Aug 3, 2012

Poultry Lice and Mites Identification and Treatment

Poultry lice eggs seen on feather shafts
There are many types of external parasites that can set up shop in a chicken's feathers, being able to identify each type of louse or mites is not important, but the ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of an infestation and where to find treatment information when needed is. Poultry lice and mites are easily detected and treated.
Blue Splash Marans hen with poultry lice
The following information will make you itch, but not knowing how to treat external parasites can have devastating consequences for chickens. 

I’m a planner. I like to know what to expect when embarking on a new endeavor so that I can be as prepared as possible to handle situations as they arise. Before I got my first chickens, I bought every book and read every article and online forum I could find to research whether keeping chickens was right for me. The majority of my research was extremely encouraging, however, each time I read the ‘external parasites’ and ‘diseases’ discussions, I promptly convinced myself that keeping chickens was for the insane. There were just too many diseases and nasty crawling things that I could not be any less interested in knowing how to identify, much less how to eradicate. Frankly, the long list of insects that could possibly live on my proposed pets made me itch.
Mother hens with their shared clutch of chicks. Mites and lice can be deadly to baby chicks.
I don’t know what it was that tilted the scales in favor of taking the plunge into chicken-keeping, perhaps it was the cute baby chicks or the promise of a daily Easter egg hunt. Regardless, I’m here to tell you that most of the bad things that could go wrong with a chicken usually don’t and of the things that commonly do go wrong, they tend not to happen simultaneously. So, we handle them one at a time as they come up and maintain a general awareness of the possibilities. That is certainly true of external parasites.

DETECTION
Monthly or bi-monthly flock inspections of each chicken should be performed in order to identify and address parasites before an infestation worsens and birds begin exhibiting signs of parasites. Particular attention should be paid to brooding hens as they dust-bathe less frequently than usual and  are especially vulnerable to parasites.

Some of the common signs of any type of mite or lice infestation in a chicken are: decreased activity or listlessness, pale comb, changes in appetite, a drop in egg production, weight loss, feather-pulling, bald spots, redness or scabs on the skin, dull, ragged-looking feathers and spotting the bugs or nits on the chicken.
Red mites, aka Poultry Mites
Red Mites
COMMON EXTERNAL PARASITES in CHICKENS: 
The two most common categories of external parasites in chickens are mites and poultry lice. Poultry lice are NOT the same as human head lice and people cannot contract lice from chickens.

Red Mites, Chicken Mites, Poultry Mites

MITES
Northern fowl mites and Red Roost Mites are two of the most common poultry mites.  These tiny, eight-legged insects can live both on the chicken and in the coop. They are partial to cracks and crevices in wood, roosts and inside nesting boxes.

Mites can be grey, dark brown or reddish in color and can often be seen along feather shafts and underneath roosts after dark. Mites are active at night when they venture out to leech blood from chickens. With its moist, rich blood supply, the vent area is a favorite feeding ground of mites. 
Northern fowl mite, photo by J.F. Butler, University of Florida
Northern fowl mite.
Photo of mites in chicken feathers.
Typical signs of a mite infestation are scabs near the vent, eggs on the feathers and feather shafts and a light colored bird’s feathers may appear dirty in spots where the mites have left droppings and debris. A heavy mite infestation can lead to anemia and death of a chicken. Mites will bite humans, causing minor irritation in the affected area (and an urgent desire to take a gasoline shower).
Poultry lice eggs on the feather shafts of a light-colored chicken.
Lice eggs (nits) on feather shafts.
Scaly Leg Mites
Another common mite is the scaly leg mite, (Knemidokoptes mutans) which I discuss in detail here.
Scaly leg mites on foot of chicken

POULTRY LICE
Poultry lice are fast-moving, 6 legged, flat insects with round heads that live only on the chicken and its feathers. They are beige or straw colored and are typically found at the base of feather shafts near the vent. Poultry lice feed on dead skin and other debris such as feather quill casings.  When parting the feathers near the vent to inspect for parasites, they can be seen briefly as they run away. The eggs laid by the female are seen at the bases of feather shafts.
Poultry lice infestation on hen. No nits noted on feather shafts indicates the infestation was caught early.
New poultry lice infestation detected early. Note the absence of eggs on the feather shafts.
Poultry lice seen scurrying around the vent area of a hen.
Poultry lice seen scurrying around the vent of a hen.
Chickens dust bathe to keep parasites off their skin and feathers
Chickens dust bathe to help them keep parasites at bay. 
PREVENTION
  • In order to prevent infestations of lice and mites, the coop should be cleaned regularly with particular attention paid to disposing of loose feathers that can harbor hatching eggs (nits).
  • Limit visits from fellow poultry-keepers who can transport the beasts on their clothes, footwear or equipment, (vehicles, shared farm equipment, etc.).
  • Keep poultry feed in a secure location so as not to attract wild birds, which can carry parasites and diseases.
  • Always quarantine new birds for at least 14 days before introducing them to an existing flock to watch for parasites.
  • Provide adequate dusting areas for chickens to care for their own skin and feathers naturally. A dust bath is the chicken equivalent of a daily dirt shower. It helps them maintain their skin and feathers and controls parasites. Some claim that adding food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to the dust bathing area combats external parasites. I do not use DE in my flock; I believe it is dangerous to their respiratory health and do not believe it is effective at treating mites or lice. 
Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion, natural herbal blend intended to deter mites, lice and other insects.
Employ various herbs to repel insects. An article by Herbalist Susan Burek, published in the June/July2011 edition of Backyard Poultry Magazine suggests that many herbs are effective insecticidals.1  Burek explains that various varieties of herbs can repel or kill insects. Another important message in Burek’s article cited above is that herbal pest management should be part of “[a] multi-faceted prevention plan.” Keeping coops clean, keeping chickens healthy in order to be able to fend off pests, and avoiding toxic chemicals as well as natural products such as food grade diatomaceous earth, which upset the natural environmental balance, are all integral parts of that plan.

 I do not add diatomaceous earth to my chickens’ dust-bath areas due to their highly sensitive respiratory systems. I feel that good sanitation practices, frequent flock inspections and providing ample dusting areas are sufficient preventative measures for my flock without exposing them to a cloud of respiratory danger daily by way of DE.
Treatment options for lice and mites in backyard chickens
TREATMENT
Upon identification of lice or mites in any flock member, treatment should begin immediately. There are many different products employed to eradicate mites and lice with varying degrees of effectiveness, among them are:  Pyrethrum Dust, dog flea dips, flea shampoos, Poultry Protector, Sevin Dust 5% (carbaryl powder) and Ivermectin. When lice or mites are detected on one bird, the entire flock should be treated. Treating birds after dark when they have gone to roost is the easiest way to treat the entire flock. 
I use Sevin Dust 5% to treat my chickens. While wearing a respirator and with the help of another person to hold the bird, I dust underneath the wings and vent area of each bird sparingly but thoroughly. I also clean and treat the entire coop with particular attention paid to nests and roosts.
**Treatment must be repeated twice after the initial application in 7 day increments, in order to kill the eggs (nits) that had not hatched at the time of the previous treatments.**
Chicken feathers and skin shown free of mites after treatment with Sevin Dust 5%
disclaimer The-Chicken-Chick.com

Sources & further reading:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig140
http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
Herbs for Healthy Chickens  
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

118 comments :

  1. I am curious about the use of sevin dust on birds for mites. I know that they are difficult to get rid of but it makes me nervous to use a pesticide on them. I do, however, want to be prepared for the possibility of my flock getting mites by purchasing something to use ahead of time. Were you told by a vet that Sevin dust is safe to use on the birds? I can't find a whole lot of information on how to get rid of mites. It says on the MSDS that it is harmful if it is inhaled and can be absorbed through the skin. It says on the 5% Sevin dust container not to let humans or animals come into direct contact with it and to remove all animals from the area before use. "Do not apply this product in a way that will contact any person or pet, either directly or through drift. Keep people and pets out of the area during application. Do not allow people or pets to enter the treated area until dusts have settled." It also says that if it does contact skin the area should be rinsed with water for 15 minutes and any contaminated clothing removed. It makes me nervous. I know that you get good info from people and research everything you do for your flock though, so I was curious where you got your info. Thank you!

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    1. Great questions Kristin. I cited two sources in my blog post at the end under "further reading." My flock has only had poultry lice once and I treated it with Sevin Dust (carbaryl powder) and I would do so again if necessary. I certainly understand your concern about the toxicity of various products and would never recommend that someone use a product they are not comfortable with. There are certainly plenty of treatment options, many of which are suggested in my post. The do not all work to the same extent, however.

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  2. Nicole Alexander8/4/12, 11:27 AM

    thank you for this post.

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  3. My vet told me to use Frontline topspot not the plus. Take the applicator packet and make a hole big enough to get a dropper in. I buy the largest size for dogs I can get. Then put one or two drops (depending on the size of your bird) at the base of the neck and on the nub of the tail. We did this with a roo that we got from someone that was covered in them. The next day thet were gone...GONE! With hens they say no egg holding because it stays on the skin and doesnt penetrate but I dont know. I just know it worked and he is fine and no longer skinny...I feel I saved his life!

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  4. Melina Brown10/21/12, 11:26 AM

    Poultry and Garden Dust is Permitherin based and is what I would suggest rather than Sevin. I believe that Sevin is not suggested for direct use on birds and I would hesitate to suggest it to my group or anyone. The Permetherin works fine as does pour on Eprinex. I have not used Frontline but I expect that it is similar to the Pour on Eprinex, which is a cow mdication and much cheaper for larger flocks. As with every treatment for parasites, be sure to repeat in 4 to 5 days to kill the new hatch and keep checking, I suggest a plastic bin with a top as a dustbath with sand, peat moss and a little DE or if you have an infestation, Garden dust. Cover it when it rains and at night to be sure your birds always have a dry place to take a bath. I also spray my coops with a permitherin/water mix when cleaning and let it dry before adding chips...this way it gets in the cracks of the boxes etc...but doesnt make dust.
    Great post and great pics as aways!!
    Check my discussion boards for more on this....
    Melina
    www.meetup.com/chickens1

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  5. I have noticed my silkie has the eggs on the base of her HEAD feathers, will dusting under her wing in the evening with the Sevin ensure that it gets on to her head when she sleeps?

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  6. I have noticed my silkie has the eggs on the base of her HEAD feathers, will dusting under her wing in the evening with the Sevin ensure that it gets on to her head when she sleeps?

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  7. would I have to worry about transmition of lice to myself and my kids?

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  8. TheChickenChick12/19/12, 10:30 PM

    No, Joy, poultry lice are "host specific," which means they have to live on chickens and will not be able to survive on people.

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  9. I'm very uncomfortable using poison on chicklets, as you say, prevention is the key, I've been following an old timers blog too, they don't use DE at all, between respiratory problems and the fact that it will kill good with bad you never have a balanced inviroment, they do treat with wood ashe, by for chicks in dust bath but indivdually if treatment needed and then slathered with Nustock to smother more, heal the skin amazingly fast, no antibiotics, no poison. Have you heard of this regime? Love your posts, pictures and all info you share! Merry Christmas!

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  10. So I can sprinkle Sevin in my coop and it won't hurt them?  Nest boxes and all?  And when you say you apply the dust to the bird, would a makeup brush work for that?  Dip it in the Sevin and then apply to the bird?

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  11. TheChickenChick12/24/12, 11:02 PM

    I use it sparingly inside the coop and on the birds. A makeup brush would be fine, but might be a little tedious depending on how many birds you have.

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  12. is there any reason to dispose of eggs while treating birds for mite/lice?

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  13. TheChickenChick12/27/12, 9:47 AM

    I don't, Pam.

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  14. Nice informative post Kathy!  Great job and thank you for linking up to this week's blog hop!

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  15. What if I want to keep my yards chemical free?  What is best to do then?

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  16. Thanks for the post. Very informative and helpful, as always :)

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  17. I looked up Pyrethrum but could not find whether it was harmful for chickens to inhale the dust or not. Can you tell me? Have you ever used it? Thanks.

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  18. Great post, thanks for sharing!

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  19. Can I use seven dust in coop and on my hen and 3 chicks?

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  20. I need some advise on lice an mites I found on my hen she is also raising 3 , 4 day old Bantam chicks, what should I do please help .

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  21. TheChickenChick5/3/13, 12:57 AM

    That's what I use when my chickens get poultry lice, Nicole.

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  22. I found myself getting itchy all over while reading this article. Good information!

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  23. Are the mites in my red worm bin harmful to chickens? I got the worms to feed to my chickens, and THEN found little mites (red as well as white) in the bins....

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  24. TheChickenChick5/17/13, 9:22 PM

    Only if the mites are getting into the coop and/or on the hens.

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  25. I have 2-3 day old chicks from a friend that are covered in lice. What can I use on them?

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  26. I have 3 juvenile chickens, two of them have had their beaks turn white overnight. Literally!

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  27. Ruth Blough7/4/13, 3:26 PM

    I have a silky who became broody for the first time this year. After a month of sitting on infertile eggs, she came out with #1 wry neck:( and #2 with bugs!!! I had to bring her in to separate her from the flock and gave her a bathe. It has helped some but I have to feed her and occasionally feel a creepy crawly crawling on my arm, UGH!!
    I bought the sevin dust and will be doing that soon.
    I am treating her for the wry neck with Poly vi sol baby drops and vit E and Selinium. It's been a month and she's not much better.
    Any ideas out there? Thanks

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  28. Chicken mad7/4/13, 3:33 PM

    Hi all I am really struggling to get rid of the mites in my coop I noticed them about 3 days ago treated it straight away with mite and lice treatment from pets at home all over coop powder and spray treatment but doesn't seem to have done anything I was sitting on step in garden about 10 15 metres away from coop and got up noticed I had them all over me not millions but 10 20 30 of them. I cut grass in all of garden even around the back off house and there was loads in the cut grass in lawn mower which means I now have them in green bin help help'

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  29. Chicken mad7/4/13, 3:37 PM

    Help I have mites all over my garden there in the grass which I cut which means there in the green bin all around the bin lid on the steps patio I have used mite and lice powder and spray from pets at home but not working pls help I have not seen any yet on my chickens but keep greeting them on me when in garden help pls thanks

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  30. TheChickenChick7/4/13, 4:44 PM

    It sounds like you're doing everything right, Ruth. Perhaps it isn't wry neck?

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  31. Ruth Blough7/6/13, 2:17 AM

    Well, if it's not wry neck, I don't know what it could be!! Her neck is twisted around and most of the time, I have to untwist it to have her eat and drink. Also give the poly vi sol and vit E and selilium. She's soo cute as silkies are but I will probably only do this another month and then put her down if she doesn't come out of it!

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  32. Juanita Tolorio7/6/13, 10:07 PM

    maybe, inorganic chemical will treat the mites and lice. but, will this remedy can affect our health? I was thinking that if you applied that inorganic chemical to there body well, probably we will able to eat that inorganic chem..

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  33. Karen McDonald7/15/13, 1:06 AM

    Maybe not for ever, but I assure you that the lice can live on SOME humans for a short while i.e. ME, and drive them- ME- absolutely mad with itching all over and a hefty rash.

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  34. Shannon Todd Hobbs7/24/13, 2:09 PM

    Have you ever used the Sevin granules for the coop floor? I have a sand floor which is cleaned every like a kitty litter box :) and I was just wondering if the granules would work better with the sand. It seems more economical than the dust because it comes in a larger bag too. It just concerns me that the chickens might try to peck at it.

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  35. TheChickenChick7/25/13, 11:02 PM

    No, I haven't and I would not recommend it, Shannon.

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  36. I have been using DE, now I will switch to Sevin dust. You are so informative, LOVE your site!, Thanks!

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  37. TheChickenChick8/18/13, 10:19 PM

    Thanks Robin!

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  38. Lori Edmison8/21/13, 9:59 PM

    My infestation is tiny (nearly micro-size) & white. I have to take my glasses off to see them moving around - now I am really creep-ed out :-( I have tried spreading Seven-5 all around & treated every bird with Ivermectin (drops on back-between wings) & will treat again in 7 & 14 days. They are not on the birds when I see them - they are all over everywhere :-( I shower every time I leave the breeders coop because I feel them on me (again - have to take my glasses of to see them moving. What are they & how can I get rid of them??? Totally stressed out by this!

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  39. TheChickenChick8/22/13, 12:14 AM

    Two things, Lori: First, you're going to need to identify the insect. Go online and search for the best visual match you can find and then you will know how best to treat it.
    Next, it is not necessary or a good idea to use both Ivermectin and Sevin dust.

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  40. yardbird newbie9/16/13, 9:38 AM

    I recently acquired 4 20-wk-old chickens, two of whom have "nekkid" areas on their necks. From reading online info, I'm thinking it's lice. Can I use Sevin spray instead of dust? I have 2 "veteran" hens that I am assuming I also have to treat, even though they are segregated from the newcomers by a chicken wire divider in the coop.

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  41. Melanie Ray Schave9/27/13, 3:56 PM

    This is really great. I've been wondering what to look for, so this was perfect!

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  42. Hello Ruth.
    I am in South Africa.
    I breed and show silkies and have done so for 15 years. I have problems with what you call wry neck, and its not wry necak at all.
    Apparently silkies have a hole in the top of the skull.
    The skull is not fused on the top, much like a baby's soft spot.
    If they are knocked on the head or simply bash into a wall, they are damaged so that the head is twisted. Sometimes it is very bad and the bird has to be euthanased.
    Look for it on the internet. On your search engine type in"vaulted skull".
    Hope this helps. No cure Im afraid. Martine

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  43. Valerie Cottingham10/14/13, 12:37 AM

    Your posts are so amazing. I was just thinking about the difference between lice and mites, and there you were. One of many times, you have just 'read my mind'. Thank you.

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  44. I raised exotic birds in aviary's in California for decades and when any of the birds, cockatoos, macaws, african grey's, eclectus, and Amazons...were scratching or acting like they might have an external parasite...we dusted them and their nests with Sevin dust
    . I have even dusted babies and put them back in the nest. I have NEVER had a bad reaction! Some of the babies were worth several thousand dollars each....and we would not have exposed them to something that we didn't know for sure would not hurt them. Hope that helps make you feel better. Just my experience!

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  45. Kelly Bueker10/19/13, 1:06 PM

    Very cool. I will write this in my chicken book.

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  46. Maribeth Adams10/19/13, 8:30 PM

    i have noticed my silkies look like they have flaky skin is this mites?

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  47. TheChickenChick10/19/13, 8:41 PM

    If you don't see any evidence of insects or their eggs, it's unlikely.

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  48. Kathy Tedford10/20/13, 12:09 AM

    Well I guess tomorrow is inspection day, because I have some hens that are displaying listless behavior while other are sparky and look fine. Most of my chickens are going thru molt right now and I figured some of the girls just weren't doing as well as others. But after reading this I think I need to make sure....Thanks for the post

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  49. It sounds like some form of mite. They live in the cracks and crevices of the coop and they come out when the birds roost to feast! The entire coop needs to be scrubbed and then sprayed with a pyrethrum, or whatever your preferred pesticide spray is, paying particular attention to those cracks and crevices.

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  50. Try adding vitamin B to her diet as well. That helps in recovery of wry neck.

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  51. Veletta Presley Reed10/20/13, 3:27 PM

    Thanks!

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  52. Thank you, Kathy, for the great info.

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  53. just what is DE?

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  54. TheChickenChick10/28/13, 8:14 PM

    Good question, Jim. I have an entire blog article devoted to DE. ---> http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/diatomaceous-earth-de-benefitrisk.html

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  55. so after the use of Sevin do you hold the eggs?

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  56. I agree with everything you have said and do like your site but I disagree with the diatomaceous earth and Sevin dust usage. You state that its hazardous to your lungs and your flocks lung health but I think that Sevin is quite worse for both parties. Sevin is just an all around nasty product that kills even the good insects that you have around your chickens and their coop. Not to mention that Sevin does not state on the label a dosage guide or amount to use. I'd rather use a natural product on my chickens then a chemical one hands down. I mean would you want to put this product on yourself? While I'll agree that even diatomaceous earth cannot take care of some insects and chemicals may be needed in some instances, I surely wouldn't recommend the use of Sevin dust on chickens.

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  57. hmmm - I just was told mine have mites - they looked like brown tiny flies crawling on her skin. I emptied out the whole coop, but did not scrub it down. I then spread the powder with permethrin which I was given by Agway. But it said 1 lbs treats 100 hens, so I was afraid of the toxicity and only spread it lightly not doing the cracks extra. Then I added a thicker layer of DE (Kathy, I hadn't read your article yet and originally Agway wanted to give me only DE to treat them, but I knew that was not enough ). Then I dusted as best as I could every (resisting) hen ( any advise how to dust them efficiently by yourself , since they really object to the treatment?). I also had a neighbor leaf-blow all the outdoor areas where they like to hang - under the coop, under the deck etc... to hopefully remove as many eggs, old feathers etc... as possible. Do you think that is sufficient? Do I need to repeat the permethrin treatment?It doesn't say anything on the box. I ordered the Sevin 5 as soon as I read your article, but that was after the fact....

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  58. I have noticed, what appears to be, dry flakes of skin in the coop, in quite noticeable quantities. The girls all appear fine bright and healthy. They are regularly dusted ( no sign of mites - with the exception of the occasional small outbreak of red spider). The coop is sprayed once a week, and their legs appear fine. Is this something I should be worried about?

    kitty8255

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  59. TheChickenChick11/8/13, 6:44 PM

    Without seeing what you're describing, I can't be sure, however, I would bet they are the waxy casings from new feathers due to molting. Take a look at this blog article and see if you recognize them in this photo: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/12/molting-what-is-it-and-how-to-manage-it.html

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  60. My chickens have some kind of lice or mite, I just cleaned the coop and sprayed them down with poultry protector, but they are still all over our yard. I read your article and then looked up seven dust, I found some pretty scary articles about it, including this one

    http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/poisoning-our-pets/Content?oid=1195319

    "In fact, though carbaryl was first approved for use in 1959, it's never been brought into compliance with modern safety standards, according to Toxic Tradeoff, a recent report on carbaryl by the Washington Toxics Coalition. As early as 1969, a U.S. government report called for restricting carbaryl after it was found to cause birth defects in test dogs. Carbaryl is also highly toxic to bees and has been linked to immune-system cancer in farmers and brain cancer in children. "
    I would be scared to eat the eggs of chickens I powdered with this! I have decided to just stick with poultry protector.

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  61. I yet rescued a blind rooster and because he doesn't preen and wouldn't go in the coop the previous owner didn't realize he had a SEVERE lice infestation.. He has large dreadlocks if old egg sack build up... I can kill the live ones but how do I get the old dreadlocks off him? I want to pluck him bald its so disgusting! I have bathed him, sprayed him, dusted him.. I just can't seem to break up the old buildup..

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  62. Hi there, I noticed mites on my chickens this summer and since we cleaned the coop out we havent noticed anymore but today checking on my broody who is sitting on eggs that are literally hatching now I noticed a mite crawling... Should I dust with the babies actually hatching or should I wait till they are a little bigger? I am just worried about the babies and momma... the other chickens I am not so worried about since they are free rangers and they dust bathe constantly...

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  63. TheChickenChick11/15/13, 11:42 PM

    If you see one mite, there are many more. All of the birds and the coops need to be treated. I would remove the mother with the eggs to a clean, safe place.

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  64. I thought I shouldnt move her since they are actually hatching in fact three hatched this morning and at least one more is pipped! I want the chicks to be healthy but I am afraid moving them wont be good for them at this point! Do you know any good natural treatments for them?

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  65. TheChickenChick11/16/13, 12:38 PM

    None that are effective.

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  66. Elizabeth Nicole Stelling11/20/13, 2:12 PM

    This is a great article. Thank you for this information. How do you make your chickens allow you to handle them. Aside from when they were newly hatched and in the heated box in the house, once they went out side to live, I have not handled them. I have a rooster that is becoming very aggressive and wonder if he would even let me near the hens.

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  67. Henny Penny12/9/13, 1:18 AM

    Mites are tiny dark specks. Lice are light straw colored and move fast. Hope this helps.

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  68. What about the actual lice nits at the bases of the feathers? I have a few Roos who have them between and under the wattles. Should they be washed? Some advise I have been given is to clip the feathers to get rid of the nits. Its in the 30's here in Louisiana so dipping 40+ birds is not practical. I have about 8 with the nits on the neck. Thanks.

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  69. TheChickenChick12/12/13, 10:03 AM

    How did you treat them already?

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  70. A few weeks ago they were sprayed with permethrin for mites I spotted on a couple birds. I sprayed everyone. For the lice I just sprayed with frontline

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  71. I must say I am quite surprised to read that Sevin is preferred over DE.

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  72. Chickie newbie here....our 5 hens peck at themselves quite a lot....have they possibly gotten parasites?

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  73. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 9:25 PM

    You have to inspect them to verify whether there are external parasites or not, Jayne.

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  74. i thought mine had wry neck and it was mareks disease.....

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  75. Lisa Sutton Killian1/31/14, 10:01 AM

    Seven Dust is cheaper too!

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  76. I have had good luck with sulfur baths. Sevin dust may not be considered safe for human consumption of an egg layed by a chicken who has been treated.

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  77. Amy Lynn Ernst2/14/14, 9:05 PM

    Hi Kathy, I have a question. In the first week of December, I first noticed my girls had a lice. I wasn't able to get some DE until Christmas Eve, and then Christmas Day I did sort of a shake'n'bake method to get the DE into my girls' feathers. I waited 2 weeks and did it again to kill off the nits. I also added some DE to their dusting areas and so far they have been bug free. Well, before I was able to dust the girls, 3 of them had really bad lice egg clutches(?) on their feather shafts near their vents. The clutches of old dried eggs are still on the feathers and it makes my girls rear ends look bare. Do you know if there is a way to remove them? Or should I just leave them until the feathers fall out? I don't think it's bothering girls as much as it is me, LOL!

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  78. Krazy4Chicks2/18/14, 5:26 PM

    My chickens (6 Silkies, 1 Americana, and 1 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte) have been shaking their heads and I believe they are battling with what I think are Northern Fowl Mites. The reason I say that is because the mites are on the birds themselves, whereas it sounds like the other mites hide out in the coop and come out at night. They look like dark little specks. I thought they were black, but up against white they look dark red. I had treated the chickens with Ivermectin on their backs 3 days ago, but I'm still seeing the darn mites actively running around up on the top of their heads, behind their heads and a little on their necks. I had taken a makeup brush and dusted (with caution) with DE on top of their heads as best as I could. The Americana had so many nits, it was sickening. However, the poor chickens are still shaking their heads today. I went out and bought Garden and Poultry Dust and have sprinkled that under the bedding (pine shavings) in their coop, and also in the sand bottom outside (where they normally dirt bathe). I also plan to dust all of the chickens with it, but I'm just a little nervous about using too much. Can I dab the Poultry Dust on top of their heads (like I did the DE), or would that not be a good idea? Also, can these mites live out in the grass ( and plants? If so, how in the world will I be able to control them? I let my chickens out (supervised) every day to free range in the grass and planters. We live in a suburban area, so it's not really a farm environment. When I say grass, I'm talking about a manicured lawn. I'm pretty new to chicken keeping, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  79. Susan C. Wheeler2/18/14, 7:51 PM

    Do you know how to use Ivermectin. You didn't mention the how to and how much and how often. I have on hand 1% liquid. Im thinking this may be a bit easier with 20 chickens.

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  80. TheChickenChick2/18/14, 11:31 PM

    The birds should be dusted where the mites are, not just on the head.

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  81. Cathy Moore2/19/14, 8:57 AM

    I am going to begin my first adoption of 8 chicks in the Spring, so think of me as the 2009 you! I am reading everything I can and seem to get more confused...first off, my goal is to raise them as naturally as possible. Organic feed, non GMO...etc. using any chemical on them is not my first choice. That being said their health is number one! I was at Congress last month and one vendor was selling a spray version of Frontline. They said to apply with a dropper to the head and vent areas to keep mites and fleas off. What is your history or knowledge of this? Will this compromise their eggs that I want to eat organically?

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  82. TheChickenChick2/19/14, 9:51 AM

    I'm quite sure applying Frontline to your chickens would disqualify the eggs from being labeled organic.

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  83. Denise O'Connor2/24/14, 6:28 PM

    I actually give my girls a bath. I put a tiny amount of herbal shampoo in a deep laundry sink and submerge them in warm water deep enough to cover their vents and long enough to kill the lice. I move their feathers around and wash their vent area with a washcloth and the poultry lice just fall off. After a light rinse, I wrap them in a towel to lightly dry them, and if sunny and warm put them back outside in the sunshine. If colder, I actually blow them dry on low power, low heat. Some of them actually enjoy this process immensely. The grossest part is cleaning out the sink when done as sometimes there are hundreds of dead mites and the towel they are wrapped in also often has a lot on it. I then repeat this process in another week. This works well because I only have 6 chickens, and it goes fast.

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  84. I am desperately trying to find an answer so i can help my poor chicken. I have a total of 7 chickens and i have one that has a very sore looking, raw and feathless back side. Either her vent or the skin is oozing and has a foul oder. I have photos that would tell the story. after looking at your blog, I wonder if she has a very bad case of mites. She has had this for a really long time. Please let me know how and if i can post the photos. I would love some advise.
    thank you!

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  85. Ruth Blough3/5/14, 11:50 PM

    I bred parrots also in San Diego. I did the same thing as Mary. It worked every time and the birds never suffered from doing it.
    Ruth

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  86. TheChickenChick3/6/14, 10:47 PM

    I would get her to a vet.

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  87. I have had a buff peking for two weeks and she seemed a bit off colour when iI got her but put it down to being stressed due to being moved -she is only a few months old. Anyway, today she was weak and when I scooped here up I was horrified to see that every feather on her head had eggs at their bases. I checked the rest of her body but they seem to be just on her head. How do I deal with these eggs? I can't pull all of the feathers out (which seems to be the advice when I googled it). Apart from being painful, she'd be bald. What should I do? I frightened to powder her head in case it goes into her eyes. I'm in the UK by the way so I'm guessing our medications will be different. Heeelllpppp.

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  88. Bonnie Breedlove Hawkins3/13/14, 4:48 PM

    I want to thank you for sharing all your information. I am new to chickens 11/13. where did you get the little dust blower next to the Sevin dust in the picture above?

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  89. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 7:35 PM

    Follow the instructions for two treatments as described in this article. The second treatment will kill the nits that hatch after the first treatment. Be sure to clean and treat the coop too.

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  90. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 7:48 PM

    You can purchase it here, Bonnie: http://amzn.to/1i8HSN2

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  91. Bonnie Breedlove Hawkins3/13/14, 11:18 PM

    Thanks :)

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  92. well then........guess i'll be poking about in the coop with my headlamp on after the girls settle tonight......ick - now off to shower myself, i'm itchy!

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  93. I have read quite a bit of controversy about sevin dust. I trust your method based on your flock size, experience, sensitivity for your birds, but i guess i want to ask again to make sure this is right for my chickens. Thanks

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  94. I would be concerned that the chickens would eat it!

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  95. Good information.... Thank you~

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  96. TheChickenChick3/22/14, 1:15 AM

    I don't practice judgmental chicken-keeping- you're going to want to use the method that works for you. I find it best to filter out the noise of those who enjoy stirring up controversey and do what's right for my chickens based on my philosophies. I encourage you to do the same.

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  97. I've read countless numbers of articles, and watching you tube videos, trying to figure out how best to treat my Mom's " senior " pet chickens of lice. What a fiasco! Thank you for the SPECIFIC names and photos of the products you recommend. If her girls ever have an issue again, I know where I'll be looking first.

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  98. Sarha Gross3/23/14, 9:51 AM

    When you say you treat the coop , do you just dust the sevin dust all over and let it sit? Thanks for all the info.

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  99. TheChickenChick3/24/14, 11:25 PM

    Thanks Cat. Can't beat actual experience! :)

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  100. Hi, I have 7 Polands and noticed lice about two weeks ago. I have lice powdered the girls twice since then - once and again seven days later (last Sunday). They are absolutely covered... all over their heads and around their vents - properly caked!

    I've checked the worst of the girls this morning - two seem to be worse than the others One has now got frothy discharge from her eyes and the other has no discharge but one eye completely shut.
    Is there anything else I can do other than keep powdering them weekly? And what should I do about the eyes?
    btw I have given them a haircut too.

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  101. TheChickenChick3/26/14, 10:46 PM

    Which product have you been using, Jane?

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  102. Is one of the symptoms scratching? My baby chicks won't stop scratching themselves, on and off, constantly. Is this a symptom?

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  103. hi there, I recently had to move back to my parents house and there is a major chook mite infestation. they are all over the back veranda, front veranda, in the lawn and on the chickens. they are tiny little dots, some grey, some brown, some black. depends on the size...they are really fast and its driving me crazy!!!!! I cant even stand on the veranda without drowning myself in mosquito spray!!!! what mites are these ones? northern fowl? how can I get rid of them. I cant treat every chook cause I have over 100 and half are free range, hence why they are every where. I first noticed them when I was sitting in the lawn playing with some baby chicks and found them starting to crawl all over me. then I went to go to bed one night and they woke me up cause they were all over me (because I sat on the lawn in my pjs to give my chicks a quick run around). HELP!!!! ARRRR email me on crunchy28is@hotmail.com

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  104. I have had red mite and got on top of it but 4 out of 12 chickens are still loosing feathers & are getting bald on their backs, I cant see any lice/mites. I have treated with sevrin dust. what else should I do & should I be worried?I have cleaned & treated the house every 6 days x 5 times

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  105. TheChickenChick4/1/14, 12:33 AM

    It can be. You need to inspect them carefully.

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  106. Thank You Kathy for all of your information about chickens it has helped us out alot !

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  107. Brian Dyba4/4/14, 2:33 PM

    do you recommend throwing out the eggs after treatment?

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  108. Brian Dyba4/5/14, 1:19 PM

    Hi, it seems my post didn't show up. do you throw away the eggs after you treat with sevin? what about the permethrin? thanks

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  109. Can you still eat there eggs after

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  110. After seven dust

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  111. I have mites little boogies. If I treat w/7 what about them breathing it? I'm moving my whole coop since I have a dirt floor. Do mites stay in the dirt? Been using diatomaceous earth but still have them. How do you keep mites off yourself?

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  112. I have to many roosters and with them mounting the hens they lose their feathers on back and head. Got to get rid of some roosters.

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  113. I knew my chickens had mites when ai lifted them up to get the eggs and they covered my hand. yech.

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  114. TheChickenChick4/8/14, 9:23 PM

    Yikes.

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  115. dpagoldengirl4/9/14, 11:22 PM

    Couldn't find anything his feathers are so thick but he continued to pick at his chest so we gave him a miniscule dose topically on the back of his neck (u apply this as u would dog flea med) and another extremely small dose orally. We will see what this does for him. Also discovered 1 of his eyes was sealed shut so we applied warm water to open it.

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  116. Will using Sevin, Ivermectin, Frontline, or Eprinex also kill leg mites? I am going to treat my new girls, who currently have poulty lice, and am wondering if this will kill the leg mites as well. Is there a product that takes care of all external parasites and if so, do I need to throw away eggs during treatment? Thanks in advance :)

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