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Thread: Lice, how do?

  1. #1
    minskey's Avatar
    minskey is offline Tuber
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    Default Lice, how do?

    Yup lice. How do they keep them at bay in commercial egg or meat producing sheds. I'm battleing at the moment with my little flock of hens. I spray them twice a month and put anti louse powder where they dust bath and in the nest boxes. I put diatom in the shavings in the nest boxes, the hen house floor and also where they dust bath.

    What do they do when they have hundreds of hens in those vast units, put somthing in the food or they are just left.

    What do lice actually do to the bird; I know they must be very un-comfortable [as would I, yuk ]

  2. #2
    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default

    In the commercial world, with intensively reared meat birds they are slaughtered so young (6 - 8 weeks) they would not have a chance to pick them up. They go into the sheds at 1 - 2 days old so have no contact with other birds. I would imagine (but don't know for sure) that it is the same with battery hens, although quite a few rescue hens "come out" with lice on them. I doubt they are ever controlled.

    With domestic hens however they can be picked up from wild birds and all chickens will have lice from time to time, to a greater or lesser extent. You can keep them at bay with very regular checks and powdering though. I have between 50 - 60 birds at the moment, with more due to hatch next week. I have a routine of visiting all the houses after dark and inspecting and powdering each bird on a fortnightly basis - on a one house per night basis, then it does not become a hugely daunting task. My birds are used to being handled often and I can "do" a houseful of say 10 birds in 10 - 15 mins. It's important to rub the powder into the skin. Just putting it in dustbaths dilutes the active ingredient - it is better applied straight onto the bird. If there are lice present you need to repeat powdering 4 days later to catch any hatching ones and again a week later. Then carry on with fortnightly routine. Pick off any nits you see.

  3. #3
    jimred is offline Sprouter
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    Default

    Which powder do you use? thanks jim


    Quote Originally Posted by RichmondHens View Post
    In the commercial world, with intensively reared meat birds they are slaughtered so young (6 - 8 weeks) they would not have a chance to pick them up. They go into the sheds at 1 - 2 days old so have no contact with other birds. I would imagine (but don't know for sure) that it is the same with battery hens, although quite a few rescue hens "come out" with lice on them. I doubt they are ever controlled.

    With domestic hens however they can be picked up from wild birds and all chickens will have lice from time to time, to a greater or lesser extent. You can keep them at bay with very regular checks and powdering though. I have between 50 - 60 birds at the moment, with more due to hatch next week. I have a routine of visiting all the houses after dark and inspecting and powdering each bird on a fortnightly basis - on a one house per night basis, then it does not become a hugely daunting task. My birds are used to being handled often and I can "do" a houseful of say 10 birds in 10 - 15 mins. It's important to rub the powder into the skin. Just putting it in dustbaths dilutes the active ingredient - it is better applied straight onto the bird. If there are lice present you need to repeat powdering 4 days later to catch any hatching ones and again a week later. Then carry on with fortnightly routine. Pick off any nits you see.

  4. #4
    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    Barrier Healthcare louse powder. Works well for me and has a nice smell. I like it because it is made up of natural ingredients.

    (When I say me I mean my chickens .............)

    Seriously though, it DOES work, you just need to keep on top of the applications. If you let it slide the lice will come back. I think it says on the tub that it works for 6 weeks but this seemed not enough and after a lot of trial and error I have found that every couple of weeks does the trick.

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