Our chickens have mites and maybe lice...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChristieC, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. ChristieC

    ChristieC New Egg

    Oct 28, 2015
    What is the best remedy...We have about 25 other chickens as well...We first saw them on the butts of the hens HELP
  2. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Elector PSP. It's the best. But it's expensive. It's highly concentrated, so it will save you money in the long run.

    I like it because it mixes into a liquid you can spray it on your chickens or you can dip them. You can use the same spray on the coop and get into all the cracks and crevices. The best thing is it's a biological pest control and is non-toxic and there is no egg withdrawal. Spinosad is the active ingredient, and it's used by many of the largest poultry egg laying operations.

    Permethrin dusting powder is the next best thing, and it's much cheaper, but messy, and it's hard on your respiratory system as well as the chickens. It works, though. You may need to repeat the treatment in a week or two. The Elector PSP lasts much longer.

    By the way, lice are probably what you are seeing on your chickens. Lice live on the dander and dead skin, but are harmless to the chickens. Mites are another story. While they don't live on the chickens, they do come out of the crevices at night and bite the chickens, making their lives utterly miserable.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Permethrin spray is very inexpensive, easy to use, and available everywhere. I wouldn't bother ordering the $$$$ spinosad, myself. Also, lice do harm the birds; they damage feathers, and drink blood from damaged young 'blood feathers' and need to be gone! One treatment with permethrin spray, at night when they are roosting, is so easy. Mary
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    I used to think lice were harmless, then one day I found a rooster that was looking very ill, so ill looking I thought he was going to die, so I brought him in and treated with nothing but permethrin spray and within two days he was back to normal.

    This is what parasitepedia says about lice:

    Main species of lice on domestic birds

    Cuclotogaster heterographa
    the head louse, is about 2.5 mm long and is found mainly on the head and the neck of birds. It prefers to stay close to the skin or at the base of the feathers. It does not suck blood, but feeds on skin and feather debris. It is more frequent on young birds and turkeys. Heavy infested birds may even die before maturity.

    Eomenacanthus stramineus (= Menacanthus stramineus), the chicken body louse is the most common species on domestic birds, and probably the most damaging one. It is rather large (2.5 to 3.5 mm long) and of a brownish color. It feeds mainly on feather debris, but is capable of sucking blood. It lives mostly on the skin of birds, seldom on the feathers, and prefers body parts with few feathers, e.g. around the vent, although in case of heavy infestations it may be found also on the head, under the wings and on the chest. The eggs are laid in clusters on the feathers or directly on the kin.
    Goniocotes gallinae, the fluff louse, is one of the smallest lice of poultry, only 0.8 to 1.5 mm long. It is found all over the birds' body, but less densely on the head and the wings, on the fluff or base of the feathers. It also feeds mainly on feather debris.
    Lipeurus caponis, the wing louse, is 2.0 to 2.5 mm long, and has a grayish color. It is found mainly in the inner part of wing, tail and head feathers. It only feeds on parts of the feathers, but so intensively, that is also called the depluming louse.
    Menopon gallinae, the shaft louse, is rather small (1.5 to 2.0 mm long). It feeds mainly on skin and feather debris, but may also suck blood from the wounds it produces. It prefers the chest, the shoulders and the back of birds. Eggs are whitish and are laid often in clusters at the base of the feathers.
    Columbicola columbae, the slender pigeon louse, is 2.0 to 2.8 mm long. It can be found all over the body, especially at the inner side of the wing feathers. It feeds on feather debris. Eggs are laid preferentially are the small feathers under the wings.

    Source: http://parasitipedia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2402&Itemid=2667
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    @ChristieC , welcome to BYC!

    These are lice:
    Figure 1. Chicken lice (not to scale) collected in survey of backyard poultry in California. (A) Chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus; (B) Menacanthus cornutus; (C) Shaft louse, Menopon gallinae; (D) Fluff louse, Goniocotes gallinae; (E) Wing louse, Lipeurus caponis; and (F) Chicken head louse, Cuclotogaster heterographus. Image by A. Murillo, UC Riverside


    Article on lice and mites:
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017

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