HELP! My 11 day old chicks seem to have lice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Barry Natchitoches, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    My 11 day old chicks are scratching themselves, and when I saw the older hens do that a while back, it turned out they had lice.

    I powdered the older hens and thought it was under control until a few days ago, when I saw them scratching again. So I dusted them again.

    But now, I'm seeing the little chicks scratch themselves.

    The baby chicks live in a back bedroom, in a brooder, and have had no contact with the older hens except through me, my wife, and my five year old daughter. Maybe we brought in the lice on our clothes or something, though we run a pretty clean household over here.

    Anyway, my question now is -- can I dust the little ones the way I dust the older hens? Should I provide the little ones with a little bowl of sand to dust bathe in?

    And a second question: other than changing our clothes and washing hands before we go in to see the little chicks, is there anything else whe can do to halt the spread of lice between chicken flocks?
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009

  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Do you have any DE? I would be hesitant to use any louse powder on some so young. My little ones love a dust bath in sand. You could add some DE to it, maybe that `would help. Don`t forget to kick off the shoes.
  3. Seven's dust is also good. You can powder the bird in it. Make sure to get under the wings good and around the neck. Dont just put the powder on it, cause it needs to be under the feathers. Turn the bird upside down and powder it that way, making sure its getting under the feathers and not just on top of them.

    We also wash our birds ever so often in some puppy shampoo with the flea and tick medication in it. Then lightly spray them with horse sheen to put the oil back in the feathers.
  4. JenMT

    JenMT Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    Kalispell, Montana
    Are lice THAT contagious? Maybe they are just scratching? Have you seen lice on the babies? I've seen mine scratch and I don't think that we have lice....yikes!

  5. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I haven't seen mine scratch. Maybe you should check them out
  6. horsegirl

    horsegirl In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2009
    If you still have the lice powder you used before, read the instructions and see if there are any restrictions on the age of birds you should use it on first.

    Otherwise, I would use diomataous earth (sorry if I spell it wrong). If you are not farmiliar with it, it is from the shells of dead creaters found on the bottom of the ocean and the small particles actually crush the lice. It is not good to inhale and can dry out your skin a little bit, but other than that should not be toxic, they make a food grade version too, and I feed it to my horses in their feed as a maintenace dewormer inbetween the chemical applications.
  7. Kathy1

    Kathy1 Songster

    Are you sure it is lice? WHen mine got their big girl feathers they were picking at the new feathers and I thought the same thing, but it was just their new feathers coming in.

  8. I agree with Kathy1,
    when they are getting all there big girl/boy feathers in and loosing their fuzz, it can get itchy. Are you sure you have any lice? I would check the chicks one by one and see if you can see anything, especially before you treat them. it might just be itchy skin from the feathers coming in.


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