Dealing with Lice on Goats: Prevention, Identification, and Treatment

BYH Project Manager

True BYH Addict
Jul 9, 2012
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Goats are wonderful animals that are a great source of milk, meat, and fiber. However, just like any other livestock, they are susceptible to parasites such as lice. Lice infestations can cause itching, irritation, hair loss, and other health problems in goats. They can also spread from goat to goat, making it essential to control and manage them promptly. In this article, we will discuss how to prevent, identify, and treat lice infestations on goats.



Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to lice infestations in goats. Here are some tips to prevent lice infestations in your goats:

Quarantine new goats​

Whenever you bring a new goat to your farm, quarantine it for a few weeks before introducing it to the rest of the herd. This will help you identify any lice infestations and prevent them from spreading to the rest of the herd.

Regular grooming​

Regular grooming is essential to prevent lice infestations. Brush your goats regularly, especially during the winter months when they grow thick coats. This will help you identify any lice infestations early on.

Keep the barn clean​

A clean barn is less likely to have lice infestations. Clean the barn regularly, and keep the bedding clean and dry.

Avoid overcrowding​

Overcrowding can lead to stress, which can weaken the goats' immune systems and make them more susceptible to lice infestations. Make sure your goats have enough space to move around comfortably.



Identifying lice infestations early on is crucial to prevent them from spreading to the rest of the herd. Here are some signs of lice infestations in goats:
  • Itching and scratching: If you notice your goats itching and scratching more than usual, it could be a sign of lice infestations.
  • Hair loss: Lice infestations can cause hair loss in goats, especially in the neck and tail areas.
  • Lice eggs: Lice eggs, also known as nits, can be found on the goats' hair shafts. They are small, white, and oval-shaped.
  • Adult lice: Adult lice can be seen moving around on the goats' hair.


If you suspect your goats have lice infestations, prompt treatment is essential to prevent them from spreading to the rest of the herd. Here are some treatment options for lice infestations in goats:
  • Topical treatments: Topical treatments are the most common treatment option for lice infestations in goats. These treatments include sprays, powders, and pour-ons that are applied directly to the goats' skin. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and apply the treatment as directed.
  • Bathing: Bathing your goats with a lice shampoo can also help to control lice infestations. Make sure to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for goats and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Injectable treatments: Injectable treatments are also available for lice infestations in goats. These treatments are administered by a veterinarian and are effective in controlling lice infestations.
  • Natural remedies: Some natural remedies, such as neem oil and garlic, can also be used to control lice infestations in goats. However, their effectiveness is not scientifically proven, and it's best to consult with a veterinarian before using any natural remedies.


This article discusses the prevention, identification, and treatment of lice infestations in goats. Prevention measures such as quarantining new goats, regular grooming, keeping the barn clean, and avoiding overcrowding are recommended. Signs of lice infestations in goats include itching and scratching, hair loss, lice eggs, and adult lice. Treatment options include topical treatments, bathing with lice shampoo, injectable treatments, and natural remedies. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent lice infestations from spreading to the rest of the herd.