Natural cure for lice? Is it lice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nyna, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Nyna

    Nyna Songster

    Jul 3, 2007
    Western Montana
    Help! I just noticed two of my chickens have feathers that are broken/missing on their lower back. I just got back from the feed store and I purchased some DE and some Pick-No-More lotion that is made out of aloe, tea tree and coal tar. I haven't seen them picking at each other, but it was inexpensive and natural so I thought it couldn't hurt. The lady there said that it could be lice and the DE won't kill lice, and suggested some nasty chemical powder that I didn't get. I feel so bad because I thought they were so healthy and happy! Is there a natural way to treat lice if that is the case? What else could chewed up feathers on their lower back be from?
  2. broncbuster07

    broncbuster07 Songster

    Jun 25, 2007
    Waxahachie, TX
    It's not lice. Lice are on mammals. Birds and reptiles get mites. You can get some orange oil and mix 2 tblsps with a quart of water and spray or wipe the solution on your birds. Add 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 teaspoon molasses for more power.
    Use the DE you have generously. Dust the coop, the nest boxes, the roosts and especially anywhere that the birds dust themselves. Heck, you can even dust the birds yourself if necessary.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    DE will kill lice-I know from experience when I had a rooster I bought in quarantine.
    It could be the beginning of the molt. I have several girls with broken feathers on their backs and fronts of their necks and one looks really awful. No lice or mites here, just a rooster and the time for the molt.
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    also you should let them roll around in the dirt for a while help them dig a hole and have them take a dust bath
  5. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007

    Bird do in fact get lice, so its not limited to just mammals.

    Nyna, If your talking about the lower back just above the tail, it could be just from roosters mating them (if you have roosters of course). Otherwise, the DE will kill bugs, lice and mites, just keep dusting them periodically because when lice or mite eggs hatch, you will probably have to redust.

    If they are molting, increase their protein levels as well by giving them like some dry cat food. It will help them grow new feathers back faster as feathers are mostly protein.
  6. Nyna

    Nyna Songster

    Jul 3, 2007
    Western Montana
    Okay, I don't have a rooster so we don't have to worry about that one. But I will defiantly use this DE. And I will look for some orange oil. They have a great dirt area. It's a flower bed with no flowers of course. So I will use DE in that too. I was watching one hen and she was really itchy it seemed. Kinda like scratching under her wings and back and stuff. So I'm betting on bugs. I keep the coup so clean though! I will keep an eye on them. Hopefully it will get better. Thank you so much, you are all so helpful.[​IMG]
  7. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    When my chickens had lice, the vet recomended Bio Spot for cats. He also told me not to eat the eggs, while my birds were on the bio spot, because it is not known how it affects the eggs. I have also used De Flea spray (, it kills the adult lice very successfully and is safe enough for kittens.
    If your chickens have lice, you will see nits at the base of their feathers. Lice are visible to the naked eye, they are kind golden colored and hide from the light. The first time I encountered the nits, I thought my hen had poop stuck to her feathers. Too bad it wasn't.
    If your chickens have mites, there feathers start looking ratty. Mites are very hard to see. But they are easier to get rid off than lice in my experience. I sprayed the perches, boxes and chickens with De Flea spray. I used DE all over everything else. Only one chicken required more intense treatment.
    But I bet your chickens probably are just starting their molt.
  8. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    DE works
    Orange oil works
    Tea Tree oil works especially well on scale mites

    I use DE in bedding, nest boxes, favorite dusting areas...anywhere the chickens hang out.

    Is use orange oil on the walls of the coop and on the perches.

    Before I discovered orange oil I did get some scale mites on my chicken's legs....I was told about tea tree oil and got some. Put it on their legs ONCE and it all went away!

    I do know that every chicken I've seen with feather mites...have aweful looking feathers....they look old, worn out, and break very easily.

    The lady there said that it could be lice and the DE won't kill lice, and suggested some nasty chemical powder that I didn't get

    Bad lady...just wanted to sell you some expensive glad you didn't listen to her.

    Don't feel bad-- we all learn. I'm much more vigilent about paying attention to things like feather mites or scale mites....but only since I had experience with them!
    We live - We learn

    Good Luck

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