Does my chicken have lice?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nutmeg1980, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. nutmeg1980

    nutmeg1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I've got a buff sussex who I think may have lice. I've noticed in the last few days the feathers around her neck are turning white and look eaten. It's much worse today than yesterday. She's hard to get ahold of, so I haven't had a chance to look closely. I'll do that tomorrow when I've got someone to help me catch her. I haven't seen any similar symptoms in my other 5 hens.

    Does this sound like lice? If I catch it early, is there any chance the DE will help get rid of them, or should I use something more potent. I'd like to keep things organic if possible....
     
  2. briesberrypatch

    briesberrypatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Yellow Springs, OH
  3. nutmeg1980

    nutmeg1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Any ideas what it might be if it's not lice? I'll try to get a closer look and take some pics tomorrow.
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:It's easier to pull the skittish ones off the roost at night. Just put her in a dog crate (or whatever you have that will work) for the night and she'll be handy in the a.m. so you can get a good look at what's going on with her. [​IMG]
     
  6. nutmeg1980

    nutmeg1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I just went and took some pics. It's a little worse than yesterday. Still, none of the other hens is showing signs of the same thing. Poor dear - she doesn't seem to be bothered, but I'm afraid she'll get cold!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Your hen is finishing her molting. Those are new feathers coming in. Perfectly normal.
     
  8. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I second that motion. I have a black sex-link with blue spikes all over her back! It looks weird, but those are new feathers.
     
  9. nutmeg1980

    nutmeg1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Madison, WI
    She's a 6 month old pullet though. She hasn't molted - hasn't even started laying yet. Is it possible for her to molt at such a young age?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  10. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    I have one that looks just like that, she is finishing up her molt. I didn't know she was molting until I saw the back of her head looking all goofy. When they molt, they get pin feathers, which is the white coating on the outside of the new feathers that are growing in. If you take your finger nail and gently break one, you will see that the new feather is under there. They come off by themselves, but because it is on the back of their head, they can't preen to get it off.
     

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