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sulfur powder against lice/mites?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by spish, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. PFGray

    PFGray New Egg

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    Most of ours are very easy to pick up and hold, so we put a few handfuls of DE in a floppy rubber garden bucket, hold the girl with her head under one arm, and just rub a bunch of dust all over her butt and into any other loose-feathered areas we can reach. We've tried putting dust in a paper grocery sack, putting the whole bird inside with just the head sticking out, and shaking the bag gently, but that's more trouble than necessary. If yours are hard to catch, I would think you could use the first method after they go to bed in the evening.
    Ours have plenty of dusting areas available almost year-round, and most of them are good about keeping the mites down by themselves, but now and then one or more of them don't keep up with the bathing, and the mites can take off. From the research I've read, the sulfur dust is MUCH more effective at killing off the mites and keeping them from reappearing for a lot longer. According to that research, common clayey garden dust is just as effective as DE. I've been putting about a half-cup of sulfur in each of their dust pits, a few times per year, and more if we have a current mite problem.
    As I've posted earlier, the sulfur dust is entirely non-toxic, actually edible and not even harmful to breathe in small amounts. It'll get your clothes a little smelly if you're not careful, but that's not a big deal. In contrast with DE or regular dirt, apparently a dust bath containing sulfur can help get rid of mites in non-bathing coopmates as well.
    We got a big spray bottle of a permethrin/pyrethrin solution a couple days ago at the feed store, and sprayed it into the likely mite hiding/breeding places in the coop, like cracks, weathered wood, etc.. That seems to be pretty low-toxicity stuff, derived from chrysanthemums.
    Since we've been using all these methods at once, or overlapping, it's hard to say how effective each of them are. Since the mites are carried by wild birds, it's hopeless to get rid of them permanently, short of cooping the chickens up full-time in a sealed sterile room. If I were you, I'd get all three of the weapons mentioned above, and use them several times per year. Do you have some good, dry soil areas for them to dust bathe in?
    If your girls are getting visibly itchy, they probably have a bad infestation. Ours are cuddly lap birds, so usually the first sign of trouble is a bunch of itchy bites on ourselves.

    Good luck!
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Ours took a few days to get used their dusting pool, but i've seen almost all of them using it now. Every so often we add wood ashes, DE, Sulfur powder, or Insectrin powder, and stir. It works pretty well.
     
  3. tmfineg

    tmfineg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dust the inside of the coop without the chickens inside. The mites hide in the coop cracks. Be sure to sprinkle well on the roost poles. The mites die on contact when they come out at night.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. kvsuzy

    kvsuzy New Egg

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    Tell my rooster that. He freaks out if I touch one of his girls.
     
  5. kvsuzy

    kvsuzy New Egg

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    It was out there for a few weeks and no one went in???
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    that's weird. I tried to put ours in a spot I thought they'd like, close to where they like to lie in the sun in morning when I first open up the barn.
    Are you using a baby pool? Oh, I also threw some scratch or treats or something in there when I first put it out, for them to scratch around and find.
    Try that.
     
  7. Notus

    Notus Out Of The Brooder

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    Sulphur I find to be amazing more so if used in conjunction with cider vinegar and potassium permanganate both internally and externally.
    Internally, this combination eradicates worms, point. Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. Be careful with the potassium permanganate. Just enough to slightly turn the water pink. It is an oxidiser and so corrosive. Dissolve fully. Only when essential would I add sulphur directly to feed which I only do if I acquire a new bird. Never had problems though.

    Externally. Mix a little Potassium permanganate (0.25g) with 900ml of hot water. Add 50ml of cider vinegar, allow to cool. Pour in to a litre spray bottle then spray the bird. Hold her by the head so she is facing you. This covers her eyes so when spraying you are protecting them.

    Whilst still wet sprinkle sulphur over her back. This as dries will also be spread around the coup and partially ingested. Mites, midge's, insects in general hate this combination.
    Learned from my father & grandfather and earlier generations of Scottish farmers all of their lives.

    Also note that they used old pickle vinegar(acetic acid & or barley malt vinegar) in place of cider vinegar form the likes of beetroot, cauliflower and more specifically onions. (Onions and garlic are high in sulphites which the acid is paramount in making of use, hence cider vinegar & sulphur)

    Small amount of honey can be added to the drink. PH no lower than 4.5 for drinking, done once weekly, (cider vinegar & potassium permanganate)

    I also dust the birds every two to three weeks with sulphur which I suppose over time has worked it's way in to the corners and tiny cracks of the coup which naturally being damper areas will release and convert to sulphuric acid over time. This itself may be the reason I have never had mite problems. Persist.

    Regards,
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I can recommend a bonfire!

    My chickens love to dust bath in the ashes left behind.. once they are cool [​IMG]

    I have had chickens for over 6 years.... I have never had to treat them for lice or mites.. and I think its the dust bathing in the ashes that does it.

    I was shocked when my white birds first did it. as they went black and grey!! I was worried I would have to wash them.. but they go back to white after a couple of days on their own.
     
  9. Notus

    Notus Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a white cat who's most favourite sleeping place is the fire pit/ BBQ. I dare wash him. He'd have me. lol
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Since I posted this I have since bought them a baby pool, filled it with clean dirt, and add sulfur or ashes occasionally. I find them both to be very effective, or they seem to be!
    Haven't noticed any problems since. Still have a few hold outs who don't want to bathe in the pool, but I just sprinkle sulfur or ashes in their dusting holes when i find them, lol. [​IMG]
     

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