The heavy snows here on Whidbey island took out the bird netting covering my hen's run. Foolishly, I believed it would be okay to wait until payday to get more netting to cover it. In the meantime, several of the hens made a habit of flying over the fence and pecking around our huge yard. I actually started covering the run last night, but ran out of materials. This morning I was awakened by a commotion in the yard, and, you guessed it, went out to find two of my hens had been nabbed. A huge coyote was in the woods behind our house, finishing off his meal and heading back to the coop for seconds when I came out. I high-tailed it out to the spot where he'd been, hoping I'd be able to save one, but all I found was a pile of feathers. I bent down to gather a few of them to save as a reminder of the sweet hens I'd lost, and saw hundreds of little black hopping bugs, tiny ones, dotting the feathers. They weren't on all of the feathers, just the particularly downy ones. I have no idea what these are, but I'm guessing they're bad. The only other time I've seen them was on my daughter's pet rat when it died, and they had apparently eaten the poor things eyes. What an awful shock to my little girl, and to me! So here these yucky buggers are again, and on the remains of another dead animal. What the hell are they and how do I get rid of them?? I went straight to the hardware store and the feed store and got stuff to cover the run, so that's not a problem anymore, and also got a bag of shavings and some DE. I figured I would totally clean out their nest boxes and re-line their run with piles of nice fresh shavings, and then sprinkle the nests heavily with the DE. I also heavily dusted the hens by waiting until they were clustered around a pile of cracked corn in the run, and then dumping it all over the circle of backs. I think they all got a good amount. Is this good enough do you think??