depending upon how many chickens you have..
first grab one of the little pest with a piece of clear tape and look at it with a magnifying glass. Is it long with a 2 part body or round?
Long it is lice..dont freak it is avian specific meaning loves birds not humans. Round its mites.
If you have alot of chickens, 6or more then get some "food grade"
DE or diatamaceous-sp earth not the stuff from the pool supply stores! Set up a large dusting box. 2x2 foot square and at least 4 inches deep, Add about a cup of the DE to the box along with dry fine dirt -well mixed -and let them dust themselves in it.
Since chickens have a mind of their own, I would just set up the box in a sunny area and then gather all your babes and corral them in a small dog run.....With a helper -who will hold down the chicken--both of you dressed in old clothes and dish gloves-- one by one take a handfull of the DE and dust them making sure to get under their wings...be quick to stand back for they will shake a cloud and you dont want to breathe it.
now if you have a small number of babes :
Have drying area with numerous small towels ready for drying!
you can set up in the garage sink an area where you will fill a large sink with warm water- add 1 -1/2 cups of ivory liquid soap. Gently swirl as to not make bubbles and carefully lower each chicken at a time making sure to wet as much of the body as possible, use a helper to keep the head above the water and they can wet the head with their fingers. Get under the wings. Soak for a minute and make sure you rub the vent area to get rid of the eggs.
Pull from water onto a towel, quickly cover the bird and look at the vent area. any brown gravely junk that is seen are eggs. Immidiately pull them off with your fingers and re wet the area
using the same bath water till the vent area is clean. DO NOT RINSE!gently/quickly dry the venta area and swab with veggie oil. Change towels as needed to soak up as much water as poss and then take the bird to a warm area where you can then GENTLY blow dry them ! When 98% dry place them in a clean warm dry area for the nite and let them go out the next day. Check in 3 days and repeat if necessary.
You will have to clean out their house and clean it good! Remove all that is removeable, scrape perches etc and then spray with a safe pyrethin spray. let it air out after 3 days repeat spray and let dry .
again then lightly dust the area with DE before putting down bedding.(Any old bedding must be tossed in the garbage not into the compost area.!!)
House them in another coopor suitable place to for the next 2weeks.
Any places that they have been dusting add some DE -1/2 cup to the holes and mix well. This will kill off the pests. Do not let them return to those holes for 2 weeks. Dig new hiles for them to use.
I have used this method with my silkies for years and actually a few loved the warm bath and blow drying.
DE is pretty much is a deturant not a cure so I would pick up some seven garden dust...just wear a mask when dusting them. DE does so a good job at deturing them tho. Just like pumpkin in a can detures worms but once they have worms you have to use something stronger to get rid of them. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
just reading this thread- I voted,very pretty Anne- but" Hangin" did you mean pumpkin in a can detours worms in chickens? I just gave some to my shepherd dog for diarrhea this morning. Never had lice or mites on any birds , sounds awful.