Old fashioned ways of handling Lice in free range poultry
Body lice, which lay their eggs and pass through their various stages of existence on the body of the fowl, are much harder to deal with. As a rule, active, healthy hens having free range or access to a good dust bath may be depended upon to keep themselves fairly well rid of body lice.
It is recommended to dust them with insect powder, and sometimes this may become necessary, but it is a tedious and difficult job at best, and it is utterly impossible to kill all the vermin by one or two applications.
It is well to examine the hens occasionally to see how they are faring in regard to body lice. If present they will be found only on certain portions of the body, usually about the vent. Warm lard, to which has been added a few drops of kerosene, is useful.
To keep chickens free from lice it is sufficient to grease them two or three times with melted lard, according as they may seem to require it. They should be looked after closely and not be left until they begin to get mopy and stand around all drawn up in a heap. Some advocate using insect powders.
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These are all right if one can get good, fresh stock. Much of it that is sold at the stores is worthless. A dust bath made of equal parts of sifted hard coal ashes and land plaster is said by Prof. J. E. Rice to be the best thing tried at the New York State College poultry yards.