Internal/external parasites in chickens
I have 4 silkie chickens which are a few months old and they have lice. I've learned they likely have internal parasites as well. I also have 4 small dogs, a cat and 2 children. What's the most effective way to treat these parasites safely?
Washington County Oregon parasites
First off, verify that you do indeed have lice on your silkies and not mites. Here is a brief description of fowl lice:
Poultry lice mobile, 6 legged, flat insects with round heads that live on the chicken and its feathers. They are beige or straw colored and are typically found at the base of feather shafts near the vent. Look near the vent where they frequently be observed before moving away. The eggs laid by the female are seen at the bases of feather shafts.
It is best to treat the birds as well as the premises. Many insecticides are effective but the the most widely recommended product is Elector PSP. Mix 9 mL of the concentrate in 1 gal of water. Make a new batch for every use. This product kills all life stages of lice and there is no egg withdrawl period. Fowl lice may transiently get on other animals or people but they typically do not stay long so treatment is not necessary for the other animals.
Thank you. Yes, I already determined they are lice prior to asking my question. I'm assuming they came with them(?) It seems most people treat externally with DE. You're thoughts? I've attached pics of the chicken where you can see feather loss and blood. I gave each a bath since then and found lice just as you described between the feathers on their wings.
I've heard of they have parasites in the outside they have them internally as well. Not sure if your were able to ablean that party of the question...
While others may disagree, and I do not profess to be an expert in poultry medicine, I do NOT recommend diatomaceous earth. I have two reason not to recommend it:
1. It also kills other insects such as honey bees and insects that actually eat parasites.
2. The chicken respiratory system is very delicate and inhalation of diatomaceous earth can be very detrimental especially when used in their dust bath area.