My new chickens have lice!! Eek!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChantelleLyn, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. ChantelleLyn

    ChantelleLyn New Egg

    Dec 1, 2012
    We brought our first flock home the other day, although I had read a book on chickens before we got them, we didn't really know what we were doing. We just went to the agricultural shop and asked for 4 chickens. Anyway, we noticed yesterday that they had small bugs on them- we googled it and found out they were lice so I bathed the chickens and powdered them with Pestene powder and added it to the coop and bedding as well.

    I had noticed when we got them home that 3 out of the 4 chickens had pale combs but as I haven't been around chickens before, I didn't know what was considered a problem and what isn't. I'm assuming that they are anemic from the lice.

    Yesterday I also fed them some scrambled eggs and today I am thinking of cooking them up some mince. Unfortunately, they don't like the spinach (or any greens) which we offered them. They also get chick feed and layer feed. Also, the bread that we eat is iron fortified so I was wondering if I soak this in some water and feed it to them would that help the anemia as well? The other thing is, I have some pentivite with iron (a baby supplement). If I were to add a few drops of this to their food, would that help or would I be more likely to overdose them on the iron?

    I was reading that wood ash is good too and as my husband does blacksmithing as a hobby, I've asked him to put his ash in the bottom of the coop. Is this the right thing to do?

    What else should I be doing?
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Treat them every week with the dust until the bugs are gone to get the hatching eggs.

    Scrambled eggs are tops. I would stay away from bread- that is kind of like junk food unless it is completely whole wheat.

    I use wood ash myself, since it is high in calcium and the chickens love to eat it, bathe in it, and eat the charcoal. But it is a fire hazard to put that in your coop. Even one month later a bucket of ashes can have a live spark.

    I have a hole dug outside lined with concrete blocks where I dump my cooled ashes, so it won't catch the grass or coop on fire. Also I have a metal fire pit (small) that I dump ashes in and the rain puts it out (it is covered with a screen)- then I dump it around the fruit trees and the chickens eat it there, too.

    Wood ashes are good for preventing bugs for sure. But I have a repeated problem with mites (yes I haven't dealt with lice, only mites) because of our songbirds and thus treat every few months with permethrin.

    In fact just yesterday I was bitten by a mite and thus this morning, out I went to dust everyone. This will kill the bugs and I will retreat in 7 days. It has been so rainy that they haven't been able to bathe in the ashes properly on a regular basis.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by