How do I treat chicken lice?

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
i got home from the feed store today, i got them new litter since it had finally gotten warmer and i had some time to switch it. Well while i was in the middle of cleaning out the coop i decided to hold my rooster for a little while since he's a very friendly boy. That's when i found a bunch of little Orange looking bugs in the feathers on his neck. Then i checked his vent and found lice eggs. I had just completely cleaned out the coop so i think that's good, but i also dusted everything my chickens have come in contact with recently with DE. I dusted their dust bathing areas, the coop, the roosts, the nest boxes, and the leaf pile they like to scratch in. Then i dusted the chickens themselves with DE and damaged my relationship with my beloved rooster. Despite wearing a mask i believe i inhaled most of it so i can't imagine how my birds felt. I'm here to ask if there's anything else i can do to stop the mites. This is like world war three for me when i was in school i watched head lice spread like the plague in my class until i was the last one standing. I also cut the eggs off of roosters vent (they were matted in the feathers), and suffocated them in a plastic bag. My rooster has also been yawning more than usual lately so I'm worried about that as well. I just need to know if there's anything else i can do to eradicate these devils from my coop i don't want them coming back or growing stronger if i haven't already killed them off.
 

happyfrenchman

Crowing
11 Years
Dec 20, 2008
635
539
271
Central Ga.
Clean out your coop, then catch each chicken and dust it with Sevin dust or some sort of permethrin powder...there are different kinds, some more organic than others.... I like the Sevin myself. But you have to dust your whole flock and then sprinkle a liberal amount into the new bedding, then do it again in a couple of weeks, then after that you can do it routinely, every 6 months or so. That is what I do. Yawning could be related to ear mites, which would also be treated by above.... it is also possible you might have worms in general which would also perhaps be tipped by the yawning. (gape worm). That would require a different sort of treatment. do not inhale DE.... I am convinced someday they are going to declare it as bad as asbestos and people put it all over the place.
 
Last edited:
Nov 28, 2017
1,710
2,644
346
UK
DE is no good for lice...in my opinion. I bought lots when advised by the local chicken farm owner, useless. The only permethrin thing I’ve found here is a general livestock % dust/concentrate spray, it worked quite well accompanied by regular cleaning of the chickens bedding and grooming.
 

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
Clean out your coop, then catch each chicken and dust it with Sevin dust or some sort of permethrin powder...there are different kinds, some more organic than others.... I like the Sevin myself. But you have to dust your whole flock and then sprinkle a liberal amount into the new bedding, then do it again in a couple of weeks, then after that you can do it routinely, every 6 months or so. That is what I do. Yawning could be related to ear mites, which would also be treated by above.... it is also possible you might have worms in general which would also perhaps be tipped by the yawning. (gape worm). That would require a different sort of treatment. do not inhale DE.... I am convinced someday they are going to declare it as bad as asbestos and people put it all over the place.
Any brands of Sevin dust? I've never heard of it. I know prolonged exposure of DE to chickens and humans can be harmful that's why i don't use it often but I've read it would help. I had two masks on and it still got in. I've read of gape worm but how do they get it and whats the treatment? Also how do i know for sure if my boy has them or ear worm? I keep my coop in immaculate condition and clean it out weekly as well.
I don't know if the pests are lice or mites or whatever else they can be, but they are little orange gnat looking things that lay white eggs (thats what made me think lice). There weren't that many i found three adults and a few clusters of eggs and only on my rooster everyone else appeared clean.
 

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
DE is no good for lice...in my opinion. I bought lots when advised by the local chicken farm owner, useless. The only permethrin thing I’ve found here is a general livestock % dust/concentrate spray, it worked quite well accompanied by regular cleaning of the chickens bedding and grooming.
My friend who has chickens said to use DE, i had no idea it was so ineffective.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,131
22,004
906
southern Michigan
Sevin is carbaryl, no longer approved for use on chickens. Don't buy it! Permethrin comes as a dust or spray concentrate, which is approved and much easier to use. As you found out , DE is useless!
For anything, including coop cleaning, get N95 face masks, available in the paint department at the big box stores. Nothing less effective will protect you!
Permethrin dust is usually sold as 'Poultry dust' and will work but is harder to use. Permethrin spray concentrate is inexpensive easy to use, and very effective. It's not the best choice in extremely cold weather.
Go out at night with a flashlight, dust or spray, and hopefully a helper. For dusting, pick up each bird off the roost and treat. For spray, just spray them right on their roost!
Mary
 

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
Sevin is carbaryl, no longer approved for use on chickens. Don't buy it! Permethrin comes as a dust or spray concentrate, which is approved and much easier to use. As you found out , DE is useless!
For anything, including coop cleaning, get N95 face masks, available in the paint department at the big box stores. Nothing less effective will protect you!
Permethrin dust is usually sold as 'Poultry dust' and will work but is harder to use. Permethrin spray concentrate is inexpensive easy to use, and very effective. It's not the best choice in extremely cold weather.
Go out at night with a flashlight, dust or spray, and hopefully a helper. For dusting, pick up each bird off the roost and treat. For spray, just spray them right on their roost!
Mary
I'll need to use the dust then. My rooster got frostbite and we're not out of the woods yet so I'm not going to risk using a liquid. So can i get this at my local feed store, is it a fairly common product? I'll need to invite some people to help this time. I didn't expect treatment to be this complicated.
 

happyfrenchman

Crowing
11 Years
Dec 20, 2008
635
539
271
Central Ga.
It does not have to be difficult. It is easy. Tell the guys at the feed store and they will hook you up with whatever powder you decide. (or spray). Ear mites would be treated same as the lice. If you see a bird shaking it's head it could be ear mites. It really doesn't have much to do with how clean your coop is because they live on the birds. It does not have to be complicated. You can do it whenever you like. At your convenience not the birds. . You grab a bird and hold it upside down by it's feet, preferably with one arm, hold it like that until it calms down, usually very quickly, hopefully with wings extended.. you can then shake or otherwise powder each bird thoroughly especially under the wings and fluffy feathers.. Toss some in the coop too. Sevin is sold as a dust for tomato plants in the garden section. It works well and it is alot cheaper than the less effective stuff. For worms, you have to get wazine or some other... the feed store guys will know. It is also very simple. It involves mixing their drinking water for a day and witholding eggs for however long you feel. I would worm a week after you dust, then dust a week after that. The worms are generally transferred through droppings. Mites, they are natural to birds in general and you just treat regularly and you will never see them. You can set up a dusting station and drop the powder into the sand and they will dust themselves.
 
Last edited:

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
It does not have to be difficult. It is easy. Tell the guys at the feed store and they will hook you up with whatever powder you decide. (or spray). Ear mites would be treated same as the lice. If you see a bird shaking it's head it could be ear mites. It really doesn't have much to do with how clean your coop is because they live on the birds. It does not have to be complicated. You can do it whenever you like. At your convenience not the birds. . You grab a bird and hold it upside down by it's feet, preferably with one arm, hold it like that until it calms down, usually very quickly, hopefully with wings extended.. you can then shake or otherwise powder each bird thoroughly especially under the wings and fluffy feathers.. Toss some in the coop too. Sevin is sold as a dust for tomato plants in the garden section. It works well and it is alot cheaper than the less effective stuff. For worms, you have to get wazine or some other... the feed store guys will know. It is also very simple. It involves mixing their drinking water for a day and witholding eggs for however long you feel. I would worm a week after you dust, then dust a week after that. The worms are generally transferred through droppings. Mites, they are natural to birds in general and you just treat regularly and you will never see them. You can set up a dusting station and drop the powder into the sand and they will dust themselves.
Ok, thank you. I just want to do what's best for them, i keep them as pets not livestock. Especially my rooster, he's such a sweetheart.
 
Oct 26, 2017
681
974
176
Ohio
DE is no good for lice...in my opinion. I bought lots when advised by the local chicken farm owner, useless. The only permethrin thing I’ve found here is a general livestock % dust/concentrate spray, it worked quite well accompanied by regular cleaning of the chickens bedding and grooming.
Well, for me, DE for lice worked really well. I highly recommend it for getting rid of DE!!! Chickens don't like dust and sprays, it isn't natural. I use DE for everything on my farm - dogs, cats, chickens, other birds.
 

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