De-Lousing protocol

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CountryChick1971, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. CountryChick1971

    CountryChick1971 Hatching

    Apr 19, 2010
    My first time raising chickens, I have 18 healthy beautiful birds. Do I have to "dust" or treat them on a regular basis? They all seem happy, the pullets are now laying eggs and my two roos are healthy and happy as well. I have picked up a couple of the Buffs to inspect and have seen no evidence of any type of infestation, but I have read in books that I should be periodically treating for lice and mites. What products are the best, Sevin dust? Also, do I need to dust the coop? I do a complete scrape and clean every 10 days or so, with fresh shavings and pine pellets as bedding. I am a little confused if this is a necessary preventive, or something to do only if infestation is seen. All have beautiful, lovely clean feathers, and no signs of any problems, but they do free range on a partially wooded property, so can they get infested that way? I have been watching for signs of tick problems and haven't seen any yet. I do appreciate any advice from people with some years experience, especially in the Northern Illinois region.

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Lice/mites are usually introduced by wild birds and/or introducing new chickens to an established flock without proper quarantine. I use sevin dust as a preventative and treatment as necessary. I, like you, clean their house out once a week to 10 days thoroughly. The only difference is I use hay as bedding. After fresh hay is put in their house and nests, I sprinkle a light coating of sevin dust everywhere inside, then stir it in. I've been doing this for a long time and havnt had any problems. There are other products out there that can be used, but sevin dust works great and it's inexpensive. It's your decision whether you want to do something like this or not. Good luck.
  3. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Songster

    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    You could also try Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. Sevin dust can be toxic and can hurt you if you accidentally ingest it. On the other hand, food grade DE is actually consummed by some people as a supplement to help cleans their system and for stronger hair and nails.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I know my birds are clean (bug-free). The only preventative I do is liberally sprinkle DE into their bedding and in their dust bath areas (I do more than sprinkle there...I mix in about a cup). I even mix some into their nest box bedding. This way they are kind of treating themselves every time they dust bathe or snuggle into the bedding. I would continue examining them once a month (some do it more often). That's jmo [​IMG]
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    DE is a preventative for lice/mites, but not for an infestation. If you dust your coop with DE it will help keep it dry as well. The hazard with DE comes from breathing the crystals which are severely irritating to the lungs. I've used sevin dust for many years in my garden, my dogs and my chickens with no ill effects whatsoever. BTW, why anyone would eat silica (powdered sand) is beyond me...DE has no nutritional value whatsoever. Yes, I can understand sand cleaning out ones system!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  6. Quote:I`m not convenced that DE actually does anything, either. Seems like an awfull waste of money. Sevin, on the other hand, has been used by me for half a century. I don`t do preventative treatments, but treat my birds when nessessary. The firs clue that the birds have lice is that you feel the little vampires crawling on you after handling the birds. To determine if lice/mites are present, pick a couple birds off the roost tonight and check under their tail and around their vent with a good flashlight. If you see any minute little bugs scurrying for cover, you`ve got them. Sevin Dust is safe for any age bird, even day old chicks and should be used for most treatments. It doesn`t affect the edibility of the eggs, either.

    To treat them as radically as you can, like for infestations, without affecting egg edibility, get some Adams flea and tick dip. Mix it up as directed in a 5 gallon bucket, and proceed to dip EVERY bird on the place. Do it on a warm morning so they have a warm day to dry.

    Clean out the litter from the coop and dust heavily with sevin dust. Don`t forget the nests. Replace with clean litter. If showering with hot water and soap, including a good shampoo doesn`t make you feel like they are all off of you, do it again.

    Like I said, you can eat the eggs and this treatment will get the new ones as they hatch. In fact, you can still smell it for at least a month, but it`s not offensive. Like I said, Adams is for infestations and tough cases.

    Don`t be concerned about lice/mites, unless you feel them crawling on you after handling the birds..........Pop

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