how to tell if your chickens have lice or mites??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickmaniac250, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. chickmaniac250

    chickmaniac250 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 24, 2010
    just wondering how to check for lice or mites in my hens. What will lice look like?and what about mites? our hens are 8 months old and laying well. we have 4 sex-sal-link browns, 3red rock crosses, 3red sussex crosses, 1 rhode island red roo, 4 buff orpingtons, and 3 ameracaunas(2 hens 1 roo) please help first time chicken owners
  2. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    I check the back of thier necks under the feathers and their legs. Mites are tiny speck like things; sometimes red, sometimes black. Lice are (I think) bigger but I'm not sure what they look like. Closer to a flea. Basically if the skin is clean under the feathers then you're good. Specks or anything that looks like specks could indicate bugs, whether it's their poop or the crawler itself.

    I'm a newbie too, but this is how I've been checking.
  3. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    Look around the base of the tail for tiny dark colored, black or white-ish/clear bugs.

    Look under their wings to. You may have to

    ruffle their feathers a bit to find them but they're normally pretty easy to find. [​IMG] Now, if the skin under-neath

    the feathers looks odd, raw or anything that can indicate mites or lice.

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  5. chickmaniac250

    chickmaniac250 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 24, 2010
    Thanks for your replies on my lice/mite question. We're gonna peak around a bit and see what we find. Hopefully there aren't any there. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    If you carry them around for a bit, then go off to do something else, and start feeling `crawlies' moving up your neck towards your head you can pretty much go with defaulting to the Northern Fowl Mite dx.

    The flock will comply with exams after they go to roost:

  7. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I usually look under the wings. Easy to see there since they are usually flapping around a bit and have the wings out when I pick them up. Mites can look just like dust or light soot at the base of the feathers. Evidence of lice can be seen sometimes as the lice eggs stuck to the feather quill, close to the skin. You may not see the lice themselves, they're fast, but the white eggs are pretty easy to find, especially if your chickens aren't white.
  8. tallyho

    tallyho Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2010
    I do a periodic check at night with a flashlight:
    1) check the roosts for little red bugs crawling around. Anything jumping on you? Those will be mites.
    2) pick up the girls and check the vent/fluffy butt region. If they have lice, you will easily see them crawling around or even see eggs attatched to the base of the feathers. I hold them in one arm with their heads to the back and butt forward. Some of the girls even let me check them while they are sitting there.
    3) While you have them check crests and legs.

    Easy-peasy. This is a must do...bonding time with the girls. I think some chickens are more susceptible to mites and lice than others. You should check everyone.

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