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Lice. How do you keep them at bay?

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  • Lice. How do you keep them at bay?

    I just gave my girls the once over & was sad & surprised to find a couple with nit eggs at the base of some feathers and one with lice. Went over all of them with anti lice spray.

    Is there any way I could keep lice at bay without having to actually pick the hens up, most of them are Ok with that but a few get so stressed about it.

    I mix diatom with their shavings, but I'm pretty sure that is for mites [not had any of them]

  • #2
    I use louse powder but obviously that entails handling and puffing the powder direct on them. I believe it only needs doing about every 6 weeks so I'd grit your teeth and do it even if they're not keen.
    Some people use Frontline spray but again it needs spraying directly on the bird.
    Oh - I also put powder in nest boxes and dust bath areas
    Last edited by Suechooks; 03-04-2010, 07:46 PM.

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    • #3
      Handle them at night when they are dopey. Picking them off the roost is dead easy that way. Get into a routine of checking every couple of weeks. I have 50 birds split into 5 pens and do a pen a night every couple of weeks. Takes 10 - 15 mins tops. I use louse powder (others on here choose other methods) and find it works perfectly well. It does not kill anything however, just makes the environment (bird) unpleasant so they drop off and die from cold. Eggs hatch within 4/5 days of being laid though so if you find lice on a bird you MUST dust again 4 days later to catch the babies. It is not an arduous task if you get into a routine, and if you don't have many birds should actually be quite a pleasant weekly chore. I chat to mine, have a cuddle and a check over for weight and general condition at the same time, and most of mine seem to quite like the attention. Sometimes this is the only way you can spot injuries/lesions etc so it IS important that you handle birds regularly, for whatever reason.
      Last edited by RichmondHens; 03-04-2010, 08:09 PM.

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      • #4
        You could be sneaky and take a torch when they're roosting at night, I've had to do this with one of mine when she had scaley leg as she hated having her legs done so much.
        (I use the frontline spray, one squirt near the vent end is all it takes to keep the lice away)

        Edit - Snap!
        Last edited by vicky; 03-04-2010, 08:07 PM.

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        • #5
          Ahh I forgot about louse powder, how I managed that I just don't know. Which brand does anyone like best and why?

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          • #6
            I use Barrier Healthcare louse powder which contains tea tree oil. Smells good! Readily available from several outlets on line. I buy a huge bucketful which does cost around 50 but lasts a whole year.

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            • #7
              I buy the one in the big blue tubular container - its at all the farm places I go to!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Suechooks View Post
                I buy the one in the big blue tubular container - its at all the farm places I go to!
                Yup - same one I use 'Battle?" maybe, anyway, I shake it around the house every time I clean it out.

                Incidentally, the reproductive cycle for the Louse is around 20 days, so infected birds/animals need treating weekly for three weeks to get all stages of development.
                All the best - Glutton 4 Punishment
                Freelance shrub butcher and weed removal operative.

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                • #9
                  I use the powder with tea tree and lavendar in it too. Although now I have read about using frontline, I may give that a try. I usually give the wood shavings a sprinkle when I clean the coop but if the girls need to be done then they get picked up fussed and dusted. Most of them don't mind and those that do tend to put up with it anyway.
                  Good luck.

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