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Feathe lice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duckitup, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. duckitup

    duckitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2015
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    [​IMG]I've been searching this forum for a while now and I'm sure the answer to my question is out there but I just can't seem to find it. My duck was at the vet for something else entirely but while we were there he pointed out that she had feather lice. I had no idea . Her case is not bad. He said I could either treat with 7 or just wait it out and see if she or any of the others seems bothered by it. He made it seem like it was just a fact of life kind of thing. He said if it seemed it was bothering them7 would work. 7 dusting 16 skittish ducks seems a little overwhelming to me and I think very stressful to them. Besides I'm not real keen on using anything chemically. I don't know enough about it yet. He also said that if I see them rolling around on the ground I could make a dust bath for them with wood ash. I've never seen one of my ducks roll around on the ground and dust bathe. So that option is really out.

    Now that I know they have lice I'm starting to wonder if it really is bothering them... you know that whole hindsight is 20/20 thing...I've seen lately some of them standing kind of funny and lifting and drooping their wings over and over. I watch them and think, Huh that's kind of weird, I wonder what they are doing??? I have a drake that seems to be in an eternal molt with his wing feathers (they are lighter than the rest, almost look sun bleached in the dead of winter, and all scraggly) etc.

    So now I'm wondering if some of them do have an over infestation. In a month or so, weather depending, they will be back on the pond when it is unfrozen and I'm thinking they may be able to fix their own problem by swimming a lot????

    Or is it possible to just spread some wood ash around their house. They would never roll in it but they would walk through it and lay in it. They "forage" through their bedding a lot. Could it hurt them if they ate it? I have plenty of wood ash.......Any one have ideas about how to treat with out catching each bird and putting them through a forced bagged dust bath? Thanks in advance. I'm going to go back to my lousy duck now and treat her for her other ailment
     
  2. KingOfTheCoop02

    KingOfTheCoop02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2017
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    If they have a malady, then obviously you should treat it, not just ignore it.

    I have never experienced lice in ducks - I did not know waterfowl could get them - but with chickens you are supposed to dust them with DE (Diatomaceous Earth). I also dislike using chemicals on my poultry so don't worry; DE is organic. It is actually the skeletal remains of single-celled organisms mined out of the earth. It can be bought cheaply in stores.

    Good luck with your ducks!
     
  3. duckitup

    duckitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2015
    Wisconsin
    It isn't that I plan to ignore it. I want to address it in the least stressful way for them and the least chemical way for all of us. IF they are in deed over infected. The vet said the amount he saw on her was not something that needed to be treated. She is one of the ducks I've noticed doing the weird wing thing. So It may just be something she does. I don't want to over react or under react. Looking for some balanced wisdom. Does anyone know if sprinkling wood ash in the duck house could help/hurt? I have plenty of that. Thanks for the advice on using DE instead. I am not convinced DE is actually a good thing to use coop/yard wide as it will kill everything not just the targeted species. I don't want to be killing other insects, worms etc that are good for the ducks and the land for an indeterminate amount of time. I use deep litter method and don't want to stop the microbial composting action going on.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens





    Lol....;).......Mine had fleas and what I did was only treat the house and bedding....Not so hard on the Ducks......Lice might need a body treatment? Although I don't think so?.......Threat the area and do not let them bath for a week.....:)



    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  5. duckitup

    duckitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2015
    Wisconsin
    Thanks! I will try that!
     

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