Lice - ugh! How best to remove the eggs frm the base of the feathers.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rachelb, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. rachelb

    rachelb Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Oxfordshire, UK
    I have just given my girls a check over as I noticed that the BO was losing a lot of her fluffy feathers around her vent and I was not sure whether it was moulting. To my horror, I have discovered lice and eggs glued to the bottom to her tail feathers just below her vent.

    I have the necesary powder to cover her and her friends (what's the best way to do this by the way) but my question is what do you do with the eggs? They are stuck fast and will not move? Do you leave them, would a bath remove them with an appropriate lice shampoo? Not sure where to begin. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. We are having so much rain at the moment that getting the hens very wet worries me as it's not warm enough outside to dry them without the fear of them getting very cold.
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I have never tried removing them ~ I just dust their bottoms and under their wings at bedtime with poultry dust (permethrin-based powder), then re-dust in 5 days to one week, and a third time a week later. This should kill the succeeding generations, and the eggs should be gone.

    If you dust regularly like this, you will eliminate the egg problems on their vent feathers. Using food-grade DE in your coop dirt is also a good supplement to regular dusting. Some folks use only DE, but I find poultry dust to be good insurance against pests.

    Good luck!
     
  3. rachelb

    rachelb Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Thanks Jenski. I shall have to see whether I can find a similar powder here. I have done what you said but note that it's best to do it in the evening when the ladies are at their most docile - it's not the easiest thing to do otherwise and they are not too keen to have powder dusted round their bums - neither would I I suppose! I shall repeat the process as you said in about 5 days and see whether that works - hope so. Thanks.
     
  4. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    We have the DE and sooner or later plan to dust our "girls" (no lice), but also wonder what's the best way to actually do it.........DE is pretty light and blows around a lot. I think it's recommended to wear a mask. Think I should use a little plant duster? It's just a little plastic bottle with some tubing that shoots out a small cloud.
     
  5. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Quote:We dusted with DE last night and we used a mason jar with holes poked in the top. Poked like 6 holes int he top with a nail. It worked perfect. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  6. rachelb

    rachelb Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Oxfordshire, UK
    You'll have to explain what a mason jar is please? I am guessing it is a large glass jjam ar. How did you get to the vent area? One book I read says you should hold the chickens by their legs and lay them out on a table on their backs! I cannot imagine doing that as the stress to the poor animal would be immense!
     
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    If your hens are covered with egg masses that are imbedded in the feather shafts, I strongly recommend giving them a bath with a dog/puppy flea and tick shampoo. Scrub the area with the shampoo and water paying special attention to the bases of the feathers. This should kill all the eggs and when you rinse off, you will see a whole lot of brownish water. I dont believe the powders will kill the eggs but the shampoo I have found kills it all in one washing.

    As far as how to dust, there are many ways i'm sure. I have always held them upside down by their feet and dusted away. When you do this, they kinda go limp and motionless and will lift their wings for you which makes it so easy to dust.
     
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    rachelb, I use Prozap Garden & Poultry Dust ~
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manufacturer: Chem-Tech
    ACTIVE INGREDIENT: permethrin 0.25%

    USE: Home Garden Fruits, Vegetables And Ornamental Plants (including Roses)

    controls Northern Fowl Mites On Poultry

    EPA Reg. No. 47000-149
    EPA Est. No. 47000-IA-1

    Website: www.chemtechlimited.com
    Email: [email protected]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have a regular (for Americans, LOL!) plastic powder bottle I used to use for poultry dust, but now I just put on rubber gloves and shake a half-handful of poultry dust into my right hand, place my left hand on the hen's chest to keep her from bobbling off the perch, and carefully apply the dust deep into the feathers of the vent area. One more small sprinkle under each wing, and the hen is done ~ 10 seconds.

    I know many folks turn their chickens upside down and dust them all over, but I have read studies relating being turned upside down with a higher incidence of respiratory infection in chickens (even occurs in bed-ridden humans who are left lying down too long). I have no direct evidence either way, just the studies I have read, so this is just a personal preference.

    Good luck, and let us know if you need more info!
     
  9. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Thanks, Jenski, for the nice clear description of how to dust a chicken...now I can stop putting it off.

    Rachelb, just to answer your question, yes, a Mason jar (manufacturer's name) is a glass canning jar, either pint or quart size, with a screw-on ring and metal lid.
     
  10. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Quote:I had to laugh, sorry! This is exactly how I do it. [​IMG]
    I just slide my left hand under her chest and clamp her legs down between my fingers... place my right hand on her back to hold her wings, and flip her over gently, head facing toward me. Sprinkle the powder on her chest and abdomen near the vent, then, while still holding her feet, fluff it all into her feathers under her wings, in her tail, around the vent. It is all done very quickly, and usually they don't make too much of a fuss. [​IMG] Besides, they need to learn to be on their backs for when the time comes to take blood samples for pullorum testing (here, anyway). [​IMG] Good practice for them. It really doesn't distress them for long... just be gentle, but firm.
     

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