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Pesticides and Chickens

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Are Pesticides Safe For Use With Chickens?

Birds are renowned for their susceptibility to health problems caused by pesticides. So as a chicken owner, you may be wondering when you can use pesticides, where to use them and which ones are safe for your birds.

Here are a few hints and tips on using pesticides around chickens.

  • You should never spray pesticides on or near a plant that your chickens are likely to eat. Understandably, ingesting pesticides could prove fatal.


  • If you have to use pesticides, make sure they are the organic non-toxic kind. You will probably find that these are a little more expensive, but they are the only pesticides that are safe around birds.


  • Remember, that you may not need pesticides if you have chickens. Chickens will eat many of your garden pests, including snails, ladybugs and all sorts of other insects.
  • You may find that your chickens’ house and nesting boxes are attractive to fleas and lice. Ensuring the bottom of the nesting boxes is made from mesh will discourage some parasites. However, you may find that you need to place some louse powder to completely eradicate the problem.


  • If you intend to use louse powder, be sure to clean the nesting boxes thoroughly and keep the chickens out of the house while you are treating it. It is also a good idea to keep the birds away from the powder for a few hours and place the nesting material on top of the treated sites to reduce the risk of ingestion.


  • Simply ensuring that you keep your coop clean, with fresh nesting materials, will dramatically decrease the number of pests that you encounter. Typically, you should clean the coop at least once a week, but, depending on the size of your flock, you may need to do it more frequently.
  • Bear in mind, of you are rearing your birds for meat and/or eggs and advertising them as organic, it is important that the birds are not exposed to pesticides at any point.

Pesticides and ChickensHowever, if you still have a problem with pests and need a non-toxic pesticide, the good news is you can make one in your very own home.

Simple ingredients, such as hot pepper sauce, garlic and liquid detergent can create an effective pesticide. A few clicks on an internet search engine will provide you with lots of homemade recipes for non-toxic pesticides.

Alternatively, you may find it helpful to discuss any pest problems with a fellow chicken owner. His, or her, experience could provide you with the answer you’re looking for.

Although it is possible to use pesticides around chickens, it can pose a number of health risks. Subsequently, I would advise against the use of synthetic pesticides whenever possible. Remember, there are many alternatives.  

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