How to Naturally Treat Chicken Lice


chicken laying

I can still remember that feeling -- that punch in the gut that doesn't go away. I was still fairly new to the wonderful world of chickens, and everything had gone so smoothly up until this point. I had amazing mentors, friends and bloggers helping me along the way. And then this chickens got lice.

No, no way was this happening to me. All of my chickens had been extremely healthy and parasite free up until this point. And now, all of a sudden, one of the hens started acting lethargic. She had only been here for 3 weeks, if that. I quickly checked her over to notice that she was literally infested with lice. This poor girl had been this way quite a long time, and I brought her into our flock this way because I was naive and figured I didn't need to check them over since they came from a trusted breeder whom I had bought from before. But unfortunately, even the best of breeders can have issues when they are used to having a normally healthy and happy flock. We get comfortable in not doing our weekly check-ups, and then, something like this happens and can affect so many others.

Moral of my story -- always, always check over the chickens you buy....even if they are from people you know personally.

I reached out to several fellow chicken keepers on how to treat this girl and eventually my entire flock. In just 3 short weeks, the lice had spread to over half of our flock, though, it was minimal for my original flock. The other hens she came with were much worse off than my flock.

I received suggestions such as dusting in Sevin dust, poultry dust, Eprinex pour on, bathing in dawn dish liquid, dusting in DE and treating with poultry spray. Sadly, this one hen was already anemic and on her last leg, and I simply wanted something that worked quickly. So, I chose the Sevin dust and dusted all of our chickens with them....all 50 of them....

....and I was afterwards.

clement wiltshire
3/16/2018 2:13:36 PM

I was in the same boat, my beautiful chickens have lice , they look like tiny specks. My wife noticed a lethargic hen ,carried her up to the house , I put her in a cage. My wife complained of itching, we dismissed as something else.. The next morning I handled the chicken . I took a sip of my coffee, noticed this tiny specks (thousands of them) on my hand. Needless to say I went into action . Cleaned the coop. sprayed it down with natural thyme oil. cleaned all the boxes sprayed them . Then diatomaceous earth down (has to be food grade) everywhere . I'll see how it goes from here.I believe it's caused by them not being able to dust themselves , like in dryer times.

2/7/2018 9:53:38 PM

How do the chickens get the lice? It has been in the teens and single digit temps here. We even had a few negative days. I didn't think any bugs would even survive that type of weather.

5/26/2016 7:29:39 AM

Thank you for the information so helpful!

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters