How do you wash a chicken? (I'm serious) Insect eggs on feathers...

ChickaD

Songster
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
618
4
141
central Vermont
Sorry if this has been posted a billion times already, but I couldn't find it in the time I had for a search today (spent yesterday researching pests) -
Yesterday we discovered some of our adult chickens have lice or mites, with egg clusters galore and tiny white crawlies. I also spotted a black bug or two, the size of a sesame seed......and a few larger mystery black bugs on walls, which I'll post separately when I get a moment. We did the exhaustive coop clean & DE, and only had time before dark to dust the chickens with a farm animal product with permethrin. Burned their chip bedding.
Today or tomorrow we have to shampoo the worst of the chickens, maybe 3 o 4, with a dog flea shampoo. How do we remove the egg clusters and scrub the affected area without breaking or damaging the feathers, esp on our BO? Do the chickens just air dry out in the yard? To complicate things, a frost is expected tonight, and my helper doesn't get out of work until later afternoon at the earliest...any suggestions? :eek:

We're hoping that preventive dusting with DE will be good to protect our 8wk old chicks, in the other half of the coop - no signs of bugs on them so far.
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ChickaD

Songster
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
618
4
141
central Vermont
Thanks for the wonderful info - have printed it off. I'm assuming dog shampoo will work just as well as cat shampoo, since I've seen it posted.

Sure appreciate it!
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Jenski

Songster
11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
2,177
25
181
Middle Tennessee
You may still have a hard time getting rid of those glued-on eggs. I have read that the eggs of many of those buggies are encapsulated with a special substance, and many chemicals cannot penetrate the eggs. Thus, you will have to kill the adults. I believe most lice and mites have a short egg cycle (4-7 days), so if you treat with poultry dust every 4 days or so a couple of times in a row, you should be able to break the hatch cycle and get rid of your population of pests.

I would welcome any other info people have found on this.

Good luck, ChickaD!
 

ChickaD

Songster
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
618
4
141
central Vermont
Thanks so much!! This is (obviously) the first time we've had to deal with this and I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed
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....it's VERY windy/cool here today with expected frost tonight, so I'm not sure if it's OK to wait until slightly better conditions tomorrow to bathe them......hoping those eggs don't hatch 'til tomorrow...yeah, right! (Hmmm...perhaps I inhaled too much smoke from burning all those chips!
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I'm having a difficult time imagining taking one at a time inside to dry with a hair drier! (not enough time) And these gals freak out just being held, let alone any of this other stuff. A hair drier will really put them over the edge!

Oops, I don't mean to set off the Anti-whining Alarms, am just trying to deal with this creepy situation the best way and get rid of the low life.

Thanks again for everyone's helpful advice!
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LV426

Chillin
11 Years
Jul 16, 2008
223
1
121
Use Dawn Dishwashing liquid. It will not only help remove the sticky egg casings but it will also smother any bugs on the birds. The soap bonds to the insects and clogs up their gills.
 

chickenlady

Songster
12 Years
Aug 28, 2007
1,214
10
171
Stillwater, NJ
For years I have used a dog/puppy flea and tick shampoo made by Seargant. It says it is active for 10 days. This is gentle enough and kills all stages of mites and lice including eggs. After you lather the shampoo, let it sit for a couple minutes and scrub the feathers where the eggs are and they will come right off. Good luck.
 

courtshep

Songster
11 Years
Jun 24, 2008
105
0
119
West Virginia
There is a book I got out of the library - can't remember the title. It is a classic how-to chicken book and it had detailed instructions on how to bathe a chicken. I'll post it when I find it. But I thought it was HILARIOUS...It said that the chicken might seem surprised at first when you put it in the water, but then it will relax when it realizes it is getting a nice warm bath. REALLY? I wish my dogs would do that!!!!
 

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