How can you tell if your birds have lice?


6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
Just cleaned out coop and put down new straw and gals seem to be scratching themselves w their beaks a lot. Maybe they were doing it before too, I just didn't notice. How do you test or check for parasites? What's the treatment?


Crossing the Road
9 Years
Jun 23, 2013
The Big Island/Hawaii
To check for lice, check each girl at the base of their feather & along the shaft. This is what I have in my notes for Lice
Ivermectin, 5 drops/hen, 6 drops/Roo or lrg, 3 drops/banty, repeat 10 days then 4 - 6 months, 8wk withdrawal (Depluming Lice - 1oz liquid soap, 2oz sulphur, 1 gal warm water, submerge chicken, spray coop/roosts/nest, remove all shavings)

For mites check under the feathering especially the vent/tail & under the wing area. Run your hand along the roost, you'll feel them crawling on your hand/arm. Permethrin, Poultry Dust, Sevin ... I dust my girls monthly with Poultry Dust rotating with Sevin.

You may want to post/search this in the Predator and Pest forum.


Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida
They might be just preening themselves, they'll do that alot if they are getting ready to go into molt or are in molt.
However, you can see lice or mites on chickens. Lice are white/off white, or straw in color and move quickly through feathers and fluff. Lice eggs can be seen at the base of feather shafts.
Mites are black or red in color, slow moving or not moving at all and look like pepper.
Check the vent area where it's warm and moist for external parasites.

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