So I have a fairly large flock, 27 birds total if you count 5 bitties. I've noticed a few of them have tiny bugs on their feathers. There will be two or three feathers towards the birds tail that will look "dusted" and if you try to pull the dust off you get "moving dust" on your fingers; at which point I usually get a case of suddenly feeling itchy.
The hens that have nice looking feathers with a nice sheen of oil don't appear, after inspection, to have any of these little bugs. The few hens that have less of a sheen with more unkempt looking feathers have the bugs.
I dusted one hen very well all over with DE and checked her a few days later only to find that the bugs were still alive and kicking. There goes my preference for a "natural" method.
So what are the bugs and what do I do about them? I would prefer to treat just the hens I think have a problem and not the whole flock but what do you all think? Any opinions/experience with seven or poultry dust? Should I be doing something as preventative measure? The few hens that have the problem aren't what I would consider "thrivers" but they are pets with names so culling is not an option.