Permethrin and chickens

Asked September 20, 2020, 2:39 PM EDT

I have 5 backyard chickens living in an enclosed run area (no free range ing) who are fed healthy table scraps along with their store bought layer feed pellets and crumbles from a large bowl. Lots of the food gets scattered outside of the bowl and falls in the dirt when they eat. There are lots of some kind of larve (maggot?) that live in the area around and under the food area. The chickens will not eat these creatures. The larve look more like elongated skinny armadilloes than the wormy, white short larve I have seen. How can I get rid of these creatures. (When the food dish is moved they are all on top of the moister area that the container has left. The larvae immediately start burrowing out of the light into the soil below.) I have tried sprinkling DE on them and this has not killed them. I've poured boiling water over the area and this has not killed them. I need to find a way of killing them that will not harm the chickens. I understand that permethrin kills maggots. I have some Permethrin Cream, 5% left over from a scabies treatment and wonder if there is any way I can mix it and dilute it to kill the creatures. But I don't want the chickens to die in the process by eating what I put down in their food area. What can I do to get rid of these ??? that will not hurt the chickens? And might these ??? be harmful to the chickens? Thank you for any help you can suggest.

Fayette County Kentucky

1 Response

What you are calling maggots make actually be pill millipedes. The problem is most likely related to the feeding of table scraps, especially if you are not cleaning up the remains. Any left scraps are probably rotting and attracting bugs that live on decomposing plant material. The chickens do not eat them because they smell and taste bad.
The solution would be to limit table scraps, raise the feed bowl off the ground, and clean up water spills as soon as possible after they occur. Also, check feeder space per chicken. Are they spilling feed on the ground because they are too tight.

I would NOT recommend putting down any pesticides in the area where the chickens would have access to them.