Deloused.....Now what??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by buffbeauty, May 25, 2010.

  1. buffbeauty

    buffbeauty Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    How do I get rid of these big clumps of dead lice eggs matted up under wings etc?? Chickens came with lice I guess had them about 2 weeks then noticed the mats and treated, now inspections shows no more lice and due for retreat ina couple of days but that matting has to go!!!
     
  2. buffbeauty

    buffbeauty Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Sooo can I cut it out from under their wings ? Will this count against them in judging if they don't moult out and refeather by then? I'm sure the 2 ladies would feel more feminine with their wingpits cleanly trimmed for Summer fashions but James may just feel immasculated! Heehee!!! Anyone??
     
  3. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    Yikes! I don't know about trimming/plucking those feathers. If any are blood feathers you could be buying yourself more trouble than you already have. The thing with lice eggs is that they are cemented on the feathers with this glue-like stuff that makes it difficult to remove them. On hair (humans, dogs, cats) we use an extremely fine-toothed comb to remove those nits, but the human louse lays a much larger egg than the poultry louse, which lays teensy eggs in clusters (as you see). It seems the only way for the bird to get rid of the nits is through a molt. I know that it is possible to induce molting, but I don't think I would do that without the advice of a poultry professional or a vet.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  4. buffbeauty

    buffbeauty Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks MotherJean. I was only kind of half kidding about cutting it out. Really just a bump since noone was coming out with any advice. Worth a try though huh? It just looks gross and itchy. How will these affect show scores? I'm sure that thhey won't molt until after the fall count fair shows?
     
  5. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    I've never shown a bird at the fair, but if did, I wouldn't show any bird with nits. I could be wrong, but I would assume that it would count against me - if it didn't outright disqualify me from participating. If showing my chickens was something I wanted to get into seriously, I'd only want to show the very best looking, best condition birds I have. So, if showing this bird in particular is important to you, you might want to consult a professional on how you might remove those nits or how you can force her to molt. Don't forget to ask them, also, whether she'll be fully feathered by showtime if you do induce molting.

    ETA: Be sure you retreat your birds on schedule. You have about a 2 week window between lice hatching out of those nits and maturing to the point of laying more eggs. You have to break that cycle or you'll be fighting lice over and over. BTW, in case you don't know, the poultry louse will not seek human hosts, so you and your kids are safe.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  6. buffbeauty

    buffbeauty Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks again. I figured it would but my girls is sooo looking forward to it. Everyday asks when it'll be. I definitely wouldn't choose to show like that!! I was devastated they had them in the first place and very surprised considering where they came from. Wish there was something untraumatic I could do. A forced molt sounds stressfull. They are due for retreat in 2 days. Thanks again for helpful advice!!
     
  7. buffbeauty

    buffbeauty Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Ok so did EXTENSIVE online research. And the consensus is....#1 I don't think I saw anywhere on this site that lice nest primarily under the wings at least in my case. My guys have huge nit mats under their wings. Almost everyone says to check around the vent and while mine did have a few there, they were nothing compared to under the wings. And #2 not referring to chickens but peoples hair white vinegar mixed 1:1 with water and allowed to soak into the nits and is supposed to help dissolve the "glue" and make them easier to come off. Then you are supposed to wash it off. However this won't kill the lice obviously so they must be treated first. So just for future reference..... I will test this sometime over the next few days and repost. I have a feeling that this will be a work in progress. I don't see any of my buffies sitting for too long and letting me pull nits off of the underside of their wings.
     
  8. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    [​IMG] Will wait patiently for update on the vinegar treatment. I was a hairdresser/barber for over 25 years and helped a lot of frantic moms with lice problems. Using vinegar is a new one on me. But, like I said, the human louse and the poultry louse are different in size and different in the way they lay their eggs. That would be wonderful if the vinegar works.

    Here's a link to a fact sheet from the University of Calif. http://ucanr.org/freepubs/docs/8162.pdf There's photos on page 2 of this pdf file. Does that look like what you're dealing with? I should have asked you before - did you ever see live lice or only the nits?
     
  9. buffbeauty

    buffbeauty Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Yes, I did see the lice, but what made me look closer was that I noticed this matting under his wing. Remember, I only bought this guys about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago and he was gorgeous! But I really think the infestation had begun before he came to me because I just doubt that it could have gotten that bad in a week and a half which is when I noticed. I treated a week ago tomorrow. I had noticed individual feathers looked kind of scruffy a few days before this but chalked it up to either just not noticing before or something like having had them in a small cage to transport them when I brought them home and for a few nights after until we could get coop finished, then it was like all of a sudden he looked pitiful.

    Posted are 2 shots of the nits under the same wing and believe me there were plenty more under that wing and the other, just couldnt get it all in the shot between trying to hold him, wing up, fluff back, and take pic!
    Also is individual feather shot from top of tail and over-all tail shot.

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  10. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Cut them off at the base (check for bloodfeathers & don't cut those). Or pull out the feathers. Yes, pulling them out will hurt briefly & you have to be careful not to rip the skin. If you pull them out, they will start to regrow in a few weeks. If you cut them off, they will regrow when the bird naturally molts out in a few months to a year. If I find a bird with lice & egg masses- I do a combination of cutting and plucking and powdering. It depends on where the egg masses are. If they are too close to the skin to cut, I pluck. Chicken doesn't like the plucking, but IMO- it is momentary pain that will benefit the chicken long term- less possibility for the irritating blood suckers to hatch out. Powders have to contact the insect to work. Egg masses hide critters, and will hatch over several weeks. I want them GONE when I find them....
     

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