Need help with what I think are lice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dmdhart, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Millwood, VA
    I discovered that one of my chickens has a pretty bad infestation of what I think are lice or mites. They are yellowish little bugs. He has lost some of his feathers and his skin is bright red. What do I put on him and the rest of the chickens. A problem that I have is that most of my chickens are free range. They roost in a very tall tree at night (despite the fact that I have two very nice houses for them) so catching them at night is impossible. Is there something that I can feed them that will kill these horrible bugs? Can I put something in the dirt where they take dust baths? If I get guinees (sp) will they eat the things? I need some help! They make me itch just knowing they're there!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I believe I'd put 5% Sevin dust in their dust bathing spots. Pyrethrin dust is gentler for dusting the birds themselves, but it is broken down by sunlight so would not be good for long in a dust bath. The other med that works is ivermectin, but again, you would have to catch the birds.
     
  3. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2009
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    Would you put the ivermectin on them or give to them to injest? If giving it to them, couldn't I mix it in some canned dog food for them?
     
  4. Nif

    Nif Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    They are lice...poultry lice are light brown and fast moving. Sevin dust is pretty detrimental to the environment, go with the pyrethrin.
    Letting your chickens roost in the trees at night is pretty risky, raccoons or owls could grab them no problem. When you notice your birds getting ready to fly up to roost, or maybe like 1/2 hour before you know they put themselves to bed, coax them into your coop or pen or whatever you have for them with some tasty treats and then lock them in. Do this for about a week and then they should automatically go there to go to sleep. Sometimes they just need to be trained and conditioned to go to a coop. What breed are they?
    If you can train them into the coop in the evening that is the best time to treat for external parasites as they are much mellower in the eve than in the morning.
    Hope this is helpful to you.
     
  5. dmdhart

    dmdhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2009
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    I will try that - thank you. They were sleeping in the shed, and raccoons got in and ravaged my flock. Since then they've taken to sleeping outside, and I haven't lost one! I have caught 3 possums and 2 coons though. Not sure if catching them or the chickens sleeping in the tree is what solved the problem.
    I have assorted chickens, some wyndottes, banties, buff orphingtons, a dominecker, 2 cuckoo marans, one hamburg, a partridge rock, and a few others. One is i don't know what she is. She's white with a few black splotches, with very long black legs and a black beak! You tell me. She's turning into a large lanky chicken, but not heavy like my buffs.
     

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