1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Tobacco leaves

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by phlaxx, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. phlaxx

    phlaxx In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2016
    Greeneville TN
    I'm new to chickens, I've been reading these forums and others etc. but someone just told me they put tobacco leaves in their nests to kill lice and mites. Sounds crazy! Anyone else ever hear of this? I live in east tn so there's a lot of tobacco leaves around here.

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well......I've heard that too, not sure it's the greatest idea tho.
    Nicotine and other tobacco derivatives have long been used for insecticides.
    As with any insecticides most kill indiscriminately and should be used with caution.
    Nicotine is a toxin, not sure if it would harm the birds or not.

    Might find something here, click the underlined link:
    advanced search>titles only> tobacco leaves
  3. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Songster

    Mar 19, 2016
    34.560847, -81.154203
    My Coop
    They die of lung cancer? [​IMG]
  4. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It’s an interesting question, I certainly do not have a definitive answer. I grew up in East Tennessee on a tobacco farm, up in the Cumberland Gap area. Nicotine is used as an insecticide and an insect repellent, but I picked enough tobacco hornworms and budworms off of the plants to know it is not a universal insecticide or repellent. I don’t know for sure that it would either kill or more likely repel mites or lice, but I’d think it would. Those dried tobacco leaves can smell pretty strong and can really sting if you get it into your eyes. The green leaves leave a coat of tar on your hands but I doubt dried leaves would stain the eggs or the hens’ undersides.

    You are not talking about using only dried tobacco leaves as the bedding. You would take a leaf when they are really dry and crumble that in the bedding. I think it would taste so bad they won’t eat it and they are not going to be smoking it, so I don’t think it would harm them as long as the volume is really small. I’d still want a well-ventilated nest though, not one boxed up tightly. The fumes could build up. And I’m talking about a non-treated non-sweetened, non-aged tobacco leaf, just raw dried tobacco. Processed tobacco may be sweet enough that they would eat it.

    I generally don’t treat anything until I have a reason to treat it. The only preventatives I use are to keep the water clean, everything else dry, and give them room to spread out so poop doesn’t build up. I know a lot of people like to treat, treat, treat, whether there is a reason or not. People like to use all kinds of things as preventatives, whether there is a need or not. That’s just not me.

    I don’t think a little crumbled raw tobacco would hurt anything, though your eggs may smell of tobacco. If it were me I’d probably not do it unless I’d had experiences with mites or lice. I haven’t had mites or lice since I got my chickens here in 2008 so not everybody has them. But if you have or have had mites or lice, it’s probably worth trying.
  6. I have read in one of the foxfire books that in the past they would soak the tobacco leaves in warm water then spray with the water to control mites, fleas, and some other little buggers
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by