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Permethrin and illness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brothfeder, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, I have a bit of a scenario going on with my flock right now. The other day I noticed that I had a bit of a chicken lice infestation. Some of my hens had pulled many of their feathers and weren't looking too well. I dusted them down with Permethrin. Two days later I found my biggest/best Sumatra cockriel face down dead. I have no idea why he died. The next day I noticed another Sumatra sneezing as well as a few other pullets. I gave the entire flock 800 mg tetramycin. Today the sneezing Sumatra is sneezing a bit more often and seems to be a LITTLE juicy. The other pullets still have a sneeze as well. I refreshed their water with another dose of antibiotic.

    My question is, could I have caused this by applying the Permethrin? This all seems like too much of a coincidence...
     
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Permethrins are supposedly safe for chickens but who knows. Maybe its a coincidental illness that has nothing to do with it or they could have had a serious allergic reaction. I can't use any kind of pesticides because I have beehives. Give your chickens a box of sand mixed with food grade diatomaceous earth to dust bathe in. Its completely natural and it will safely control mites and lice. I'm sorry you lost a chicken and I hope the other get better fast.
     
  3. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems more likely that the mites weakened the chickens and caused them to get sick than the Permethrin, especially if you used a commercial product (probably only .05% Permethrin). But if Permethrin poisoning were to occur, it should cause nerve damage, not a flu-like infection. On the other hand, something else could have been in the powder that caused sneezing. I guess the my biggest question is: What type of powder was it exactly?
     
  4. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the input and condolences regarding my Sumatra rooster, he was going to be my up and coming stud. It would be a great relief knowing I didn't do more harm than good.

    The powder brand name is Prozap Garden and Poultry dust. Here's link to it on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Prozap-Garden-Poultry-Dust-Lb/dp/B001BM4JLM

    Directions say use 1lbs per 100 birds. I dusted almost 70 birds - many of them pullets/cockerels/chicks (4 weeks old). I'd say I used almost a pound of the stuff. Its hard to adhere to the 100 birds per lbs dose. However, I don't think I ODed them because there were no neurological signs. My Sumatra was strong and healthy until the poor fellow just keeled over.

    Can breathing in any of these powders, including DE cause infections in the lungs?
     
  5. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Breathing DE can cause worse than an infection, and breathing Permethrin is probably not good either. Breathing any dust is bad for health, but especially silica. If you have that many birds, the odds are it was a coincidence, IMO. Unless maybe you had it really, really dusty, in which case you put your own lungs at risk.

    You're surely more experienced with chickens than I, but I know it always sucks to lose one, and I know how it feels to blame yourself, and re-evaluate everything. I see it like this: 1) You had a known mite infestation, which is a often a precursor to more serious illness, 2) You treated the mites, and in handling the birds noticed that one was sick, and it likely died from a secondary infection, and 3) You may have saved several other birds from getting a secondary infection. With 70 birds, most of which we can assume had mites if one or more did, the odds of finding at least one sick one were high, right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  6. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard mixed opinions on DE. Some say bad some say good. I mix it in sand and have never had a problem.
     
  7. brothfeder

    brothfeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Toddrick - Your right, that makes me feel a little better. You can't save them all and when one dies unexpectedly its hard not to blame yourself. While I doubt I killed the Sumatra, I probably will never know what did. I'm supposed to redust in a week - when the next round of lice eggs hatch. I think I might use DE this time. I've read that as long as you use food grade DE, It won't harm them.

    I'll also include the sand/DE baths too like some of y'all suggested. I think the birds will like that!

    Seems like the general conscientious is that I'm not harming my birds. In case anyone was wondering, the sneezing birds have improved, I think I'll give them one more day or so of meds - I expect the flock will recover fine. Also, while I haven't confirmed this yet, an old timer told me blending up some garlic and mixing it into their food acts as a natural lice repellant.

    Thanks again for all the input.
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    The dusts likely have nothing to do with death unless they were dusted on their heads and exposed to a dusty, confined area for awhile. I don't like dusts and have preferred sprays for some time. It is important to clean out the coops by removing all litter, and using an emulsified concentrate that will penetrate all cracks and crevices where mites can find refuge. It is a good idea to inspect birds regularly (every week or two) if mites have been a problem. Treat roosts by spraying/painting all sides once a month with an emulsified concentrate. Ravap EC, Permectrin II, and Atroban are a few which can be used on birds as well as premises.
     
  9. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good info Michael. I was going to mention spraying the coop, and how Permethrin isn't really the best choice for the premises since it doesn't have any residual. I use Bifenthrin (Bifen XTS to be specific) for the coop (and my house/yard). It has a month long residual effect outdoors, is safe after drying, and I believe approved for coops specifically (at least in the US). I wouldn't spray it on the roosting bars or bedding, but like Michael said, get rid of the old bedding, and then you can spray the wood surfaces and floor thoroughly before replacing it. I believe Bifenthrin is often used to treat wood, and lasts much longer on wood than one month, maybe even a year if I recall correctly. [Note: I don't think Bifenthrin is allowed in California, because of the greenies, but most other states it is. I doubt you will need to spray the premises once a month if you can use Bifenthrin.]

    As a pond owner I get lots of Mosquitos, which is why I am so keen on these products, and had to do a lot of research and testing this year. As a relatively new chicken owner, I'm curious to hear other's experiences with these products.

    PS - Wear a mask and rubber gloves with this stuff at all times, it's rated safe when it dries to touch treated areas, but not before then. This is professional exterminator product.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Those I mentioned have 28-30 day residuals. That is due to them being emulsified. When the premises need treatment, I wouldn't recommend an insecticide that cannot be used safely. Of course, it is important to always follow label instructions, and like you said, use the appropriate face and skin protection (vapor mask/respirator and gloves). I always allow time for product to penetrate and dry before adding shavings and allowing birds back in the coops.
     

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