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#17861 - 05/08/03 01:33 AM lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm new to chickens and new in this forum. It seems like a brilliant place for advice and support.

I've had a look at the postings on lice, which I think my chickens have got. They are scratching themselves more than usual, and I got that skin-creeping feeling when I cleaned their cage. I need to use something cheap, and want to use something organic, to help them. Would that be diatomaceous earth? But it sounds a bit dangerous, and unfriendly to other insects. Sulphur? Orange oil and water. I would also like to know how to prevent the lice from coming back.

One of my hens hatched 6 chicks and they all died after a few days. I was away, so I can't be sure, but I'm assuming the lice overwhelmed them. Am I right?

Thank you.

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#17862 - 05/08/03 04:47 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I don't know about the lice killing chicks. I've only had a lice problem here once. I used 5% Sevin Dust. Cost me like $5 for the bag and less than half the bag treated my whole flock. I dusted them twice, about a week apart. No more lice.

I haven't ever used DE. I'd think of that as more a preventive, but that's just me. When my birds are being munched on, I want a sure thing to remedy the problem quickly. Sevin Dust did that for me.

Susie

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#17863 - 05/08/03 12:34 PM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Susie. What is Sevin Dust?

Local advice is to put wood ash in the places where my chickens have their sandbaths. I'll try it and see what happens. I'd like to use something natural, though I must say I'm not even sure why.

I'll also go down to the farmers' co-op and see what they have there. But most of their stuff is very chemically.

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#17864 - 05/08/03 01:18 PM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Sevin Dust is a brand name. The stuff in it is "carbaryl". It has many uses: everything from flea powder to sprinkling it on garden vegetable plants to get rid of pests. I use it on my tomatoes if the bugs are getting out of control.

I like to go natural when I can too. In fact, I'd give natural remedies a try for prevention. But I am willing to cross that line if I already have a problem going -- like the lice on the chickens. The way I see it, they are better off having the problem resolved quickly so in the long-run I didn't want to experiment with natural remedies when I knew I could stop the lice from munching on them immediately with the Sevin Dust.

They'll pick up lice from wild birds so the exposure is always around. Dust bathing helps them keep external parasites in check. But every once in a while I think they need a little help. Same with dogs and fleas. Prevention can work wonders but if my dogs are being bitten, I think it's healthiest for them to get things under control quickly.

Good luck! I'm sure your feed store has something similar that you can use if you decide to give it a try.

Susie

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#17865 - 05/25/03 05:01 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear Susie

Thank you for your advice on treating lice, and the general principle on when to use chemicals and when to go organic. I sprinkled ash in my chickens' dust baths and, I'm afraid, put my head in the sand and hoped it would work. I can no longer pretend: my chickens are scratching and scratching and miserable, and TOMORROW I'm going to get whatever treatment will get rid of those lice. Then I'll explore preventative organic/herbal stuff.

They also have bad scaley leg mite, but I learnt before in this classroom what to do, and so treated most of them yesterday, and will continue until the scales have cleared.

In general I'm feeling a bit panicky about all the care my chickens seem to need. I inherited them from the previous landowner, and have enjoyed having them very much. But it's clear that they can't just look after themselves, and I'm going now to the topic for novices to see what all I can learn. I so very much want to be a good steward to them.

Thanks again,
Karen

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#17866 - 05/25/03 05:17 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Karen,

You're just having a run of bad luck. I have had chickens for about 12 years and we've had lice ONE time, never had mites, never had scaly leg mites, etc. Part of that might be luck, but I don't think you'll find yourself constantly battling issues with them in the long run. smile

Susie

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#17867 - 05/29/03 10:51 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Anonymous
Unregistered


OK, the lice stuff I got says its active ingredient is Carbaryl 50g/kg.

It seems ghastly: 'toxic to fish, bees and wildlife', and to be kept out of reach of 'uninformed persons', and 'prevent drift onto other crops', and 'prevent contamination of food and drinking water'. Crumbs!

It's for, or rather against: caterpillars, grasshoppers, worms, crickets, beetles, and so on on lawns. And against: red mites, tampans, and lice on poultry. And also against ticks and fleas on dogs and cats.

Against lice on poultry it says: 'Dust under each wing and the vent'. Is that a good thing to do? (I think I know where the vent is!) And this in addition to dusting the house, floor, perches, nests, nest hay, cracks in walls? Please advise.

What should I look out for as going wrong with such a treatment? (Or am I paranoid?)

Oh thank you.

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#17868 - 05/29/03 11:02 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
This is the same stuff as flea powder, which people dump all over their dogs weekly. Same as Sevin Dust, which people pour all over their vegetable garden plants. Now, granted, I wouldn't eat a spoonful of the stuff, but I wouldn't worry about toxicity and some of those other warnings.

Pick up a bird, hold it upside down by its feet and dump a little powder under each wing and then around the vent (the rear end) and then put the bird down. It will probably fluff up and shake, which will spread the powder a bit. Good to do this in a well-ventilated area or outside just because that dust will be stirred up for a little while. That's all there is to it. Repeat it again in one week.

When I had to dust my birds for lice, I did make sure and wash the eggs that I brought in for a couple of weeks. It just "felt" better to me to do that. But keeping in mind how many people dump this all over their vegetables in a garden, don't be worried too much about it all.

Susie

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#17869 - 05/30/03 04:21 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Chickpine Offline
Chicken

Registered: 10/16/02
Posts: 149
Loc: Maine
Susie- Just because it's available in stores and "people dump it all over" doesn't mean it's safe!

Diazinon, DDT and other pesticides used to be considered "safe" until they found out the effects of them on us and the environment. frown

KM- Please continue to learn and be concerned about what you use on your chickens! You, your family, your pets and the environment will also be exposed. Here is a web site to help you make informed decisions. http://ace.ace.orst.edu/info/extoxnet/pips/carbaryl.htm

Yes we must treat our gardens, chickens, pets and ourselves for disease when necessary but we can do it responsibly! smile

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#17870 - 05/30/03 04:51 AM Re: lice: cheap and/or organic treatments
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Oh for pete's sake. Carbaryl is a LONG WAY from DDT!! It *has* been tested for years and years of use. It's not new. There are no surprises in store. The stuff you use on chickens is HALF the strength of what people dump on tomato plants! Half!

Quote:
Susie- Just because it's available in stores and "people dump it all over" doesn't mean it's safe!
Yeah, actually in many cases it *does* mean just that.

Susie

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