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Lice control

 
Matt Vader
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1. An issue we deal with in our herd is lice. I know that you can do some preventive herbal remedies but after they are established, is there any hope for ridding ourselves of this pest without toxic measures?

2. Do the lice come from the chickens?
 
Deborah Niemann
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Every mammal and bird species has its own species of lice and worms. Back in the 90s, you used to hear that chickens gave goats lice and worms and so on. But now we know there are a few hundred species of lice and a few thousand species of roundworms. They are all host specific and will die if they don't have access to their proper host. So, this also means you don't have to worry about getting lice yourself from your goats or chickens.

The most natural and non-toxic way to get rid of lice is to simply shave the goats. We use a #10 blade on dog clippers. If you really want to wipe it out, you will need to shave all your goats at the same time so that none of them have any place to hide.
 
Matt Vader
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Thanks Deborah. This sounds like a good option. Would dusting with DE after shaving improve our efforts?
 
Deborah Niemann
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No need to do anything other than shave them. The lice have no place to hide, so they fall off. We usually bathe the goats first because if they're clean, the clipper blades will last longer. If you have more than about 5-6 Nigerians or 3-4 standard size goats, you'll need more than one blade, as they get dull fairly fast.
 
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