Cover Image
close this bookEthnoveterinary Medicine in Asia - Poultry (IIRR, 1994, 40 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCollaborating organizations
View the documentParticipants and workshop staff
View the documentHow to use this manual
View the documentReduced appetite
View the documentCoughs and colds
View the documentDiarrhea
View the documentIntestinal worms
View the documentTicks, lice and mites
View the documentFungal diseases
View the documentInfectious diseases
View the documentWounds
View the documentHousing
View the documentHeat stress
View the documentFeeding
View the documentCalcium deficiency

Ticks, lice and mites



· Larvae attached to the skin.
· Anemia.
· Loss of weight.
· Red spots on the skin where the ticks have fed.
· Birds do not forage actively.
· Birds stay in one place and appear depressed.
· Birds are uneasy at night.
· Egg production decreases.


Ticks bite the birds at night, so they are rarely seen attached to the bird. After the ticks fall off. They breed in cracks in the walls and floor. The adult females lay eggs which hatch quickly in warm weather. Ticks are especially a problem when the temperature is high. They are difficult to eradicate because they do not stay on the bird during the daytime. Ticks can carry spirochetosis disease. They can also attach onto humans and suck the blood.



· Small, white lice eggs on the feathers.
· Lice moving on skin and feathers.
· Reduced egg production.
· Slower weight gain.
· Birds constantly peck at themselves or scratch them selves with their beaks.


Poultry are infected by biting (not sucking) lice. Lice, unlike ticks, stay all their lives on the bird's skin. They lay eggs on the feathers. Lice can also bite people but do not stay on humans for long.


These methods are used against both ticks and lice.

· Smoke the chicken houses regularly (see remedies below).
· Fill in cracks in the walls
· Change the bedding regularly.
· Clean around the house.
· Put all waste into a manure pit.


· Burn any of the plants listed below near or under the poultry house so the smoke goes into the house. The amount of leaves burned depends on the size of the house. This will drive away lice and ticks. Keep all birds and animals away from the smoke. People should keep away from the smoke, too.

-Dry leaves of Diospyros ebenum. (Central India. 1, 2, 3, 4)

-Dry tobacco leaves (do not allow birds to eat tobacco). (Throughout South and Southeast Asia. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

-Powdered bark of Citrus acida. (Thailand. 1, 2, 3, 4)

-Fresh, whole plant of Jasminum sambac. (Philippines. 1, 2, 4)

-Fresh or dry leaves of Premna odorata. (Philippines. 1, 2, 4)

-Fresh or dry leaves of Vitex negundo. (Philippines. 1, 2, 4)

Many women in India prefer to cook using traditional smoky stoves because they say the smoke drives away lice and ticks inside the home.

· Crush and dry fresh leaves of Premna odorata. Put these under the chicken house. This is used to drive away lice. It also kills lice on contact. (Philippines. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

· Hang a bouquet of Vitex negundo, Ocimum sanctum or lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) in the poultry house. (Throughout South and Southeast Asia. 1, 2, 3, 4)

· Rub any of the remedies listed below on the birds' skin. Use as much as needed to cover the entire skin.

-Fresh or dry tobacco leaves. (Throughout South and Southeast Asia. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

-A mixture of 2 parts neem (leaves or oil), 1 part of salt and 1 part of ash. (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, India. 1, 2, 3, 4)

-A mixture of 1 part of salt and 2 parts of mustard oil. (Karnataka, India. 1, 2, 3, 4)

-Crushed fresh Vitex negundo leaves. (India. 1, 2, 3, 4)

-Pounded fresh or dried Annona squamosa seeds. (Throughout South and Southeast Asia. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)



· Small, red bumps on the skin.
· One or more small red mites on the bumps. (Mites are the size of a pinhead.)
· Birds are uncomfortable and ruffle their feathers.
· Birds peck themselves.


Mites suck the blood of birds. They can attack all ages and both sexes. but layers are particurlarly affected. Mites can also bite people, causing irritation and itchiness anywhere on the body.

Prevention and treatment

· Regularly clean poultry houses, especially before hens start to lay.

· Put 1 handful of fresh lemongrass (Cympobogon citratus) in the nest before the hen starts to lay. Leave is there while the hen lays and broods.