I was sold a chicken with lice, what are my options?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kie4, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. kie4

    kie4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    A week and 4 days ago I bought a 9 week old chick from a breeder in Lancaster, PA.

    The chick is so skittish I've gave up trying to grab her from her quarantine in the garage. I got her tonight and she looked fine until I looked under the neck feathers and saw white insects crawling. They look like lice.

    Are lice easily treatable? I'm reading so many schools of thought between poultry protector, DE, and the insanely expensive SPS.

    Are my options:

    A) Treat with a product once a week for 3 weeks and see if the lice are gone?
    B) Contact the breeder and ask to take the chick back
    C) Have the chick put down, burn the quarantine brooder and move on?

    I would like very much to keep this chicken but I don't want to jeopardize the rest of the flock. Lice seems to be an infestation that backyard chicken keepers have a hard time keeping away, once they get it once they keep getting it.

    Any advice appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Since she is in quarantine, you should be able to rid her of the lice with a couple of treatments of either permethrin powder or 10% spray, or Sevin dust, applied at 7-10 day intervals. If you see white clups of eggs at the base of feathers, that is most likely lice. You can apply coconut oil to eggs, and try to remove them, since they hatch 10 days after arrival. Mites are much harder to get rid of, so Google "lice and mites in chickens," and look at some links and pictures to make sure what you are seeing. I would not cull this bird, but just treat her for the parasites.
     
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  3. kie4

    kie4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much for the reply @eggcessive, I had not come across permethrin. After doing a lot of reading I took some ash from the stove and made a dust bath with it in the brooder. Overnight she didn't touch it, but I've seen her trying to take dust baths before in her bedding so here's hoping. I'll go to tractor supply and get some sevin dust to put in the ash box, and an 8oz permethrin spray to treat the vent, and under the wings. Is it best to hold the bird upside down by the legs when doing it? She is very flight/skittish.

    I think after she's cured we'all need to have a few movies together so she can forgive me for all this rough treatment that's about to befall her.
     
  4. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can also give her a bath in warm water mixed with lice shampoo. Dunk her in the water all the way to her head. Hold her there for a few minutes until all her feather are wet. You will see the lice float in the water. Since it is getting cold use a hair dryer to blow dry her feathers. Check her vent area for eggs and pull them off so they will not hatch and re infest the chicken. Check in a week to see if there are any lice if there are, bathe her again. good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  5. kie4

    kie4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks @FarmerMac , is there a particular brand of lice shampoo you use? Is it a kind of shampoo designed for poultry?
     
  6. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My neighbor gave me something called Piranha that he used on his horses. This summer I used in Dr Bonners Peppermint Soap, somebody recommended in one of the threads, small bottle was like $20 at Target. Killed the lice and left the chicken smelling good.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    There are 3 types of poultry lice. The most common are found near and under the vent area, while others are found around the neck, or under the wings. Wood ash is good for prevention in dust baths, but with an outbreak, I think permethrin dust or liquid, or Sevin are best.All are available at Tractor Supply and other feed stores with various brand names. Many don't like to use Sevin anymore since it can be cancer-causing, and very toxic to bees. Here are some good articles about lice treatment and what to look for:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
    http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8162.pdf
     
  8. kie4

    kie4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tip @FarmerMac ! I get off work shortly and am going to drive to my nearest Tractor Supply and pick up some permethrin 10%. Rather than spray I prefer the idea of a full dip into a 5G bucket of warm water mixed with permethrin (while getting the rations correct).

    I live close to a Target so will pick up Dr Bonners Peppermint Soap for intermittent washes going forward to ensure the flock is lice free. dunking in permethrin 10% 3 times in 3 weeks to rid the bird of lice seems like the best option of immediate irradication. Also can bottle up the leftover liquid and spray the garage where the hen is in quarantine, and spray the bedding and before I bag it up and toss it out. I just want to get the 3 week process started as soon as possible. Also hoping she won't be so skittish and that this is a big factor in her skittish-ness.
     
  9. kie4

    kie4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great info, thanks @Eggcessive . the lice we saw were walking on the outside of the feathers on her neck. This was after a struggle for me to pick her up, and then she calmed down with some stroking. I looked down and I was stroking little white insects! aaaaaaah! It's great that she's all black, easy to see.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You're welcome. Here are pictures of lice eggs at he base of feathers:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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