Spraying Permethrin on hen in winter. Will being wet make her sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Carolyn252, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    New hen; just got her two days ago. I have her in temporary, preventative, quarantine as a precaution before adding her to my two-hen flock. She spends one or two minutes preening all over her body. Not sure if it's a routine preening, or if she has mites or lice itching her. I bought some spray from the local Parrots of The World pet store: UltraCare Mite & Lice Bird Spray For All Birds. Active ingredients are: Permethrin 0.03% and Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical 0.30% The directions say to spray it on the bird from a distance of 12 to 18 inches. Says it's for caged pet birds; doesn't say anything about using it on chickens.

    I haven't ever used it at all, but am thinking it might be a good idea for this new hen that's been preening two or three times a day. Just in case it's got some itchy parasite bugs. But my question is: it's about 27 degrees in the garage where I have her in quarantine in a nice big dog fence pen, with lots of wood shavings on the floor. If I wet her with the spray, will having wet skin make her sick in this cold weather?

    I don't want to put a hair dryer on her because I think the noise and the stress of being held will be so very unpleasant for her. What do you all think? (I know I should probably get DH to help me pick her up and hold her while we look to see if we can actually find any bugs on her, but honestly I'm not sure we can manage that. Also, I'm trying so hard to get her to be tame and happy to see us, that I don't want to grab her and fight with holding her still.)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I would encourage you to make sure she has bugs before treating her. Do an examination after dark with a flashlight, so she is half-asleep anyways. She will be more compliant and you can look for mites as well as lice. Follow up her check tonight with lots of treats tomorrow.

    Wet skin won't make her sick, but it may lower her resistance to illness, so that if she is carrying something or gets exposed to something she may display symptoms of illness. Remember when your mother used to say not to go outside in winter with wet hair because it would make you sick? Not true at all. Diseases make people sick; not going outside with wet hair. The only thing being cold and wet may do is make you more susceptible to catching diseases by stressing out the body. I hope I am making sense.

    You will likely not be saturating her skin and feathers to the point where she will be bothered by it, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    Good luck.
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    x2 + I would also add that chickens get rained on in cold weather and they aren't bothered by it as long as they have a dry place to roost- but If your garage is below freezing, you should bring her inside until she is dry- as if she has moisture on her dripping down her wattles or onto her toes- it could freeze & cause frostbite. 27 isn't that cold for a healthy chicken, they can go lots colder than that if they are acclimatized to it & have draft free shelter. But really- check for lice before you treat, many chickens have them, but it is not necessary to treat her if she does not have lice.

  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you have decided to spray her with permethrin in 27 degrees, I would DEFINITELY use the noisy hair dryer. (Brrrr...)
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia ~Delight yourself in the Lord~

    That makes me think of a story I read in Back Yard Poultry a number of years ago, This lady brought her rooster in to wash him because of a show she was taking him to the next day, well she didn't bother to dry him and the next morning found him froze to death. You would have thought she'd have known. [​IMG]

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