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Thread: Lice

  1. #1
    Hungry Hannah is offline Seedling
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    Default Lice

    Have just found that we seem to have a lice invasion!

    I think I left it a bit too long inbetween powder applications and so the poor girls have got them laying eggs around their vents.
    Have given them a liberal dusting pronto- but I hate them having to suffer with them.
    I know a lot of you use the frontline spray but will have to order it online. As I am impatient and want to use something now- was wondering if anyone has used any of the srays on the market for headlice as I can get them today!

    Had read on another info page that Malathion is used for lice and have found that in Derbac M solution- but with it not being a spray and them saying to "wash yo hair afterwards" Im not sure.

    Help!
    Thanks

  2. #2
    lindyloo is offline Tuber
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    i used malathion for my feathered leg bantams- to be honest i didnt think it did any good at all

  3. #3
    RichmondHens is offline Early Fruiter
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    The powder will work fine if it is a reliable make. Make sure you rub it well in to the skin else it just drops off when the bird has a shake! Pluck off any eggs (including the feather if you have to) to reduce the number that will hatch in a few days. Then powder all birds again in 3 - 4 days to catch any hatching lice, and again a week after that.

    Remember that chickens are a food source and you must be careful what you put on them. The active ingredient in something designed for humans may not be suitable for use on chickens.

    Remember also that Frontline is not licensed for use on poultry, although a lot of people do use it.

  4. #4
    Hungry Hannah is offline Seedling
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    Thanks.
    The main thing was I wasnt sure the powder would kill them/get rid of them.
    I use the Barrier louse powder, but if there is a better one, please let me know

  5. #5
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    Lice in themselves are actually of NO harm to the birds as the do NOT feed on the bird itself they feed on the feathers, they are however irritating to the poor bird and with bad infestations your bird can be so down in the dumps it doesn;t feed etc

    Lice are very easily killed with a pyrethrum based product but as there is no retention of the product on the skin they are very very easily reinfected from housing and also the eggs - the trick is to break the cycle.

    Getting rid of lice is very similar to getting rid of headlice - it takes more than a quick wash!! (its still easy tho) You can wash your bird in kitten flea shampoo if you like - Lather the bird very very well especially around the vent area, rinse with clear water. The shampoo will coat the feather and slow the bird from regaining its natural oils so a final rinse should be given using 1 cup of white vinegar in 1 litre of water, work it in well to the feathers and that will remove all shampoo residue. Do not worry the bird will not smell vinegary afterwards.

    The lice eggs are laid at the base of a feather shaft on the feathers surrounding the vent - they will not be killed with shapoo or powder so need manually removing - rather like nit combing.

    You now need to dry your bird before you can remove the eggs - towel dry the worst and then hairdry or leave to dry naturally - your preference, but I do find most of my birds find the hairdryer theraputic, ruffle the feathers as you dry rather like you would a childs hair it helps seperate them properly!

    Next you need to remove the lice eggs, they are easy to locate around the vent on feather shafts - they look like clumps of dandruff! however they are not easy to get and I would suggest gently plucking out any feathers that have major infestation then you will need a pair of rubber gloves - gently rub the eggs between your finger and thumb whilst wearing the dry gloves to loosen them and then strip the eggs from the feather along the shaft from the skin to the tip - this does not work without rubber gloves!!! You also will not get all of the eggs but the vast majority - thus with all the rest I suggest keepin reinfestation down to almost nothing

    I know this sounds a lot of effort but it really isn't 10 mins or so to wash the bird 10 mins to dry and 5 - 10 mins removing eggs

    Now treat the house - same as red mite the lice live in the bedding and in cracks, clean it out using a good strong ***** fluid solution - ***** is good as lice have no protective barrier like mites, do all the cracks and also perching, then when dry dust everywhere with a lice powder.

    So now bird and house are clean, to mop up stragglers get a tub part fill it with a little sand and pour lots of lice powder in - mix well and put in the run, they will look at it strangley at first but soon start dust bathing in it - they are having fun being chickens and medicating themselves all at the same time!! (not that i'm lazy you understand!) keep it dry so either put it in a covered area or remove if its raining, leave it for a week topping up with sand and powder as necessary.

    Now you have got on top of the problem it is maintainence - clean your house as normal and dust for mites and lice in crack and perches (or spray whatever you prefered product is) and every couple of weeks pop the dust bath in for two or three days or dust them down by hand (I pop mite powder in with the lice powder too - they are both the same really). You can never ever eliminate mite and lice problems fully as they come in with wild birds - what you can do is keep on top of it and stop it becoming a real problem.

    If washing the birds sounds like too much effort use a pyrethrum based powder or buy frontline from your vet/online, work the powder in well and remember you will still need to do the part about removing the eggs or reinfestion is only days away!!

    remember now you are on top of it to introduce a regular routine of dusting/spraying both bord and house

    Gosh essay sorry
    Last edited by Bramble-Poultry; 14-05-2010 at 08:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    I have bought Frontline with a view to using it as a last option.
    BUT .....on reflection I'm now rather worried that it'll stay in their systems and be in their eggs and meat for months to come. I now doubt I'll ever use it on my chooks.

    Please be very aware that Frontline is NOT licenced for birds which are to be eaten or lay eggs
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

  7. #7
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    Frontline spray DOES NOT enter the birds system at all therefore it will NEVER enter the eggs or be contained within their meat. There is NO egg withdrawl period for fipronil.

    Frontline as a "name" is not licenced for use on chooks only because Meril do not want to pay for the licence - Fipronil which is the active ingredient is recommended for use on poultry and is contained in ALL of the veterinery manuals with full dosing instructions - however to buy fipronil in its main form for use on chooks is twice the price of frontline - hence why I buy frontline.

    Frontline should never be used on parrots, pheasants, partridge and Quail - not going into pysiology now but suffice to say that suprisingly they are very very different to chickens.

    This is always a topic for much debate and disagreement but If in doubt ask your vet and he will tell you it is fine, also you are entitled to ask to see the veterinery mauals in the surgery so ask to see the dosing instructions in the BVMC exotics manual (domestic chickens come under the exotic section for some strange reason - never did work out why!)
    Last edited by Bramble-Poultry; 14-05-2010 at 09:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    That's very interestng BP...my vet happily handed it over to me!.....however- as it is not specifically licensed for use on chooks we need to make Grapes aware of this and say that they use it at their own risk.

    I'm sure you will understand the importance of understanding both sides of the coin
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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