Please Help: Chicken Lice & how to treat


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I just discovered that my newest addition(which isn't that new anymore), a BLRW Roo, is HEAVILY infested with lice. at first I only saw a few egg clusters and plucked the feathers but then found that his entire backside is COVERED with egg clusters. I wanted to cry when i found it all. I did pull some big patches off but i don't want to put him through anymore even though he was doing really good.

I need to know how to treat this. Someones on their way home with lice dust for all the birds but how do I treat the coop? I read online that they can't live off the host bird for long at all, is it true? I have a spare coop they can go into for the treatment period but i want their coop clean for them to move back into.

What do I do?
I have ducks too but it shouldnt affect them really, with all the time they spend in the creek...right? I will probably still dust them all though too.

Also, is it a good idea to worm them all too after this? I am worried about it causing other problems.

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
Mountains of Western N.C.
I like to use Epernix pour-on for treating my chickens and ducks for lice/mites.. it will also kill internal parasites.. I haven't had to treat for lice just mites but I know epernix will work for both.. and i have seen people will use olive oil to spread on the feathers to get rid of the eggs.. also warm coconut oil. as for the coop, I like to use sevin spray you mix it with water and then spray entire coop top to bottom, if the weather won't let you do that then just remove all the old bedding and dust every nook and cranny roosts nest boxes then just put enough bedding for the week cause you'll have to do it again in 7 days to kill the lice that hatch. when using sevin spray remove old bedding also. if you can open all doors and windows so it will dry the birds will be able to use the coop in the evening.. Now instead of waiting for an outbreak I do a preventive treatment. good luck. p.s. My ducks and goose swim everyday now but I still went ahead and treated them too since they share a house even if it is separated by a wall.


Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
"The lice found on poultry do not suck blood as the lice found in other species of animals; rather they feed on dry skin scales, feathers, and scabs. However, they will ingest blood extruding from irritated skin. The entire life cycle of the lice occurs on the host bird, primarily in the feathers."

The above quote is from this website:

Therefore, a pour on medication that poisons biting and sucking lice will not probably work for lice that just eat the feathers. I have no experience with lice, but I do like the pour on medications for mites.

This knowledge that I have mentioned is not my own- just repeating what I have read...take it with a grain of salt if you want!


Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida
Lice will ingest blood extruding from irritated skin... (taken from the ohioline link.) However, this is the exception rather than the rule. I recommend sevin dust to kill the lice. Repeat dusting in 10 days to kill the ones that hatched from the clusters, repeat again in another 10 days if necessary. You should also dust everything inside the coop and repeat again in 10 days, just like your chickens.


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I seperated the Roo for now, I got some "Poultry and Garden Dust", the feed store didn't have Sevin Dust. I think the ingredients are the same though.

The really weird thing is that I checked 2 of the other 13 birds and there was not even 1 bug on them? That can't be normal, right? I am still dusting them all but thought it was weird.


10 Years
May 25, 2009
It's possible, but if he's been with them for a while the others probably have a few and just not enough that you saw them. Even if they don't have any, it won't hurt to dust them. I've used the poultry dust and it's worked - providing treatement is repeated to get the nits. I can't get Sevin here - so it's that or Adams flea and tick spray - and you don't want to be spraying your birds with liquid and getting them wet if its cold out. You will need to dust the coop. I found that if I use one of those knitted gloves - you know - the stretchy "once size fits all" things - and pour some on the glove, I can rub it onto the wood surfaces to get into cracks and etc. I rub down the wood of the nest boxes and the floor, the walls and if you have a roost, the roosting poles too. Then I fill with bedding. I do this every time I change the bedding. Lice generally live their whole life on the bird though - so the only ones that will be in the coop will be those looking for a new host because the one they were on either died or shook/scratched them loose, etc. Mites, IMO - are a real PITA - Lice are easy. Mites live off and on the host and I would suggest IVOMEC for mites but not for lice. Just my opinion though. It's whatever works best for you and your birds.

Try to remember to wear a mask if you can when applying the dust - it is a pesticide and you don't really want to be breathing it if you don't have to.

To apply the dust to the birds - some use a cut off piece of pantyhose and fill it with the dust and use it like a powder puff - I have a trial size baby powder bottle that I filled and I sprinkle it on them that way. (I made sure I wrote on the bottle though so no one thinks it's baby powder!) Be sure to ruffle their feathers sothe powder gets down to their skin. I generally "pet them backwards" while sprinkling, then give the a good "ruffle" to help remove excess and get it spread around. It's easy and fairly quick.

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