The time for lice seems to be late winter, or early spring. In the summer time, shaving down a goat’s coat and letting the sun beat down on the buggers is usually all it takes to get rid of an infestation. However, if you have lice in the winter or spring, you will not want to do nothing until summer comes. Lice are not life-threatening at first, but if the infestation continues, they will make the goat anemic.
First off is how to tell if your goat is actually battling lice. This is usually pretty easy. If you part their hair, especially the hair along their ridgeline, down to their skin, you will see small yellow or brown creatures, like living hayseeds, with red heads. The biting lice will scurry out of your way, the sucking lice will be latched on. Goats with lice have duller looking coats, that are sometimes clumpy or rough looking, depending on the infestation.
Now that you’ve identified them, it is time to destroy them. To do that effectively, you will have to follow a simple three step program: Kill adults, kill nits, kill any surviving lice that hatch. Repeat as necessary.
Nits, the lice eggs, hatch about every seven days, so treatment should likewise be repeated every 7 to 10 days, until no signs of nits or lice are present. Nits look like little white globs of goo attached to the base or middle of your goat’s hair. You can use a comb to comb out the majority of nits and cut down on the lice you'll have to deal with.
Nits that fall from their host will most likely never hatch, and if they do, they only have a few hours to live if they can’t find a food source. Full-grown lice can only live about 24 hours without a food source.
Mode of destruction
Equisect fly spray (tried it, very successful): My preferred method. Spray the Equisect onto a horse brush, then brush the goat's body down to the skin. Repeat every 7 to 14 days, as needed. I have used it on pregnant does with no ill effects. It is a softer chemical than Ivermectin. Still, use with caution and do your research.
Diatomaceous Earth (tried it, helpful): An all-natural dust. Make sure to buy the food-grade DE, as anything else is dangerous to breathe in. DE will attach to the exoskeletons of parasites. This is the preferred method for kids, though it may take longer. I found it more effective in preventing lice from spreading to uninfected goats, than as a treatment. DE will be good to use for the bedding, hang out areas, and also any herd that is not as badly infested to keep their bodies as inhospitable as possible.
So there you have it. See? These creatures are anything but indestructible. Pain as they are, there will be nothing quite as satisfying as when the treatments are over and your herd is no longer uncomfortable and is growing back their beautiful coats.