Chicken lice: the unstoppable trick to get rid of them

This is the scourge of all chicken farms: red lice. Red lice are small grey mites that have the nasty habit of feeding on the blood of hens, especially at night. They bite them and suck their blood until they become red or even black when they are well fed. Even if they do not attack humans, they can have serious consequences on the health of the hens. They can even cause their death. And for good reason, they reproduce at a dizzying speed! Within a few days, your poultry house can be literally infested. That’s why it’s important to act quickly!

How do I know if my chickens have lice?

It is easy to know if your hens are infested with red lice for the simple reason that, despite their small size, they are visible to the naked eye. You will be able to observe them in the dark corners of the henhouse, clustered in species of anthills. It is at night that they are the most visible because that is when they are active and moving, especially on the walls of the henhouse.

Furthermore, if you observe a change in the behaviour of your hens, this may be a sign of the presence of lice. They are more tired than usual because of the anaemia caused by repeated bites, the laying process slows down, they are itchy, the eggs are of poorer quality and sometimes you can even observe small red dots on the shell. The hens can even let themselves die of exhaustion.

The trick to get rid of them for good

It is particularly difficult to eliminate lice from chickens. Especially since they can stay up to 8 months without feeding and the cold does not kill them but only slows down their reproductive cycle. The only solution is often to burn the litter in the hen house, clean the whole house with black soap or vinegar, especially in the small cracks, and treat the hens with diatomaceous earth. But unfortunately, the result is not always satisfactory.

To get rid of those awful red lice for good, there is a trick: just mix wood ash and sand (or diatomaceous earth) and sprinkle it generously throughout the henhouse. Especially in the smallest cracks!

This mixture will have an abrasive effect on the lice, which will die every time they try to move around. And while it is deadly for these mites, it is safe for the hens. Repeat the operation twice a week and the results will be visible after a few days.