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help me identify and treatexterior body parasite. body louse or mite?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by toddreed, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. toddreed

    toddreed In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2010
    Oakland, CA
    One of my hens, "Crouching Tiger Hiden Chicken", has lost about a third of her feathers in the last two weeks. She may be picking at them, the other birds are definitely picking at her.

    Today i sat Crouching Tiger in my lap and looked her over and found multiple very tiny bugs on her body. They were very very small, the size of a grain of salt, distinctly brownish orange in color, and were found most often burrowing right at the base of a feather shaft. When i found them they would move around, at a medium speed. Their shape and movement reminded me of fleas found on a dog but maybe 1/10th the size - almost microscopic, and definitely orange colored.

    Her legs are looking fine, so it's not the type of mice found typically on the feet. They are only on the body. I've been googling, and it seems like maybe they are "body lice" a.k.a. "body louse" or some other type of mite. It's hard because some of the identifying features point to lice and some to mite. The color and the burrowing on the feathers point to lice, but one source says that lice are 2-3mm in size, and this one is definitely less than a millimeter, so small i can't really make out any features.

    So, what are they, and what do i do?


  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Here's a couple of links to help you identify what you're dealing with:
    I recommend you inspect all your chickens. Dust them with sevin dust and repeat dusting them in 10 days as recommended in the first link. You'll need to dust the inside of their house as well as their nests and roosts. Repeat again in 10 days.
  3. opalwednesday

    opalwednesday Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    food grade diatomacous earth is a nice alternative to the poison dust IF you can get it in your area. I picked mine up on a trip to the big city. it HAS to say food grade though, "pet" is not enough.
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    You may find that DE is not sufficient for treating an infestation. It is found to be effective for helping to prevent by some although it didn't do even that for me. The seven dust will kill the mites on contact....it is very satisfying and gives them instant relief.

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