In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 9, 2013
Last night I noticed my Silver Spangled Hamburg's feathers didn't look as pretty as they normally do. After some searching I found a nice little colony of... lice (((Shudders))) After doing a lot of research on Byc I decided on two methods.

First I did get the Sevin Dust, yes I know it can be toxic but I did NOT want the lice spreading to my babies! I could not however bring myself to stick a chicken in a bag and "shake n bake." So I opted to use a foundation brush (You know ladies the kind you use for make up... Target sells them for $1). I put a little sevin dust in a bowl and went for my chickens. My girls are all pretty docile so this wasn't hard. I simply lifted up their feathers, wings, tail's etc dabbed the brush with powder and applied. I did this at approximately 4pm and when I came back out at 7 pm and checked them I only found dead bugs! So happy!

The second thing that I did was locate a big container of Food Grade Diatamaceous Earth! Since my babies do not have lice... thank goodness! I sprinkled a little bit where I knew they would dust bathe themselves. I then sprinkled some in the bedding area of the adults and also where they like to bathe themselves.

Finally the third thing that I did as just a precaution, I bought electrolytes and probiotics to add to their water.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted on this website about your experiences. It truly helped me today! I was so upset about my little Rosie girl last night I didn't sleep well! lol I am not crazy I just love my babies<3 But seriously because of your knowledge I was able to treat my girls effectively, and they are already happier!

THANK YOU X 1,000,000,000
Make sure to retreat or they will be back from hatching eggs on the chickens.

For lice, I have read (but only have experience with mites) that it is best to retreat one week later so they lay fewer eggs, and then again another week later (very important to treat 2 weeks after initial treatment).

If you only want to do 2 treatments, do them 2 weeks apart.
Lice live mainly on the chickens. It is always a good idea to spray your coop too, as the red mite could be living there and you not know it. It only comes out at night. I use permethrin spray and poultry protector for the coop to ward off mites.

For the nits (the egg casings), after all the bugs are dead and gone later on, you can use unrefined coconut oil on the egg sacs to dissolve them, I have read. It takes a few days for it to work, apparently. Others cut the feathers off.
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Thank you! I will be retreating them in seven days, that is for sure! I did read about the virgin coconut oil and that is the next thing on my list! I would much rather ward off with natural remedies, than to have to deal with chemicals. However, this time I thought it was necessary. Thank you for your help!
I have been thoroughly dusting my babies for 3 weeks, once every 7 days, since I brought home a lice ridden frizzle from an auction. That dust is really really awful, I dusted 18 birds last night and had the worst migraine you could imagine afterwards. Really should have used a mask, huh?

I love when you said "I'm not crazy, I just love my babies" because that's the explanation I'm giving to my boss when I have to take a chicken to the vet :)
Well it is like this, if you decide you want chickens they are then your responsibility! They have been truly a joy to have and I want to make sure they stay healthy.

I agree about the dust, but thankfully with the brush I used there was minimal dust clouds! No shaking no dust! lol Best 1 dollar make up brush I have ever had! lol
Are the lice contagious to humans? Ick!
can you ward them off by routinely spreading DE?
Are the lice contagious to humans? Ick!
can you ward them off by routinely spreading DE?

Poultry lice will not breed on humans. They die a few days after leaving poultry or birds. They are feather eating bugs. Some sources report that they do eat some poultry blood as well.

The two most common types of mites for poultry also die after leaving poultry, at 3 weeks and 9 months (Northern Fowl Mite and red mite, respectively).

Mites will bite humans but cannot breed on our blood. So with either lice or mites they can make you itchy and uncomfortable, and you can even get bitten by the mites, but they eventually die.

When you read horror stories on internet about thousands of red mites coming into a home from a bird's nest an(d they have to call an exterminator, that is not the usual thing for someone who has chickens. Chicken owners, if they will simply dust the chickens (including under the wings and the vent area, everywhere except the face) and spray the coops (or dust the coops), then repeat every 7 days (x1 for mites, and x2 for lice), the bugs are gone. I treat with permethrin. Alternatively, you can treat two weeks apart for lice but they will lay more eggs that way than if you do the second application at the 7 day mark.

DE is only a preventative at best, I have discovered through personal experience with mites. I spread DE all over the place and still I had mites all over the coop.

Human lice are a different story! They will stay on humans. But poultry lice are species-specific.

I have no experience with lice, only mites. But I have read lots of .edu sites!

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