Ways that you can treat chicken lice

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What does it really take to start raising backyard chickens?

Chicken lice are ectoparasites that cause your chicken great discomfort. They cause the farmer large economic losses beyond what they do to your chickens. Hence the reason they need to be put out as soon as possible.

In this article, I’ll share natural and chemical ways in your chicken farm to eradicate lice and mites. But before I go to treat chicken lice, let’s remember some of the signs that tell you your chickens were infested with lice or chicken mites.

Signs of chicken lice infestation

  • Pale combs and wattles

Once infested with lice or mites, the combs and wattles of your chickens that start looking pale in color.

This is because the ectoparasites feed on blood and nutrients in your chicken. This is a common sign of serious infestation

  • Disconformity and Itchy feeling

Chickens preen on a regular day, but if you find too much pecking of feathers and preening, your chicken can have some lice or mites.

  • Sluggishness

Chickens infected with lice are always slow

  • Red patches under the wings

As a result of feeding, chicken lice can leave pink, red, or dark coloring under your chicken wings.

  • Appetite loss

This can occur when the chickens get heavily infested.

  • Fall in production of eggs

This is the farmer’s main economic concern. Egg production, like many other sicknesses in the hen’s body, often suffers

  • Physical appearance

Many lice are large enough to be seen by the eye without support.

Interestingly, chicken mites feed only at night, and will normally leap off the body of the chicken during the day. This means you’ll find them on the soil, or on the poultry house’s walls and pillars. One thing you can do to see them on your chickens is to come back 2-3 hours after light-out into their pen. By that time they’ll be back to feeding.

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Treatment of chicken lice

There are a number of natural and cost-effective methods that have been tested and trusted to treat chicken lice and mites. For several decades some of these have been practiced, but the good thing is that they still work.

We also now have theoretical theories for why and how most of these natural remedies work. Some of the natural ways to combat lice and mites in Chicken include:

  • Wood Ash

Besides getting rid of the lice from an already infested flock, wood ash can also help prevent the infestation of lice or mites. Many of us used to think chickens only playful when they have a dust bath. But on the contrary, simply they are self-medicating.

  • Restore Iron

The lice must have lost some red blood cells to your heavily infested chickens and you want to restore it. Good sources of iron include spinach and pumpkin seeds. You want to serve these as flocking treatments while you treat chicken lice

  • Aromatic agents

These are good smelling plants that can repel ectoparasites. Examples include mint, lemon balm, and lavender balm. These are mostly useful though when the infestation is not severe.

  • Neem Oil

Neem oil is another great repellant that can be sprayed inside and around your chicken house to prevent the settling of chicken lice and mites.

How to avoid chicken lice

You need to be on guard to effectively prevent chicken lice or mites from invading. The following are things you might find your chickens to be fully lice-proof:

  • Don’t forget to quarantine

It can be risky to introduce new species. Any new chicken that carries an increasing number of lice so you’d like to keep it away from the rest of the flock for a while. This is known as quarantine.

  • Evite interaction with stray or wild birds

Another way may be giving access to wild birds. Allow no mistake of this. Cover the openings in your chicken house with netting material to prevent the entry of stray birds

  • Dust baths

This is an efficient way to keep your chickens free from lice. If chickens bathe in the dirt or wood ash, the ash burns the ectoparasite exoskeleton and causes them to dehydrate and die.

  • Avoid overcrowding

While overcrowding may not bring chicken lice or mites to your farm, it encourages these ectoparasites to rapidly multiply.

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So, whichever solution you want, both chemical and natural treatments are reliable, and you’ll get the result you need if done well. Should sit, then? Act now and get rid of those little devils before causing too much havoc.

 

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