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Spring-Time Is Lice-Time

Spring-Time Is Lice-Time

Yes, it is that time of year again. The time of year when the baby birds start chirping, the grass starts turning green and yes, the time for de-licing your goats. Before anyone faints from the shock of what I just said and runs to take a bath, let’s get the FACTS.


Goats, as well as other forms of livestock, usually at some point end up with lice; not the human kind, nor can humans acquire the little blood sucking beasts. Livestock lice are nasty little bugs that love to suck the blood from your goats and do not affect humans. Although lice can show up anytime, they are most likely to occur in Spring when the combination of humidity, mild temperatures and rainy weather combine to create very favorable conditions.


Livestock lice love to hide in long clumps of hair and look like little brown or white dots of sand. Unless you look really hard you may miss them, so I always treat in the spring, no matter what. In the Spring they are a little harder to detect and control due to the nice long hair they hide in on your goats coat. It is still too early to shave the bodies of the goats and with all the rain we have had in the state(GA), it makes it perfect lice weather.


To treat for lice, use a livestock parasitic solution such as Cydectin or Ivomec. Make sure to follow the label directions for treatment of the lice.


Livestock lice are blood sucking which means they can significantly decrease your animals’ performance and make your goats become anemic. Think of it this way, all the nutrients you are feeding your goats are going into those nasty, pesky little critters and not into your goat.


So now, go take a bath and quit scratching, then purchase a treatment for lice and get busy. Those little nasties are already busy sucking up all your profits!!!



Hoegger Farmyard Contributor


Shannon Lawrence, Yellow Rose Farm, Shady Dale GA

President Elect, GA Dairy Goat Breeders Association

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  1. by abbysoberhaslis
    Comment made on: April 3 2012

    Can you use Dectomax for treating/preventing lice? What about does that are pregnant or have kids on them or kids themselves? Can we drink milk after doing this? Will it deworm them also? Should I stop giving herbal wormer if they have Ivermectin or Dectomax?
    Thank You!

    • by admin
      Comment made on: April 4 2012

      You can use dectomax, it is derivative of ivomec, just better and more powerful. I would with-hold the milk for about 2 weeks. Great treat for your dogs! Keep going with the herbal wormer, that is still your primary wormer and it never hurts to double up.

  2. by
    Comment made on: April 3 2012

    Is it OK to treat pregant dairy goats for lice?

  3. by angela0221
    Comment made on: April 3 2012

    FYI for those preferring not to use chemicals, Manna Pro Poultry protector takes care of lice with one application on my goats and cattle! Keep up the great newsletters! Angela @ Flint and Steel Farm in Naples NY

  4. by sjohn21855
    Comment made on: April 19 2012

    Can I use GardStar Garden & Poultry Dust on my dairy goats… It says its good for poultry, pigs and dogs… can’t see why it couldn’t safely be used on goats also..
    Shelly Johnson
    Naranjos De Afuera, Veracruz, Mexico

  5. by shanlaw1
    Comment made on: April 29 2012

    Before using any product not specifically geared towards goats, I would contact the company that produces the product for the active ingredients and percentages of those active ingredients. Most Extension offices can tell you what to look for if the goat has a reaction to the chemicals in the product.

    Sorry, I have not heard of this product.

  6. by pepperstone
    Comment made on: May 7 2012

    i am trying to keep my herd chemical free… using garlic granules and diatomaceous works great. can be used internally too. i mix in their feed so they get that daily. great for babies because you are not putting harsh chemicals on them. lost too many goats to chemical… they eventually get immuned to the ivomec and other wormers.get the food brand of diatomaceous earth so it can be feed. works for my herd and i live i north east ohio. lots of damp muggy weather.

  7. by hg1217
    Comment made on: September 13 2012

    Has anyone tried using salt water to fight lice?

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