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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It has me scratching!

Two things have me scratching my stats and lice.
My page hits have taken a dive...even with the risque titles. 
Like a massive reduction...I really do think Blogger
was playing with the stats somehow. 

And a teacher I was often surrounded by short people 
who liked to host lice parties on their heads.
It still makes me itch...just thinking about it.

 Now I have to deal with the problem of lice
on my feathered children.  
I did find some creepy crawlies around
Vera's cloaca the other day so action was required.

I cleaned out the coop, scrubbed the nest boxes 
with soap and water and liberally sprinkled
sulphur around the edges of the coops.
I also made sure the crevices in the nest boxes
and perches had a good dose of sulphur.

Fresh nesting material 
was installed.

Once before I actually bathed the chickens...if you don't believe me check out my post, Lousy chooks!  Wet chickens look absurd.  However, the weather is too cold for this at the moment. 
But I will have to treat the chooks too...I will tell you about this in a later post.

stop scratching 
and leave a comment!


  1. I teach school and the mere mention of lice gives me the itchies! Hope your cleaning job got rid of those little buggers.

  2. Okay, Okay....
    Have never checked my chooks for lice...mmmm
    Check my childrens hair though on occasion....
    As for blog stats, never hardly look...not sure if many people read my blog...except my regular commenters...maybe I am just blogging to no one?

  3. Never thought of chooks getting lice. Can they get fleas as well?

  4. Maybe dust baths would work? Mine like to dig in the dirt, then roll around in it. I heard somewhere that it flushes out the buggies.

  5. I'm an early childhood teacher and the thought of livestock in the hair, gives me the heeby jeebies. I've been told by a chook master, that they get infested by lice from mixing with wild birds. If they are kept away from them and are housed in bird proof areas then they don't get them. But of course when you are free ranging chokes that's impossible.

  6. Ok thats a "Lousy" post just kidding but it did make me scratch last year i was working fulltime at the playschool and nearly every week I was bringing more than a paycheck home.

  7. Hi Hazel, I have two anitlice strategies. One is moving the chooks fairly regularly so they don't stay on the same ground all the time. It breaks the cycle of many parasites, including lice and worms. The other, all winter I give the chooks the ash from our wood stove to dust bath in. They love it and they never seem to get lice.

    About statistics, I think they just go beserk every so often, for no good reason. For myself, my attitude is to only pay attention to long term averages, not blips and bumps. I do think writing stuff that no-one reads is a bit of a waste of 0 and 1 storage space. But jumping every time the hits go up or down would stop me being able to write anything true at all, and anyway, I don't think it's that accurate or sensitive. I love your blog!

  8. Hazel, if you have lice there is no way I am sharing a room with you at Daffodil's.

  9. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

    Potted Plants

  10. Oh Hazel, you will heave to leave your chicken lice at home.

    I dunked our chickens on one warmish day in Autumn for lice and I don´t think I have been forgiven yet. I would not like to have to dunk you as well!

  11. for stats? Pft! My most read post is a silly little one with a couple of cartoons about trolls.

    Not one of my finer literary forays.

  12. Hazel, I can't comment on anything to do with chickens, but I can in relation to the Blogger stats. Mine "went through the roof" for a period of about 10 days, with figures about 3 times the normal, but two days ago they went back down again. I also use Google Analytics, and their figures were not similarly affected. I conclude that Blogger was experiencing another of its (many) problems, and that they have finally sorted out whatever was wrong.

  13. I know what you mean re the lice. That mug: "Old teachers never die they just lose their class" should read "Old teachers never die they just keep picking off lice." Cheers from another old school marm.

  14. I'm itching now - thanks.

    The first time my eldest came home with lice I didn't have a clue what they were - initially thought they were flying ants - until my sister set me straight. Thank goodness (touch wood) we've passed that stage of life.

  15. Our chooks have a mite on their feet ..we are using cooking oil spray to kill them its taking awhile but they are getting better..any tips for mites

  16. David...the chooks don't get fleas, but a couple of types of lice. Some eat dead skin but most seem to suck blood. Some live on the bird, others in the environment and climb aboard the meal train at night when the host has roosted. Last year my birds had something called feather lice, they were so irritating, the girls pulled out most of the feathers on their backs. They can also get leg mites that live under the scales on there legs and feet.

    Dust baths do help apparently...though I will be adding some wood ash to my girls' favourite places now (thanks Linda).

    Joyful Homemaker...I have read that vaseline is good for leg may stick longer than cooking oil too. The idea is to smother them...the mites, not the chooks.

    Mark...I definitely think it was Blogger playing up...but I did get very excited when my hits went sky high. LOL.

  17. Oh, and on the subject of head lice and children...I once had a grade with 28 children in it and one day 24 were absent having their lice and nits was a very quiet day.

    I never told anyone, but it was my fault. We had this perceptual motor program running daily and it had an activity for eye tracking. I had a tennis ball suspended from the ceiling. The children would lay under it and watch the swinging ball. Four or five laid down at once, with their heads together and feet pointing out in a star formation.

    I think the lice took the opportunity to migrate from head to head. Ooops! Even the four that came that day, had been absent the day before, or were the day after for treatment....100% infestation. LOL.

  18. lol! I can't believe you washed your chooks! They must be very forgiving animals!

    But for the sake of another photo opportunity (still laughing), maybe you could give them a warm bath by the fire; they might enjoy it!

  19. This post and comments is making me scratch my head as I always do at the mention of lice. Luckily I've never had lice myself despite working with children. It'd be a nightmare to get lice out of my hair - it's curly and knotty and mostly wild. I only wash it once a week and I reckon that's the trick - lice mustn't like dirty hair!

    As for the stats, blogger definitely has got it wrong. Same as with Mark my stats recently reported three times the usual hits. I installed a counter from statcounter (google it) and it shows that blogger is getting it wrong. I haven't checked recently to see if it's back to normal.

  20. Ginger! This coming from someone who tries to save mice (during a mouse plague) and doesn't complain when the significant other keeps them in a box in the cupboard and feeds them cat food?

  21. Was that a class of 3rd Graders? At our local school, it was always 3rd graders who got head lice. My chickens don't get lice very often, but when my son raised White Old English for show, it was a constant battle with mites, especially in the winter. We tried all the home remedies, but with show birds you can't goop up their feathers. Finally found that Ivermectin - a drop or two in the vent area - solved the problem. These were not birds used for meat or eggs. Washing birds is fun. We used to wash as many as 35 in the kitchen sink to get ready for a show. Wrapped them up in towels and stacked them. Then we'd take one at a time and use a hair dryer. Trimmed their beaks and filed their nails, massaged Corn Huskers lotion into the scales on their legs, and as a finishing touch, rubbed light oil onto their combs and beaks. That was so much work and my kitchen and dining room were a mess for a week after because we popped the birds into their carriers and were gone for 3 days at the shows.

    Blogger stats are interesting. I started my blog to keep in touch with relatives and few of them read it. Made a lot of new friends, though.

  22. That's the bit about animals I don't quite like but gotta get the job done huh. By the way your harvest yesterday looks good for stew! Not sure about the blogger stats, know Mark has had some probs.

  23. My stats have taken a dive as well. I too think something's up with that. They dropped by the hundreds....hmmm.
    Oh boy, we have dealt with the lice thing. We used regular flea and tick spray. Killed them in 24 hours. They are nasty things.
    As far as the bathing of chickens is concerned I too have been there and done that. It's a very interesting experience!!

  24. As well as the dust baths and cleaning out the pen, etc, I regularly paint their perches, (especially underneath) with cooking oil. I was told to do this by a chook "expert" because the lice like to hide out under the the perch.
    I also give the girls a leg massage with oil from time to time. Seems to work.


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