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We had a problem with lice last year. I swore that they were getting it from the wood shavings. I would get eveyone cleared up, dust stalls, barns, anything the goats touched. Then they would get them again. People I talked to thought I was crazy, I even went to the store(TSC) and told them my concern, they didnt care told me no way not possible. Well a few weeks later I brought home a 2 day old nigerian buckling and checked him over to make sure he had nothing and it was cold so he came into the house for a few weeks, he had no contact with our other goats or anything they touched but he did have wood shavings in his cage and he ended up with lice. So I quit using wood shavinge from tractor supply, I started using another brand from a different feed store and havent had any lice since, but I ran out of shavings and the feed store wasnt getting any until next weekend so I bought a bag from TSC, just to get us by until next weekend, we my goats have lice again!!! Is this common? Goats getting lice from things like shavings? I am soooo mad I didnt just use straw and wait to get the shavings. I think this has happened enough I am positive they are getting them from the shavings. So now I have to dust everyone again and strip the barns & stalls and dust everything, arrrghh!!!
 
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We don't use TSC shavings anymore for this reason. We really only use shavings at shows (Boers), but we were always getting lice from those shavings. We use Suncoast or the Atwoods brand and don't have any problems now.

Karla
 

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How is that? Perhaps from deer in the area the shavings are piled?

I don't usually get all worked up about lice. We have a few show up in winter, but not many. Usually I can't find them but see a few flakes of dandruff and if I look around for a while I may find where they are hiding. If they get to be too many I'll treat but come spring I just shave them and any that are there go away. I guess I look at them kinda like worms. I just figure you'll have a few.
 

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How long can lice live away from a host?

I know when my kids picked up head lice from school (I freaked out...didn't know what they were, thought my kids got mutant fleas.....lol)my pediatrician said they can't live away from a host for more than 36 hours. He told us to wash bedding, run it through a hot dryer and bag it in plastic bags for at least a week that way if there were any eggs, they to would starve after hatching without a host. Worked great..

Are goat lice like that? Perhaps you could buy shavings and store for a week or more without opening or using....I use TSC shavings, but I usually just buy 2-3 at a time and stockpile them and I always use the oldest ones first.....So mine are stored in the barn at least a week before I open them.....Never had lice (so far) Perhaps lice in shavings is a regional thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We treat our goats and barns/stalls for 4-5 weeks to completely rid them of the lice, their life cycle is 2-3 weeks so we are treating for longer then the life cycle to prevent reinfestation. But my one doe looses all her hair everytime. I am just tired of treating everytime we use shavings from TSC. Is there somewhere to file a complaint other then the store? Its just annoying. Guess I will stick with the local feed store.
 

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Well, I would guess you would have to be able to prove that there are lice in the wood shavings from TSC. More than anecdotal. I have used TSC shavings for years for shows and no lice. Can you see lice in the shavings? Microscope perhaps.
 

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I think lice is just endemic for the location the shavings are placed in. I have used TSC bagged shavings and recently for the last six months shavings frrom the local lumber mill. We have episodes of lice this time of year and at no other, at least not when it is noticable. Like Ashley said, I clip off all my animals in May or so and never have a noticable problem after that. If it seems to be a heavy infestation, all animals are treated with ivermectin orally and the cows with the pour-on even though lice are species specific.
 

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The only warm blood mammals for lice to live on at a mill would be humans or perhaps a dog that patrols nights? Some shavings simply come from planeing rough boards into smooth boards, like my husband does...other shavings are pulp wood where the timber is actually purchased to make shavings at mills, who only make shavings. Most of the shavings that should be used around your milkers are kiln dried and then compressed wrapped, no way could lice live through all that or have an opportunity to infest the bags after the kiln drying.
 

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This is something that us weirdos that have snakes for pets have to watch for. If these are what I think they not actually lice, they are mites and they get on everything that sleeps with them. They pierce flesh and drink body fluids. Some animals are extremely reactive to their bite. They are free ranging, normally living off of insects, but they will jump onto anything to get a quick meal. I don't know exactly how they end up in the bags of chips. I do know they can severly injure reptiles. They get on small rodent pets and make them scratch themselves raw. Since your in a cold climate you can kill them by letting the bags sit in freezing temperatures for a few days before using them. I've never gotten them in fir chips only pine and cedar.
You know how when you handle field hay in the summer and you get a rash up your arms even using hay hooks and gloves? These are the bites of this same mite. The beetle type bugs leave the dead baled hay taking their mite coloney with them before you feed it normally.
I believe they are called "straw itch mites".
 

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I bought TSC wood shavings last fall and used it as bedding. I didn't have a problem, but then again I only bought one bag.

I did have lice on one of my bucks a few years ago that lived in an old wood shed. I thought he got it from that shed because it used to be a dog house before we moved to our farm. Now I wonder how he got it.
 

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I had this same exact problem!!! Switched shaving and I’m all good now. Also have had multiple ppl tell me that mites are also in it so please don’t but from them even if it’s really needed! But local and use straw!!
 
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