What kind of bugs are on my Silkie? Plus, she's being bullied.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 3, 2012
Southern MD (Western Shore)
My Coop
My Coop
Don't have a picture yet, but here's the scoop...

1- My Silkie is smaller than my other 3 hens. They have taken to picking on her.
2- The Silkie is now hanging in the roost much of the time to avoid the bullies. Stopped laying.
3- I brought the Silkie inside and put her in my little used Shower Stall because she needed some TLC and I wanted to get her out of Hurricane Sandy.
4- I gave white Silkie a mild bath in the sink. Let her dry overnight in the shower stall.
5- Was holding white Silkie in lap and noticed what I at first thought were small slivers of leftover dirt... but then noticed they moved.
6- At first I thought they were fleas... but they looked smaller and thinner. They are long, like grey rice, not round.
7- Put Silkie back with other hens. She returned to roost.

SO... what bug am I dealing with and how do I get rid of it? No doubt my other hens have the same bugs, but they are dark colored and I don't hold them as much, so I probably would never notice.

Secondly, is my Silkie doomed to repeated bullying by my other bigger girls? Are my two options either to re-home her or to permanently segregate her?

Hi... you have a lot on your hands. The bugs are likely mites or lice. The wild birds bring them in! (And, yes, your other girls likely have them as well.) You need to delouse your coop and the girls.

I use Diatomaceous Earth to de-louse. Clear out your coop and runs as best you can, sprinkle the DE EVERYWHERE and use a broom or whiskboom to spread it around (use a mask--so you don't breath in any of the DE, and follow the directions on the bag).

Then, I put DE in the wallows where the girls do their dust baths. This way, they de-louse themselves. I add a cup to each wallow and mix it in with the dry, airy dirt.

Fortunately a chicken's body temp is a lot higher than ours (103) so the bugs don't cross contaminate humans.
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