Lice on Pigeons

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by tinkbell, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. tinkbell

    tinkbell In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2010
    I bought some new german trumpters at our local sale, and stupid me I did not check for bugs, I am kicking my own butt, because now I have 5 beautiful birds infested with lice and this is the first time I have had to deal with this on my pigeons. I am wondering if anybody could tell me how to take care of this problem? Any help would be greatly appreciate!! Thanks!

  2. ThiefPouter06

    ThiefPouter06 Songster

    Sep 3, 2008
    green co. KY
    There are a variety of products available. Sevin dust, cat flea and tick powder, cage bird spray(from pet store). I sprinkle some on the bottom of the tail and wings and rub in. They might need some rubbed in on the neck too. The holes left in the feathers will molt out eventually.
  3. tinkbell

    tinkbell In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2010
    Can I use Iver-on on them? I have used it on my chickens before with great results, but not sure if I could use it on my pigeons.
  4. ThiefPouter06

    ThiefPouter06 Songster

    Sep 3, 2008
    green co. KY
    Not sure what it is but if you cut the dose to their size I dont know why it wouldnt work.
  5. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    My Experience

    I showed my chickens at county fair last year and they came back with lice. We never had lice before. We didn’t know the lice came with us until I was reaching for a chicken and a couple lice fell on my head from the chicken. I reached up, pulled off a louse, screamed and ran back to the house. I took two showers and after I read about lice. It turns out that poultry lice is different than the kind of lice that people can get. Poultry lice are a chewing or biting lice where as the kind people can get is blood sucking.

    Poultry lice are a small (1/4 inch) yellowish-brown bug that feeds on the blood of poultry, making it a parasite. Parasites are harmful to birds. They can be come so irritating the birds do not eat or sleep well and egg production can drop. Birds can even injure themselves by scratching and pecking themselves out of frustration. Lice can even kill young birds that are infected with them.

    A louse (a single lice) lives for several months and spends its entire life on a bird’s body. The female lays eggs and glues them to the bird’s feather shaft. The nits hatch four to seven days later. Over the next few months the nit matures and then lays its own eggs. It can lay 300 eggs in its lifetime. With one generation being born every 3 weeks after just a few months the original pair of lice can become 120,000. Lice can also live for a week away from the bird.

    Lice can be transmitted through contaminated supplies or birds. That is why it is so important to wash your birds after showing and to quarantine them to minimize the chance of spreading lice to the rest of your flock.

    Please see the following steps to treat your birds for lice.

    I showed my chickens at county fair
    last year. We came home with lice.

    How To treat them

    About two weeks after I came home from fair I noticed the white silkie chickens pecking themselves. I picked one up and I got a louse on me. The silkies were trying to peck at the lice chewing on them.

    We went to the store and bought lice powder. We dusted them with it and kept them separate for two weeks treating them every week with the powder. We didn’t see lice in the rest of the flock. We still saw lice on the silkies after the two weeks so we decided to give them a bath. We applied a lice shampoo designed for people that we bought from Wal-mart following the directions of letting the medication sit on their skin for five minutes.

    Then we washed them in the bath water. Don’t silkies look funny when they are wet? They actually liked the warm water after they got used to it.

    When they were done we wrapped them in a towel to dry them off. Then we dusted them with lice powder.

    Then I cleaned and disinfected the cage they were living in an all the bowls they used for food and water.

    Here they are drying off in a clean cage. Unfortunately this wasn’t the end of the lice for us. The rest of the flock ended up having them and we had to bathe them all. We also had to clean and disinfect the entire coop.

    In Conclusion

    Last year I showed my chickens at fair. We came home with lice. Please wash your birds before bringing them to fair! We had to clean and disinfect the entire coop.

    Hope it helps
  6. Wildlife Biologist

    Wildlife Biologist In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2010
    Round Rock, TX
    Dip the birds (up to their necks) in warm dog shampoo for 30 seconds. Be sure to open the wings when you dip. Then let them dry off.
  7. Shanty

    Shanty In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2010
    Canutillo Texas
    Ivermectin (Ivomec, Eqvalen) is excellent for internal AND external parasites found on pigeons. Dosage is 1-2 drops (use a syringe, which you will have to use if you get the injectable) for internal parasites. 1/2 to 6cc per gallon of water for internal parasites (let the pigeons drink this solution). 1 to 3cc per gallon for bath water, and, of course, they will always drink from the bath water. This will get BOTH internal and external pests. If you want a spray for external parasites, add 1cc to a quart spray bottle. Use the higher dosage for most cases of ascarids (round worms) or tetameres (stomach worms).

    Ivermectin is a fairly safe drug to use; it is hard to overdose with it, but use it waith care as you would ALL drugs. The cattle preparation of Ivomec doesn't mix well with water, but the horse product Eqvalen is water soluble. This is the wormer of choice for all worms except tapeworms.

    No, I am not a veterinarian. But the co-author of my pigeon book, Jon Esposito, DVM, is; these are his instructions for the use of Ivermectin.

    1 person likes this.

  8. samsprik

    samsprik In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2015
    Can feather lice effect humans, like getting in their hair and biting their bodies?
  9. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I use a dusting powder on any new birds.
    Then about once a month I add a teaspoon of Borax 20 Mule Team for every gallon of water in their bath.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015

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