Help! My chicken has LICE!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 7, 2011
I got this chicken from my neighbors house because she's old and he keeps her in a barn all day long so I figure why not take her and give her a nice life with a chance to get outside and eat hearty bugs and stuff. When we went to pick her up my boyfriend was holding her and a couple minutes later these tiny bugs were crawling all of him! Yuck! So we went to a feed store and picked up this dust powder called Garden Poultry Dust with Permethrin. I held her upside down by her feet and dusted her the best I could, this was yesterday.

I am keeping her quarantine from my folk because I do not want to infest them with this nasty bug. Tomorrow I am going to put a litter box filled with wood ashes because I heard chickens will dust bathe in it and sinse the ashes are so tough they will scratch and kill the lice.

Any ideas on how long I will have to keep her away from my flock? Is there anything else I could do to help speed up getting rid of this discusting bug?? It's gotten so bad that her comb isn't red anymore it's like barely pink almost white...
well, you first have to quarintine the bird for 30 days before adding her to your flock, dust her again in 10 days, especially around the vent and neck area, thats where the mites like to hang out.
Here is some info about the little pests:

When you dust make sure you are getting it all the way down to the skin. Also pay attention to the underwing area. Some people put the powder in the toe of a stocking and use it like a powder puff. If you are still seeing lice after treating you can try 5% garden Sevin.

Good luck,

Oh my gosh! 30 DAYS?? Are you kidding me??? I was thinking after the 10 days were up I could dust her once more and she would be alright. I put her in a cardboard box and this morning when I went to let her out I could see there was dead lice in the box. 30 days though?? Really????
That helped me a lot thank you... that made me realize now that she has scaley leg mites and as I was doing my research on that I found out another problem that one of my chickens has is bumble foot? What is that? And scaley leg mites how do I treat that? I read up vaseline does the trick anything else I could do? How do chickens get that anyway?
Since it is ONE bird, I suggest that you get a good dog/cat flea/tick shampoo that has an insect growth regulator and thoroughly bathe her. That will immediately kill all mites and lice on her, and the IGR will prevent any eggs that hatch from maturing. Keep those legs soaking as long as possible to soften the scaley leg "scabs." Then scrape off as much of that as comes off easily. Dilute ivermectin pour-on with an equal amount of light oil (mineral, olive, bath, etc.) and syringe about a half CC on each leg, being sure to cover all affected areas. I would also suggest applying a bit of the ivermectin to the skin in her wing pits or on hte back of her neck. Re-oil (oil only this time) her legs on alternate days until clear. Be sure to thoroughly dry her before you return her to outside weather--keeping her inside after the bath for a good 24 hours is a good plan. One silkie hen can be placed in a fairly small box with shavings and put atop the washing machine or a bath counter or any small area.

The dull comb is likely from the mites/lice; feed her extra nutritiously for the next few days as she recovers. A boiled egg and some yogurt with live cultures is a great supplement to a good poultry feed.

There are lots of threads on bumblefoot in the emergency section. If she is limping or having difficulty walking, you need to treat--go to the emergency section for advice (lots of threads there--read them first). If she shows no symptoms, you probably don't need to do anything.

Bumblefoot is caused by an injury (such as from a splinter or thorn) that forms a small cyst. If the cyst becomes infected, it can become systemic and kill the bird. If it is simply a cyst, it is no big deal.
Go over to the Emergency/Disease forum and find the "ivomec" for scaly leg mites thread. I read some very helpful stuff and ordered the ivomec eprinex suggested.
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You have received very good advice already- the one thing I would add to it is, if you do choose to just use the permethrin dust to treat the lice, be aware that you must retreat according to the website Imp gave you.

Those eggs will hatch out more otherwise and reinfest the chicken.

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