Frontline for chickens?

This came as a surprise for me, but earlier today I was on a chat page and read a post about using Frontline for dogs, on chickens. Now, I had never heard of this but let's face it....they don't have many chicken products out there. There are a few products created specifically for parasite control in chickens, but not many.

frontline use on chickens

Thankfully chicken products are becoming easier to find and more are being created every day. If you can't find specific poultry products though, medications formulated for other livestock can often be used. 

You might have to do a bit of math to figure out the appropriate dose, but generally most products that are safe to use on food producing animals can be used on chickens.

However, it is NOT the same with products formulated for pets!

Why you shouldn't use frontline on chickens

One of the biggest problems with using frontline on chickens is that it was not specifically made for livestock animals. This means that the chemical in frontline (fipronil) has not been tested to see if it is passed on in the meat or eggs of chickens. 

In order for it to work the way it does...absorbed through drops on the skin and spread throughout the body...the fipronil has to absorb and move throughout the chickens whole body. Basically. Since it's never been tested on chickens we don't know how much gets into the eggs and meat or what the egg withdrawal time is. It could be months!

This one time in Germany: Millions of eggs were destroyed when they were found to have fipronil in them. It's believed the commercial coops were treated with the substance to treat mites. 

That's pretty suspicious. I mean, they wouldn't be destroying the eggs of they were safe to eat, right?

What we do know is that fipronil could be toxic to humans, so it's probably best to just skip the untested pet medications and use something that is formulated for livestock instead.

blog disclosure

What can you use for chicken mites?

We use A LOT of livestock products that aren't made specifically for chickens. Some antibiotics are for goats, wormers for cattle etc. Usually the doses are miniscule compared to what the bottle says but they do the job! I myself use Ivomec pour on for cattle. It controls lice, mites and worms.

Treatments for lice and mites in chicken coops

Just a few drops on the back of the neck of the chicken (between the shoulder blades like dog flea treatments) is used to control external and internal parasites. Now, I should mention that I NEVER use this unless I see a problem. Luckily that has only been twice in the last few years, and I know exactly where it came from. Live and learn. 

Mostly I just use DE. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, also known as fossil shell powder. Sometimes we use it as a dusting. It's always put in the bottom of nest boxes and mixed in with the sand in the dust baths.

DE is also an important ingredient when using the deep litter method. It absorbs moisture readily so it helps keep cages dry. I'm not a fan of adding it to feed, but it can be used that way. I get it from the local feed mill in 50lb bags. My bag looks like this:

treatment for mites and lice in chickens

Of course there is Wazine, which is mainly a chicken wormer. I only used that once. Thankfully, it works well and is now available in TSC and lots of smaller feed stores so it's super easy to find.

liquid treatment for mites and lice in chickens
I prefer preventative measure like brewers yeast and garlic sprinkled on their foods. Just like we give the dogs, but in this case totally safe for human consumption too! Of course, these milder methods don't always work very quickly in heavy infestations and I will pull out the medications if necessary.

With so many livestock products available, there is no reason to use a pet product like frontline on a food producing animal. We don't know if it's safe. 

There may not be many chicken products out there, but just to be safe, chose ones for food producing animals/livestock not pets.


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I am not a veterinarian or other animal care professional nor do I claim to be. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me and my flock. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Please see a vet if your chicken is ill. Click for my full disclaimer

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