Chicks and pests

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenRisa, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. ChickenRisa

    ChickenRisa Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2014
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    I discovered lice on my 6 week old baby chicks and their mama today. I have used diatomaceous earth for lice on my full grown hens in the past, so after they had put themselves to bed I lightly dusted the babies with it. I also put a little on mama but not as much as I normally do since the babies still snuggle under her at night and I didn't want it to get in their faces/lungs. Then it occurred to me that maybe that stuff is not safe for babies? If that's true, anyone have recommendations for treating lice on chicks?

    Also, I am currently closing up mama and babies in a pet kennel every night to protect them from the rats trying to swipe them. And I'm curious when I might get to stop doing that? The babies will already hop up on the lowest perch during the day sometimes, but at night they are either in the pet kennel or in a nesting box with their mom. Do I have to teach the babies to sleep on the perch or will they learn that on their own?

    If anyone can share their input, I would be super grateful!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Rep of Ireland
    I've treated broody hens and chicks with Carbaryl (sevin dust) with no ill effects in the past.

    As for the perching/rat problem. I'd set some traps for those rodents where the chickens can't get to it. Rats can not only harm the chicks, they are also egg thieves and carriers of pests and diseases. The chicks will learn to use the perches by themselves as they grow older, but see if you can get rid of those rats in the meantime.
     
  3. ChickenRisa

    ChickenRisa Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2014
    Seattle
    I do need to get a trap for the rats, but rats are inevitable since we live out in the country and the chicken coop is on the edge of our property next to a large blackberry field. Luckily I don't think they have figured out how to swipe eggs yet, but they do pig out on the chicken food.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My momma hens usually start teaching the chicks to roost around 6-8 weeks. She'll hop up there and try to get them to join her. Sometimes they catch on right away, sometimes it takes a week or so until they're all able to get the idea. But I'd think if rats can get in your coop, they'll find a way to take a young bird off the nest. I'd work on predator proofing the coop, especially since I can't afford to feed a bunch of rats. That, and look for a cute little rat terrier dog and let it earn it's keep.
     

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