One of my customers asked me recently if I could see what was wrong with her chook.  I didn't have to look hard to find probably the worst case of lice I've ever seen (pictured below).

A sure sign of lice on your chook is bald, red patches of skin on the chooks body, excessive loose feathers in the nest or your chooks stop laying eggs.


Check twice a month to prevent lice infestations.  When dusting your chooks for lice you should also dust their perches and nest.

I treated this bird and removed all traces of lice and found her a nice new home.


Below:    Chronic case of untreated lice.   


PESTENE for control of lice, mites and fleas on poultry, dogs, cats, calves, horses and goats.  Simply brush through to kill lice.

Also apply to your birds perches.

Not to be used on kittens and puppies under 3 months old.


Your chook’s feed is most important, we use SURE TO PLEASE™16% protein layer pellets ensure you keep this feed in front of them at all times.  Your birds will have less stress if you keep them on the same feed we have been feeding them, in fact this applies to all livestock.


Whilst feeding vegie scraps to your chooks may seem like a treat, it can unbalance their diet and reduce the number of eggs they lay.  Dried meal worms are an excellent treat for poultry, they’re high in protein and amino acids, they’re not essential for their diet but if you want to give as a treat, give 4 to 5 worms per day.


Do not feed extra wheat or corn as this will unbalance the 16% protein, this is the most important factor for laying pullets.  Scatter a handful of Scratch Mix on the ground daily to encourage the hens to scratch the litter over.


Clean water is a must and should always be available.  Change their water often, especially when temperatures are hotter than usual.  The 12lt nipple drinker bucket is the perfect waterer designed to provide clean, easily accessible drinking water and extend the time between refills.  Drop a bottle of frozen water in it in the hotter months to keep the water cool.


Birds are to be wormed about every three months.   A good idea to help you remember when to worm is to do it at the beginning of each season, spring, summer, autumn and winter.  A good wormer is KILVERM, the directions are on the bottle.


Mite and lice also need to be controlled.  The birds, their perches and nests should be dusted with a product called PESTENE.  You can examine the birds for these pests by holding them upside down and examining their rear end. If either of the pests occurs and you have not noticed, one of the results will be no egg production.  Use wooden perches with a 3” wide standing area x 2” deep.  Use softwood shavings in your nesting boxes.


When you first buy your birds it’s wise to keep them locked up for three to four days before letting them out, by doing this, they will always go back into their house on dusk but do try to remember to lock them back up because Mr or Mrs Fox are always on the lookout for a nice chicken dinner.


With good care and feeding, your birds will produce eggs for at least two years and longer.  If keeping the birds after two years, the economics should be looked at because the cost of their feed compared to the rate of their egg production may be too much.   Also, a sign that you may need to replace your birds is when the shell quality deteriorates and they become thin.




Worm your chooks at the beginning of each season, spring, summer, autumn and winter, these times are easy to remember. A good wormer is KILVERM, the directions are on the bottle.

Use wooden perches with a 3” wide standing area x 2” deep  

Follow Alex's tips

for happy, healthy chooks and

plenty of eggs!

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