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how to tell if your chickens have lice or mites??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

just wondering how to check for lice or mites in my hens. What will lice look like?and what about mites?   our hens are 8 months old and laying well. we have 4 sex-sal-link browns, 3red rock crosses, 3red sussex crosses, 1 rhode island red roo, 4 buff orpingtons, and 3 ameracaunas(2 hens 1 roo) please help first time chicken owners

!7 chickens! 3 ameracauna's (2 hens 1 roo), 4 red rock x, 1 rhode island red roo, 4 buff orpingtons, 3 something-or-other x, and 3 something x.! one dog 1 cat and a horse I am loving the life of chickens!
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!7 chickens! 3 ameracauna's (2 hens 1 roo), 4 red rock x, 1 rhode island red roo, 4 buff orpingtons, 3 something-or-other x, and 3 something x.! one dog 1 cat and a horse I am loving the life of chickens!
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post #2 of 8

I check the back of thier necks under the feathers and their legs.  Mites are tiny speck like things; sometimes red, sometimes black.  Lice are (I think) bigger but I'm not sure what they look like.  Closer to a flea.  Basically if the skin is clean under the feathers then you're good.  Specks or anything that looks like specks could indicate bugs, whether it's their poop or the crawler itself.

I'm a newbie too, but this is how I've been checking.

3 royally spoiled cats, 2 very spoiled hens (plus 2 more soon!); 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!

Brilliant Feathers Urban Farming, LLC
See my listing in the buy-sell-trade section for current availabilities!
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3 royally spoiled cats, 2 very spoiled hens (plus 2 more soon!); 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!

Brilliant Feathers Urban Farming, LLC
See my listing in the buy-sell-trade section for current availabilities!
Reply
post #3 of 8

Look around the base of the tail for tiny dark colored, black or white-ish/clear bugs.

Look under their wings to. You may have to

ruffle their feathers a bit to find them but they're normally pretty easy to find. wink Now, if the skin under-neath

the feathers looks odd, raw or anything that can indicate mites or lice.

-Becca


Edited by BeccaB00 - 12/22/10 at 8:18am
post #4 of 8

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies on my lice/mite question. We're gonna peak around a bit and see what we find. Hopefully there aren't any there. Djumpyjumpybunthumbsup

!7 chickens! 3 ameracauna's (2 hens 1 roo), 4 red rock x, 1 rhode island red roo, 4 buff orpingtons, 3 something-or-other x, and 3 something x.! one dog 1 cat and a horse I am loving the life of chickens!
Reply
!7 chickens! 3 ameracauna's (2 hens 1 roo), 4 red rock x, 1 rhode island red roo, 4 buff orpingtons, 3 something-or-other x, and 3 something x.! one dog 1 cat and a horse I am loving the life of chickens!
Reply
post #6 of 8

If you carry them around for a bit, then go off to do something else, and start feeling `crawlies' moving up your neck towards your head you can pretty much go with defaulting to the Northern Fowl Mite dx.

The flock will comply with exams after they go to roost:

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c331/IvanIvanovich/ChookExamTools.jpg

post #7 of 8

I usually look under the wings. Easy to see there since they are usually flapping around a bit and have the wings out when I pick them up. Mites can look just like dust or light soot at the base of the feathers. Evidence of lice can be seen sometimes as the lice eggs stuck to the feather quill, close to the skin. You may not see the lice themselves, they're fast, but the white eggs are pretty easy to find, especially if your chickens aren't white.

I live on 10 acres in beautiful Central California with my DH, pets, & chickens
22 Barnevelder chicks in my coop!
My fireworks stand converted to coop project:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5043185#p5043185
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I live on 10 acres in beautiful Central California with my DH, pets, & chickens
22 Barnevelder chicks in my coop!
My fireworks stand converted to coop project:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5043185#p5043185
Reply
post #8 of 8

I do a periodic check at night with a flashlight:
1) check the roosts for little red bugs crawling around. Anything jumping on you? Those will be mites.
2) pick up the girls and check the vent/fluffy butt region. If they have lice, you will easily see them crawling around or even see eggs attatched to the base of the feathers. I hold them in one arm with their heads to the back and butt forward.  Some of the girls even let me check them while they are sitting there.
3) While you have them check crests and legs.

Easy-peasy. This is a must do...bonding time with the girls. I think some chickens are more susceptible to mites and lice than others. You should check everyone.

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