mites and lice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by countrychick101, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. countrychick101

    countrychick101 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    just wanted to ask some one if they knew when or if I should check my chickens for mites or
    mites, people tell me I should use something I just got my girls in August they don't seem
    to have any problems yet. Whats your opinion? thanks
  2. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    My opinion is if you've got chickens, you've got mites (or lice...or both). I think it's best to be proactive on this one. You don't always know you have them 'till you have a problem. Parasites can kill a bird.

    I find it's better to keep ahead of it. There's a million different opinions out there as to what works best. I prefer not to use chemicals, but I've found that using Sevin dust works pretty well. I do a good dusting of the ground in the coops everytime I change bedding or put a new layer down. I also dust the surfaces (roosts) of the coops, and even the birds themselves, several times a year. Like I said, I don't like the chemicals, but I also want my birds to be free of bugs! So in this case, I pick my battles and use the Sevin. I've heard of a few other effective methods, I'm sure others who use different stuff will chime in here.
  3. countrychick101

    countrychick101 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    thanks! i'll get on it! i'm still learning but want the best for my 10 golden buff!
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Checking for mites.

    To determine the presents of body lice or mites, pick one or two birds off the roost at night. With a good flashlight, examine the area under the tail and around the vent. If mites are present, you should be able to see them scampering for cover.

    Treat with Sevin Dust, Adams dog dip or spray, Ivomec wormers (pour on or injectable-Caution: You can`t eat the eggs for a month after treating with Ivomec. Ivomec is also affective for most internal parasites)

    Leg Mites;

    Leg mites dig under the scales on a birds legs. They cause the scales to lift creating a rough appearance. They inahabit cracks and openings in roosts and surrounding areas.

    Treat leg mites by rubbing any kind of oil on the legs. The idea is to drown them. Repeat as needed. Should be back to normal in a month.
  5. klgibbs

    klgibbs New Egg

    Nov 2, 2008

    I just discovered mites..
    So if I use sevin, do I
    stop eating their eggs for awhile?

  6. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do not stop eating my eggs when I use Sevin.
  7. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    Sevin works but it is a mess and I'm afraid of them breathing in the dust. I have had success with Sevin but I just bought some poultry protector spray it is non toxic all it says. It is made my carefree enzymes, inc. I had used this earlier on some hens and used it before the problem and I find it wonderful. I bought it at the farm supply store.
  8. Kimiko

    Kimiko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    I use Sevin dust--put a good layer in a plastic trash bag. Put the chicken in the bag and gather it up around the chicken's neck. Either cradle the chicken from upside-down to right-side up several times to distribute dust on the bird (Do NOT hang the chicken by the neck) or have a second person pop the bag from the bottom to distribute dust around the bird. With a little practice it's quick, easy and pretty mess free.

    I also leave some in a cat litter box so they can take dust baths in it.
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Don't forget that Sevin is a strong pesticide chemical. Many others on here use diatomaceous earth (DE) instead of Sevin. Do a search for "DE AND mites". There IS a waiting period for eating eggs if you use Sevin.

    I would not use Sevin as a preventative. Just check your birds every month or so. Some chickens NEVER get lice or mites, without any treatments.

    Personally, I am using some alternative methods since I have gotten one hen with lice (ughh). It is a series of treatments using Dawn dishdetergent, heavy salt water, and Neem oil. I will keep the forum posted on my results soon.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    OK, I said I would post the results of my "alternative, organic" method to get rid of lice. Here's the method I used (in detail).

    This afternoon I dissolved 2 cups of salt in 1.5 gallons of very warm water in a large tub and then soaked my hen for 5-7 minutes in it (keeping her head out!). Lots of dead lice floated to the top!

    After that, I put about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid in 3 gallons of warm water in a second tub and soaked the hen in that for about 5-7 minutes, making sure that it got everywhere, including her neck. Actually I dunked her body in and out a couple of times (with her head out!) to make sure the soapy stuff was getting through all her feathers. More dead lice in the soapy water.

    Then I rinsed her in 2 gallons of warm water, twice, to make sure all the soap was out.

    I wrapped her up in one towel for a few seconds. Then a second towel. She had started shivering (I did it outside), so I immediately brought her into my sunroom and used a blowdryer to gently dry her feathers. That took about 45 minutes which was the longest part. I had read that hens are unable to regulate their body temp with wet feathers, even if they're in 80 degrees, so I was concerned to make sure she was completely dry, and it did take time.

    It looks like bathing her killed/removed 100% of the live lice from her body. However, there are still many eggs attached at the base of many of her feathers (she had a lot of lice). So I will do this bathing process again in a week or two, presumably they will all hatch by then.

    She didn't love the bath, but she didn't hate it either. I think she was pleased once she was all blow-dried and warm again. Of course when my friend called in the middle of it and asked what I was doing, I had to say "nothing" so as to avoid having to tell her I was blowdrying a chicken in my sunroom who I had just bathed!

    Honestly, I think just the soap would have worked. I just didn't want to have to do again so I used the saltwater too. I had read that applying vinegar will help dissolve the "glue" that holds the eggs onto the feathers, but I didn't want to try that on top of the other soakings and I think you still have to manually brush the eggs out.

    And, I have a very purty-smelling hen! She is in a small pen in my sunroom where I am feeding her extra foods so she regains her strength -- she had become weak from the lice.

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