Flock Care – Dealing With Mites and LicePrint
Have your chickens been extra itchy lately? Are their feathers a little too ruffed? If this sounds like your flock, you may have an infestation at your hands!
Mites and lice are pesky little parasites that can pose serious threats to your flock. A serious infestation can be deadly!
So, what exactly causes poultry infestation? Here’s a list of things that can bring mites and lice into your chicken coop.
- Adding new birds to your flock can break havoc if those birds are already infested.
- You may carry mites and lice in or on your shoes and clothes.
- Wild birds are often infested. In fact, they play a major role in spreading mice and lice.
- Rodents can transfer mice and lice into your chicken coop.
While there is always a chance of getting these sneaky parasites in your coop, there are a number of things that you can do to put an end to the infestation before it does any serious damage. Let’s have a look at how you can treat mite and lice infestation and keep it from bothering your flock.
Treating Mites and Lice
As soon as you notice signs of infestation, it’s time to get in action! Start by dusting all your birds with an insect powder. A number of insect powders are readily available in the market. However, it is advisable to buy the best quality insect powder from a trusted retailer only. Keep in mind that although insect powders are harmless, it is advisable to wear a dust mask, especially if you struggle with respiratory diseases like asthma.
Once the dusting is done, it’s time to clean the coop. Move your dusted birds to a secondary coop or a chicken tractor and get to work! Take everything out of the coop and clean it thoroughly. Remove all the bedding and pay extra attention to cleaning the roosting area.
Remember, it is important to discard the bedding. Don’t add it to the compost! In fact, to be extra sure, it is advisable to burn the discarded bedding. If that’s not possible, bag it twice before throwing it in the bin. Based on how severe the infestation is, you can take many steps to make sure you rid your chicken coop from every last mite and lice. One option is to use a high-pressure hose to spray the coop. This ought to do the trick! However, if you are dealing with a serious case of infestation, you may want to pour boiling water into the joints and cracks of the coop. Also, use dehydrated lime to clean the floor, walls, roosting area etc. Once everything is dry, dust the coop generously with insect powder.
It’s time to bring the birds back home! While your birds may be back in their coop, your work is not done yet. Parasites lay hundreds of eggs every day, and although the insect powder works for mites and lice, it does little damage to the eggs.
This makes it important to dust your chickens and coop again after 7 days to make sure you kill the new hatchlings. If needed, repeat again after another week. Remember, an infestation is a serious poultry issue that must be dealt with as soon as possible to make sure your birds enjoy a long and healthy life!