Dirt or Lice/Mite Eggs?


7 Years
Oct 18, 2012

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!
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...
Also mites typically do not travel up onto the feather, they stay on the skin near the base of the feathers.
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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