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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Readers Question: Chicken Lice

 I am new at raising chickens we have 18 between 2 separate houses. The one has ten 20 week old hens, 1 red sex link that started laying in April and one rooster. Roughly 2 weeks ago our sex link started to sit so we assumed she was going broody, but had noticed white bugs crawling on her head…lice. We bathed the whole flock in an organic tea tree and peppermint, cleaned the coop, dusted with De. She seems to be doing better but still have not received an egg from her in these 2 weeks.  Our other girls which are 6 red sex links in the other house started decreasing in egg production also within the past 2 weeks….we would get 6 a day….to gradually 5….then we went to three…. to two….one….then none for two days. These girls were treated the same within 1 day apart from the first one mentioned above other… and we just started getting 1-2 eggs a day a few days ago, still not at normal. Nothing has changed in diet (other than brand of feed) they were on pellets, but went to local feed store and got them a layer mash (which they had on one other occasion with no troubles) there are no predator issues, it has been hot but not to terrible, they have access to dust bathe. So I am stumped to what else might be going on. They all are eating/drinking well and look healthy and no missing feathers. Do you have any ideas or no how long it takes them to bounce back to laying after an infestation of lice ?

Thank You,


-Sydney- said...

Sometimes a change in routine or an unusual event will put girls off their lay (if the dusting/coop cleaning was deemed "traumatic" by them). I find it usually takes 2-3 weeks for them to bounce back.

The one who was sitting was probably broody--to my knowledge lice doesn't make them sit unless they also have vent problems--and it often takes a lot longer to start laying again after being broody.

Vee and the Kid said...

My girls have really slowed down with their laying. It's the heat (at least on our little farmette), plus moving the coops. Mostly the heat. Close to 100 yesterday and expecting the same today and tomorrow. We have about 65 chickens, various ages ... from 3 days old to 3 years old. Have 14 layers (5 of them new within the last week) but still only get between 4-6 eggs a day.

Be patient. The eggs will start back up.

Vikki at http://vikkisverandah.blogspot.com

A Joyful Chaos said...

They should start laying again within several weeks. My mother used to feed them cooked oatmeal to keep the egg production up. Whether or not that actually worked I don't really know.



Add hornworms to their diet.
PS - I know nothing about chickens except I BBQ a mean Italian bird with smoked potatoes.

Anonymous said...

Do the girls have a mister? That might help if they seem overheated. Most likely it's just the trauma of mite treatment and house cleaning that has the girls not wanting to lay.