winter time lice, can't get rid of them

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LittlePip21, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2017
    Hello! I have a flock of twenty (2 roosters, the rest are hens) with a nasty lice infestation. [​IMG]

    I believe it may have started back in fall, because I found wild birds flying in through the chicken door and into the hen house.

    I've been trying to treat them since, and I just can't seem to shake them!

    I tried dusting with Seven, which seemed to work okay but was a serious pain in the neck and not to mention toxic. I tried giving them a bath in dawn dish soap (in the fall), but the poor things got so cold that I had to bring the few I had bathed inside. I also tried the poultry protector spray, which I was not impressed with, and made little difference.

    Right now I seem to have them controlled to some degree. I put a bunch of ash in a dust bin for them, but they just scoff at it and go dig holes to bathe in instead.[​IMG] I have also been spraying them every day with a mixture of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and Dawn dish soap. This by far has been the most efficient and effective method.[​IMG]

    Unfortunately, now the areas I spray are clean,( back of the neck and vent.) but the lice have just moved to other areas of the bird! behind the earlobes, under the wattles ect. I'm especially concerned because of them being on the head, which I've heard is the most dangerous.[​IMG]

    I've cleaned out my coop, dusted with Seven and put in fresh litter, but it's been soiled since then. Everyone seems to be acting normal and healthy, and they are taking dust bathes frequently. So I guess my question is, what else should i do? Any advice or support is very much appreciated!

    PS: I am new to Backyard Chickens and this is my first post![​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    We struggle with mites here, and I switch off with poultry dust (permethrin) and Sevin. As you've discovered, some of the more natural methods either don't work, or cause them to migrate to another area of the bird.

    I fill a plastic ketchup squirt bottle with the dust and go out at night when they're roosting. I put on a dust mask, rubber gloves, and my headlamp, and squirt that dust on their vent area and under each wing while they sit on the roost at dark. I think if you'd do that to each chicken and then re-do it about 4-5 days later, you wouldn't see more lice. (maybe squirt a bit down in their neck feathers, too, since you're seeing lice there.

    Then you could sprinkle some dust in their favorite dust bathing areas and scuff it up a bit. That lets them dust themselves. I add more every few weeks or after it's rained.

    At that point you should be able to check them every month or so and treat the ones that you see lice on - hopefully you won't see anymore!
  3. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2017
    Thanks for the advice! I never thought about using a ketchup bottle, a lot more control than the container Sevin comes in! I will definitely try this, and only having to do it in 4-5 day intervals will be a lot less taxing. thank you![​IMG]
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

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