Hen Lice

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My hens have come down with some kind of small crab looking lice. How can I safely get rid of these bugs as it is becoming very cold here in Kentucky and the chickens have picked each others feathers quite a bit? I have tried wood ashes for them to dust in but I don't seem to be able to provide them with enough ashes due to the number of chickens (50). Also do you know of a hatchery that will mix up birds to meet my order? I want about 10 to 15 turkeys and about 10 to 15 ducks. I would order more birds like guineas or geese if needed to insure they were warm enough to make it. Thanks for a great magazine. I subscribe to all kinds of magazines on small scale farming or back to the landing, but yours is by far the best. I can pick up an issue and always learn something. How about some articles on putting up fences (all different kinds) and bottle calves (they are a joy). Thanks for all I've learned from your magazine. Joel Combs Pine Knot, Ky.

-- Joel W Combs (jwcinpk@yahoo.com), January 07, 2002


I would try Sevin dust on them the 5% - check the label to see if it has directions. Just be sure not to get it in their (or your) eyes.

-- Trisha-MN (coldguinea@netscape.net), January 07, 2002.

If you don't already, provide a dusting spot. Either a round, low feed dish or scoop out a depression in their run. Put wood ashes in it, and they will take care of themselves. The above advice on Sevin is good. It'll work.

-- Rickstir (rpowell@email.ccis.edu), January 07, 2002.

Joel, The sevin dust will work, just don't eat the eggs as it is absorbed thru the skin(wear gloves) and thru the egg shell. An old remedy that works too is to coat the roosts with old engine oil, I would take a guess that any oil would work aka cooking oil as it smothers the lice. I know the engine oil works. Cackle Hatchery in Missouri will send you almost any kind of mix you want to order. They have a web site and as usual I can't remember the address. They are very nice folks and seem to be used to people like me that want a few of everything. karen

-- karen in kansas (kansasgoats@iwon.com), January 07, 2002.

We've always used a solution of lye and water in the barn to get rid of lice. Just dilute 1 T. lye powder in 1 gallon of water in a sprinkling can and sprinkle the floor and walls of the barn. We've only done it in warm weather though. Might get tricky if the barn floor gets too cold.

-- Karen Braun (jbraun@one.net), January 07, 2002.

Roost "paint" works. Dust baths are my choice for free - roaming flocks.

-- Elizabeth Quintana (rockshelter@webtv.com), January 08, 2002.

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