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New chick- Lice?! Oh great.....HELP!(lengthy)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 77horses, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    We just got an adorable black Amauracana pullet chick from melilem. [​IMG] She's just the sweetest thing! She's gentle and she gets along really well with the younger buff cochin pullet, Pumpkin. We named her Raven, since she looks so much like a raven bird. [​IMG] She's doing really well except.....
    she has lice. melilem told us about it before we got her, and she said that she had already put this powder on Raven, and that it should kill a lot of the lice. She said that we could just give her a bath after letting it stay on her for a little while and it would clean it off. So, that night, we bathed her in warm water and then blow dried her, and she seemed really tired after that, but after she was completely dry and in the brooder box again, she became normal and began foraging for food and eating with her new friend Pumpkin. Well, today, I was holding Pumpkin, when I noticed something strange on her neck.... it looked like little white pieces of sand or something, and when I looked closer, I noticed that these little pieces were attached on her little baby fluff feathers all around her neck and head. Then I saw a little tiny tiny bug thing crwaling on her!!!! [​IMG] That's when we guessed that the little things were lice larvae in her feathers! [​IMG] We looked around on Raven, and she too had little white larvae on her head! [​IMG] So, my dad called up the local feed store, and asked if they had any lice powder stuff. They were all out until next week or so! [​IMG] So we searched through the phone book, trying to find the number to the other feed store near us. They were all out too! So, we had ne last option. We didn't want to risk getting lice all through the house and on us(although I suspect that that has already began since the chicks were in the house for a while [​IMG]) so, we decided to put the brooder box outside in our motor home thing that we rarely use. It usually always stayed warm in there, and they would be nice and safe and warm with the lamp running and the windows, doors, etc. were closed. we ran a cord out, plugged it in to the lamp, and now tonight the two chicks are out there with the light running, food and water, and plenty of air and warmth. It's almost impossible for any predator to get them in there. But that's where they will stay until we can get some powder stuff for them. [​IMG]

    Has anyone else had some experiences with lice before???? Any ideas on what we can do about it while waiting for the powder stuff to be back in stock at the feed store???? we called the lady who sold the chicks to us and asked about the lice, and she says that after giving them a bath, it should drown most of them pretty easily... true? We have never had this happen before with the rest of the flock so I'm really worried...... [​IMG]

    Thanks! [​IMG]

  2. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    Lice are really hard to get rid of. How old is she? I have had really good luck with Eprinex pour on. It is very expensive and you have to buy quite a bit, but one dose and redose in 2 weeks seems to do the trick. Yes, you have to clean EVERYTHING or they just get reinfected. You can also try continuing the powder but lice have a short incubation period so you will have to treat every 3-4 days with the powder.
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    The good news for you & your family is the lice are finicky critters. Chicken lice only infect chickens, human live only infect humans, etc. You won't get lice from your chickens but you can spread lice from one chicken to another.

    This is a great remidner about biosecurty and the necessity for a 30-day quarantine of any new animal being added to your flock.
  4. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    The things that you see on their necks are "nits" or lice eggs. They hatch very quickly, and soon turn into egg-laying adults. Do you have a livestock raiser near you who has some Ivomec? If so, you can get a syringe that measures doses in 1/10 CC. These are the type that are used by diabetics, and don't cost much. Get about 1/10 CC of Ivomec from the farmer, and drop just one tiny drop on each bird's neck, where the neck and back join. Be sure to get the drop down to the skin, where it will be absorbed into the bird's system. This can be repeated in about a week, and your birds will be lice free. Be sure to completely disinfect their feeders, waterers, and anything else that may harbor a stray louse or two. Change their bedding, and if they are in a box, change that too.

    Many birds, especially wild birds are infested, and if you allow contact with sparrows, swallows, blackbirds, or other wild birds, you will continue to have sporadic infestations. Good luck!
  5. Melilem

    Melilem Songster

    Jun 14, 2008
    Im sorry about my lousy birds, 77horses. I cant keep those freeloading wild birds out of their feeder. I also recommend ivomec.

    I use Ivomec on my adults, it's great, it kills all sorts of lice and some types of worms too (esp those gross long white ones). It is a very easy way to eliminate bird lice. Here is some information on ivermectin dosage from pekinbantams.com:


    The chick I gave you is too young now (3 months). But for future reference, you can get IVOMEC EPRINEX at Jeffers Livestock Supplies, it's $35. I always have some extra on hand too. The bottle is enough for like 500 chickens... [​IMG]

    Some other temporary fixes for the chicks~Ive heard people recommend frontline for dogs? Or flea dog shampoo? Ive never tried that...might want to get a second opinion on that one. I use baby shampoo on my chickens and drown those little mites. You have to wash and rinse a few times though, and make sure you dunk their little heads. Oh, they hate that.
  6. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    How old do the chickens need to be for ivermectin to be used? Jean
  7. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    I am pretty sure that ivermectin does not kill chicken lice......

    The bug has to take a blood meal for that to work. You need something that has permetherins in it. I would go get some dusting powder for now and buy something from First State Veterinary Supply for lice.

    The Frontline is expensive, but you only use a drop or two.

  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
  9. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Thanks everyone! I will be sure to use this advise. [​IMG]
    Phew! That's good news that they can't infect humans! [​IMG] I was worried about that..... [​IMG]
    It's OK, melilem. [​IMG] A lot of birds get lice.
    Oh ya and Raven(the black amauracana chick) is about 4-6 weeks or more??? I will have to ask melilem about that....
    But Pumpkin(the buff cochin chick) is about 2-3 weeks old.
    None of the rest of the flock seem to have lice. They are all clean and tidy. It's just these two chicks. But luckily, they haven't been in really close contact with the rest of the flock, so that's good.
    The chicks are now out of the house still. They are in the warm brooder box in the old motor home still. We didn't want to risk getting our pet parakeets infected with lice, too. And we thought that it would affect us too. [​IMG] But I will tell my dad about all these ideas and we will test them while we are waiting for the powder to be back in stock.
    Thanks again! [​IMG]
  10. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    i've used pyrethrin dip on all of my buggy birds...i've never used it that young though so i'm not sure the age minimum. [​IMG]
    This is the exact one but i'm sure you could find one that is similar in your walmart or petco...
    http://www.1800petmeds.com/Bio+Spot+Pyrethrin+Dip-prod10933.html dip

    i just submerge their body in the bucket of mixed stuff and warm water...squish it into their feathers, maybe put some down the back of their neck away from face with a cup, then let them walk around in the tub with the doors closed to shake out for 5 mins, then blow them dry...i've picked up some seriously nasty craigslist birds and treated them with this and they've been fine.

    Most importantly throw away all bedding and cardboard box...porous stuff, and spray down anything you can't throw out with the same solution.

    good luck [​IMG]

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