Sometimes things will always be DIY, no matter what. I mean really, who the heck do you hire to “de-louse” your 39 chickens when they get infested with poultry lice? You don’t. You do the dern nasty job yourself. Most things on the farm I really don’t mind doing including cleaning the chicken coop. I actually enjoy that chore. However, imagine going in to get eggs and suddenly seeing a mass of black spots creeping up all over your legs, arms, eyes, ears and other body parts I will not mention. It was a bit Amityville Horrorish, running out of the coop like two freaked out teen age girls in a haunted house. Our feathered ladies, however, were stuck there. Poor things! We felt really badly for our girls who were clearly agitated and upset. We then sprang into action.
In a bit of a tizzy, with bugs all over us, me and Mark immediately went to the local Agway store in Monticello, NY. They were amazingly helpful. Between the information from them, the internet and from my friend Melissa Caughey who is a chicken expert, award winning blogger and author (www.tillysnest.com), we had a solid plan to rid ourselves and our girls from this hell we were in.
How to De-Louse your chickens:
Step 1: We cleaned the coop and scrubbed out all the roosts with a solution of ½ vinegar ½ water. We also scrubbed the floor with this as well. The girls were quarantined in the outdoor run while we did this. Once it was dry and the fumes had cleared we let them back in. You see, we learned that chickens are VERY sensitive to fumes/smells (except for their own crap of course!) which can cause respiratory distress.
Step 2. We turned the earth in the outdoor run and incorporated Diatomaceous earth into it. This stuff is natural and basically acts like tiny razor blades against those pesky creepy crawly lice!
Step 3. We dusted each of the 39 birds with the Diatomaceous earth.
Step 4. We then added more Diatomaceous earth in the base of each nesting box before placing fresh pine shavings.
Step 5. The girls then began to sing Gospel spirituals, light up cigarettes and poured cocktails.
Step 6. We will repeat these steps again in two weeks. Oh joy.
Ahhhhhhhhh, life on the farm!