Dusting chickens

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I checked one of my hens after dark last night and she was crawling with little bugs. I bought some dusting powder today but there aren't any instructions for the dusting. Does anyone who's dealt with chickens for awhile know how to go about dusting them? I know that the whole flock probably has bugs to some degree so will have to dust all of them. Most of them take dust baths outside but apparently that isn't enough. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

-- Doughtery (farmerdan130@msn.com), June 05, 2001


What a coincidence....I just posted this information on the christian homesteaders forum. Take a loosely woven piece of cloth and put some seven dust in the middle of it and then grab the 4 corners to make a duster. You should be able to shake it and some will 'dust' out. Catch a chicken (a dipping net like is used for fishing helps a lot with this) and then dust down to the the skin. Try not to get any in the chickens face and try not to breathe any yourself(however you will probably get it all over yourself). Make sure to especially get under the wings. Dust all of your chickens at once. Then dust the nest boxes and roosts good. Normally if you will dust about this time of year you won't have a problem with mites for the rest of the year. Make sure you dust any birds that you may add to your flock later on.

-- Amanda in Tx (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), June 05, 2001.

We dust our birds before and after every show, and the ones that stay home, the coop and nesting boxes. I dust them in an open area not in the coop so I don't breath any of it.

Just an addition, make sure you dust the vent area really well, that's where the little guys like to hide.

-- jennifer (schwabauer@aol.com), June 05, 2001.

I noticed that my chickens looked like they had eye-liner on, and upon closer investigation, found out that there were zillions of tiny fleas. Now I have no idea where they came from. There are no dogs or cats housed within "flea" distance of my chicken pen! And these fleas were only in one chicken pen. The next pen adjoining it had no fleas.

I used to use Sevin dust, but got to thinking that anything so strong as to make all the little critters fall off overnight, must not be good for my chickens or me. This time I bought a big bag of diatomaceous earth. First, I used vaseline, and caught each chicken, and rubbed their heads and wattles with it. Then I spread the DE all over the ground, thick. (You need to wear something over your mouth and nose, as it is organic, yet will make you sneeze). The chickens took care of the rest, dust bathing in it, and eating it, too, thus worming themselves. My method took about two weeks to work, but there were no chemicals involved.

If you do use the Sevin dust, though, put it in a container that you can shake. Some Sevin dust comes in a shaker canister. Hold the chicken by the feet, and ruff its feathers down, or backwards to the way they lay, and sprinkle the dust around the vent, and into the back sides of the feathers, and under the wings. As soon as you sit the chicken down, it will probably fluff itself, and send out a cloud of dust, thus spreading it over themselves, and you and the ground. Less is better. It doesn't take much.

-- Lela R. Picking (stllwtrs55@aol.com), June 06, 2001.

I feed all my livestock and house critters food grade Diatomaceous Earth for deworming. When the proper amount is fed, fecals will be clean. The dogs no longer get fleas. I mix the DE into the chook feed and sprinkle it around the pens (no odor). I also periodically leave piles of DE and the birds dust bathe in it. My chooks/guineas have never had mites. A sure, quick cure for what's ailing your birds.

Just leave piles of DE around and the birds will dust themselves. Also dust your roosts, nesting boxes, and the floor of the pen/coop. Food grade DE is approved by the FDA, EPA, AMDA.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), June 07, 2001.

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