. I use DE sometimes in their dustbaths but not often enough to make any difference, it's been a few times in a few years and they dustbath in so many other places so that's not it. Wood ash is also helpful to kill eggs, helps kill the whole population of lice quicker. When I've had a bird come in with severe scaly leg mite infestation that's threatening to amputate toes, I might use Stockholm tar on the legs, which takes care of it and makes the infestation fall off with the bad scales, leaving healthy legs behind; but generally diet alone will do this, and will stop the healthy birds from catching the parasites. The benefits of using natural antiparasitic feed items is that the parasites cannot become immune to them, unlike a lot of man made stuff, plus it's not toxic to the animal in any way. But it is really each to their own. We do the best with what we know and what we have.
     
  10. buckaroogirl

    buckaroogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2013
    Alberta
    I grab a couple birds once a week or so, and choose different ones, and check them for bugs. Once I'm done and they're calm. I put them on the ground but don't let them go if he tries to run away. Once he's calm and he won't take off when I let my hand go, then I let go. And usually they fall over lol then I walk away.

    I've never had a bad infestation so not sure about the washing the coop thing. I just change out my bedding, sprinkle powder on the floor and roosts and use DE in my boxes....works for me. They also get garlic in their water and if I have time I mince it up for them to eat with yogurt.
     

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