Help, Bantam with lice!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sophia5, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Sophia5

    Sophia5 Chirping

    Aug 5, 2013
    I've got a broody bantam who is about to hatch out some eggs and I've just found out she has has got lice everywhere! [​IMG] Especially on her neck and they're all crawling around her ears and face.
    I need to give her treatment soon otherwise she'll spread them to her babies.
    I gave her a dust bath in wood ash and a spray with neem oil but I don't know if it's going to do the job entirely...
    Any ideas of what I should do!
  2. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    I don't know what your weather is like there but if it is warm I would dip her. Warm and dry is very important because she needs to be completely dry before going back to the eggs. A hair dryer on low would speed things along. She will stay wet longest on her tummy.

    Do you have a Tractor Supply or similar store nearby? You can purchase a permethrin 10 liquid. Put 1/2 oz in 3 gallons warm water. Hold her in the water up to her neck. Use your hands to agitate the water near her behind, her back and tummy. Have someone else use a cotton ball that is damp with the same solution and rub around her eyes and the top of her head etc. Follow the directions for the amount of time to pass for another dip. I think it's 7 or 10 days.

    Is her broody box infested? You should make her a new one and move her into it 24 hours after the dip. Move the eggs gently and put them in the same order they were in her first broody box. Don't tip them at all. Very important.

    If your weather is too cold you can dust her with poultry dust. Be careful around her eyes and don't let her breath it in. I use a pillow case. Add the dust and pit the hen in the case and hold it closed around her neck. Move the pillow case, kind of shake it and dust her really well. You can use tweezers to remove the lice that will run up to her face to try and get away. Drop them in alcohol in a jar. If you have someone to help you I've also used small pieces of tape (approx 3 inches) to catch the escaping lice. You can get 6 or 7 at a time. Use the tape once, drop into alcohol and get another piece of tape and repeat until you get them all. Then use a cotton ball to dust her face. You will have more control over the dust that way.

    You'll have to clean out your coop and dip your other chickens. A stronger solution can be made with the permethrin liquid, poured into a pump sprayer and you can spray the walls, floors, perches and laying boxes.

    Speed is really important here. Have someone help you and have all supplies ready before you take her off the eggs.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I agree with Purpletree, you need to treat immediately. While your at it, look at your other birds and see if they have any. Chances are, more than one bird will have mites or lice if she has them.

    Make sure to remove all of the bedding from your chickens coop, and spray/dust it well. Sevin dust works great as a mite killer, but there are other products like Poultry Protector that can work as well. You'll likely see the lice reappear eventually, as mites and lice are found in the envirorment. Even if you get rid of them on the birds and in their coop, they can still come back if a wild bird introduces them, or if they just happen to get there from surrounding areas.

    Remember to treat her again in 10 days, as any lice eggs that you missed will hatch by then.

    Don't be too hard on yourself for not noticing the lice before, as its pretty easy to overlook them if you don't expect to see them. I just noticed that one of my roosters had them. I treated him for lice not too long ago, and have been checking him every week or so near his vent and under his wings (the normal places for mites and lice). However, I looked at him just yesterday, and was surprised to see mites in other areas of his body, not where I'd been looking. Instead of having mites in the normal places like the vent and beneath the wings, he has them in the feathers on the surface of the wing and beneath the head feathers. I don't know why I didn't notice them before! Fortunately, I've treated him again, and he's now mite free (I hope!)
  4. That would not be a good idea to dip her now, the change that she would loose her broodiness is good, I would rather use powder, like carbo dust, if you have it in your country

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