Does my chicken have lice?

nutmeg1980

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
75
0
39
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....
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
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.
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nutmeg1980

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
75
0
39
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!

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CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
196
281
Your hen is finishing her molting. Those are new feathers coming in. Perfectly normal.
 

nutmeg1980

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
75
0
39
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?
 
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Bec

THE Delaware Blue Hen
12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
4,015
37
251
Home Of 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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