Polish hen and lice

WindyLookout

Songster
Oct 1, 2019
61
202
122
Ontario, Canada
I have this polish hen. Love her but she has one problem after the next since I got her. Her latest problem is that she can't seem to deal with pests and doesn't bathe ... not that I see. I rubbed her with dismaceous earth routinely to get rid of them but recently I had to take more agressive measure and do several bath cycles. I was able to buy a spray from the feed store but I can't put it directly on her. My other hens are fine. Just her I have issues with. Is there anyway I can encourage her to sand bathe or other way to kill the lice eggs. The critter come of good bathing but those eggs are just caked into the base of her feathers. Note she is quarantined from the other hens. Thanks
 

Lady_Bat

Songster
Apr 19, 2018
62
117
176
Virginia Mountains
We rescued a Polish Roo with a crossed beak & he had the worst lice infestation I'd ever seen. He had no idea how to dust bathe & even after we trimmed his beak, he just didn't understand grooming.
We gave him a shower with ArtNaturals Essential Bath & Body Wash ($12 from Amazon). It has tea tree oil & I know some people claim that will immediately kill a chicken so I hope those people don't jump on me right now. I'm just telling you that we were desperate to save him (he was severely underweight & clearly anemic) & this is what we did.

We put paper towels down in the shower, put him in, soaked him (watched some live lice fall off), lathered him up (watched maybe 100 lice fall off), waited 5 minutes, rinsed him off (watched MILLIONS of now dead lice go down the drain), then left him to dry in the shower & changed the paper towels every 5-10 minutes. The next day he was a new chicken, eating, drinking, crowing. After 5 days we showered him again but no lice fell off. We did it a third time another 5 days later just to be sure. He's now a fat, healthy, happy roo.

The picture is the 8th round of paper towels we put down to catch the lice.
 

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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,971
832
California's Redwood Coast
Ivermectin pour on for cattle will kill lice as well as much but not all other stuff. It's not labeled for use in chickens and requires an egg withdrawal period but very effective.

Seems like just last week someone in Canada was having pest issues and said permthrin was not available there... other wise, the permethrin based spray (also available online under many brand names and concentrations) is very effective and easy to use in addition to being super affordable. The one I use is a Horse fly spray.

At Wally, they also have something called Poultry Protector, that is supposed to be an enzyme. I have seen some good reviews for it and very affordable though personal experience.

When I need to use the spray on heads or close to eyes, I soak a cotton ball for more precise application... if that's the reason you can't spray her and not due to some sort of allergic reaction.

:fl
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,250
15,744
956
Glen St Mary, Florida
Ivermectin pour on for cattle will kill lice as well as much but not all other stuff. It's not labeled for use in chickens and requires an egg withdrawal period but very effective.

Seems like just last week someone in Canada was having pest issues and said permthrin was not available there... other wise, the permethrin based spray (also available online under many brand names and concentrations) is very effective and easy to use in addition to being super affordable. The one I use is a Horse fly spray.

At Wally, they also have something called Poultry Protector, that is supposed to be an enzyme. I have seen some good reviews for it and very affordable though personal experience.

When I need to use the spray on heads or close to eyes, I soak a cotton ball for more precise application... if that's the reason you can't spray her and not due to some sort of allergic reaction.

:fl
I'd only use Ivermectin as a last resort since there's a long withdrawal period. Not only that, there are certain poultry mites that are now resistant to Ivermectin. I think lice require higher dosing, since they dont suck blood like mites. They'd have to get the Ivermectin through consuming skin, feather shafts, feathers and whatever else they eat.
 

WindyLookout

Songster
Oct 1, 2019
61
202
122
Ontario, Canada
Thanks for all the great advice. I'll try the coconut oil. I asked for help at the m n r feed store and I only was able to get a spay you put in the coop, nothing to put on my hen. I need to give her another wash. What I had used was the dog shampoo for flea and tick. I was told it was OK to use but of course couldn't use that on her head.
 

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