People often ask me about lice.
Here is how you can tell if your bird has lice:
a drop in egg production
wattles looking pale (lice cause anemia)
look near the vent to see if you can see them
1. Humans cannot get chicken lice!
2. Keep your coop very clean. I try and completely clean the coop every week.
3. Don't use hay in the nesting boxes. The lice live and rest inside the tube of the hay. Hay is a breeding ground for lice. Straw is ok, but hay is not.
4. Overcrowding promotes lice growth. Each bird should have roughly six square feet.
5. If any birds from outside the flock are coming into the coop, check them very carefully before introducing them to your flock.
6. Make sure your birds have a place to dust bathe (I use a mixture of sand and dirt). This is how they naturally take care of lice. They fluff up their feathers and dust the dirt onto their skin and lice.
7. I sometimes sprinkle a little food grade diatemaceous earth into the area where they dust bathe, DE is thought to be a natural solution for lice. I always wear a mask when working with DE.
Hope this helps.