Dirt or Lice/Mite Eggs?

thesteve4761

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
6
0
7
Ok,

Please help settle a disagreement. I think this hen (and others in my flock) has mites and/or lice, based on the "stuff" in the picture. My wife thinks it is leftover dust from dust bathing. Our birds are allowed in a very large run, and dust bathe regularly. After thoroughly checking, we have not found a live mite anywhere, eggs anywhere, or red marks on the skin. Is the "stuff" on the feathers dust, mite droppings, or? Any input is helpful
.


Much obliged!
 

TheChickInn

Songster
7 Years
Feb 29, 2012
122
13
108
It's hard to tell from the pic- but looks like dirt to me, mites can move quickly though. I have ( thankfully) never seen what lice looks like. Most of the time, mites will be found near the vent, see if you can see any tiny crawling bugs there first...
 

TheChickInn

Songster
7 Years
Feb 29, 2012
122
13
108
Also mites typically do not travel up onto the feather, they stay on the skin near the base of the feathers.
 

thesteve4761

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
6
0
7
Thanks for the info! All the Lice/Mite posts have me paranoid. The hen in question is a very broody (3 months now) Cochin, who we are considering using as a "foster" for some chicks we just got. I don't want her near them if she has bugs, but if it is just dirt....
 

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