The infestation of lice can cause a lot of losses to the farmer in terms of egg production drop if not properly managed.
In this write up we will discuss the best probable way to tackle lice infestation in your chicken before it gets out of hand.
The issue of lice (an ectoparasite) starts with just few birds and then with time spreads and multiplies across other birds in the flock. But in most cases early detection can be paramount to combating the impeding implication that a flock infested with lice would go through.
For easy detection, all a farmer needs to do is to run his finger along the sides of the body just below the wings of the birds. Raise every obtrusive feather and make sure that you can easily see the surface of the skin. If the infestation of lice has gotten so serious, the lice would be easily seen moving along the skin surface. You wold probably observe egg clusters beneath the base of the feathers attached to the skin.
Also the farmer should generally observe the flock and lok out for chickens that are scratching and picking themselves, looking restless with to some extent ruffled feathers.
Once this is noticed there is a possibility that some of the lice would be also active in the litter. So at this point in time, the stockman has to either use manual methods of spraying the required lice treatment solution gotten from your nearest vet store or use ingestible drugs like ivermectin that would kill both internal and external parasites in the body of the chicken. Dont forget to repeatafter two weeks to eliminate any residual lice and eggs.
Then it is also necessary that the litter which acts as a host is changed frequently to limit the possibility of the parasite to reproduce.
Other things that should be considered is the hygiene level of the pen. Proper disinfection should be carried out before any stocking is carried out in the pen. You all know that prevention is always a better option than cure. Also ensure that you treat the laying nests periodically for possible insects that might be hiding in beneath the laying nests. Some of these parasites hide in these tiny crevices and crawl out at night when they prey on their chicken hosts . Remember that lice and some other ecto parasites can be very detrimental to the performance of your layer chickens especially when it comes to egg production . Once all these instructions have been strictly adhered to be rest assured that you will enjoy poultry farming business as a profitable venture.