HELP PLEASE! Need Natural Lice Treatments

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sarah3, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    Our flock of 19 chickens has lice. We sell the eggs as mostly organic and natural, so I need a lice treatment that is natural and works. I have had good success using soap and vinegar baths; that does kill the lice, but with so many chickens it is time-prohibitive to use that method for the whole flock, especially since it takes ~15 minutes per chicken to do the baths and would need to be repeated every week for several weeks.

    Do any of you have any success stories to share for natural lice treatments that work? I have read WIDELY varying opinions about using DE as a dust; many people love it (but best I can tell, this is usually as a preventative) but many people also say it does nothing for lice. I need something that will work for a flock that is already infested (as opposed to a preventative). I do not want to use Sevin dust since it is not approved for chickens and I have read that the active ingredient is a carcinogen (which would obviously be a big no-no for our organic eggs). I've read about using Permethrin, but that also seems to be not good for organics. Pyrethrin is supposed to be natural, but I still can't find any info about it's safety on chickens or whether it would be passed to the eggs.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Warm Coconut Oil till liquid and use spray bottle to spray at base of feathers. Also Wood Ash added to sand and DE for dust baths.
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Call an organic egg farm and ask them what they use.

  4. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    Thanks for your responses. In the meantime since I made the post, I've given soap baths to the 7 chickens who had the worst problems, and have started using Poultry Protector. Our plan for now is to use Poultry Protector once a week over the next few weeks.

    If that doesn't do the trick, then I will start the process of bathing the chickens once every 7-10 days for 3 weeks. Currently, our coop is chicken-tractor-style, which makes it hard if I want to do any treatments after dark (as so many recommend for less stress on the flock), and I don't have a good way to separate out any birds who have been bathed from the others, which makes it hard since I would have to bathe all the chickens in one day. But my husband and I plan to build a new walk-in coop later this month. Once we do that, I could bathe 1/3 or 1/2 of the flock a day and keep them separated.
  5. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    In case anyone is interested, here is an update on our "natural" lice treatment:
    -We are treating all 19 chickens with Poultry Protector once every 5 days. So far we have done 4 treatments, and will still do 2 more treatments.

    -I can tell the Poultry Protector is working well. When we first started, I could see lots of lice running around on about half of the chickens. (Probably 1/3 of them have had no signs of lice whatsoever, but I am still treating them anyway. Another 1/3 have some lice and eggs, but not many, and the other 1/3 had LOTS of lice and eggs when we started.)

    -I can tell that there have been less live lice every time I have done the Poultry Protector treatment. Today (the 4th time), I actually observed ZERO live lice. Just eggs left. Nonetheless, I am still treating all of them and will two more times just to make sure I am fully treating throughout the full egg cycle.

    -I can tell that the Poultry Protector does seem to cause some irritation to the chicken's skin. Not all of the chickens, but some nonetheless. Their skin has been rather red ever since the first treatment, only the skin in the area under the vent (which is the place that seems to need treatment the most on the ones who have lots of lice). Even some of the hens who have no signs of lice at all have the red skin ever since the first application of Poultry Protector.

    -To do the treatment, I am separating the feathers under the vent (and even down onto the belly area) and spraying liberally. I am also spraying the skin patch under each wing (although I only ever saw a few lice in that area on even the most heavily infested birds). My 2 kids have been instrumental in being able to accomplish this; I never would have been able to do it by myself. After I catch each chicken, my nearly-8-year-old daughter holds them tightly, and my 5-year-old son holds their feet together (otherwise they scratch up my daughter's tummy). My son also pets the chickens and feeds them a little cheese to keep them happy during the process.
  6. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    thats good news. Another natural treatment is to dust them very thoroughly with wood ash. That would be ash from non painted wood - you have to really rub the ashes into the feathers all over. It takes a couple of treatments so you get past the egg hatching stage.
  7. Sarah3

    Sarah3 In the Brooder

    Thanks for the info! I had heard that wood ash was helpful, but sadly we don't have a fireplace nor does anyone I could think of. I guess fireplaces are somewhat scarce here in the desert southwest.

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