People often ask me about lice.

Here is how you can tell if your bird has lice:
a drop in egg production
broken feathers
raw patches
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.


WhatIfWeAllCared? said...

Thanks for the reminder~ have to get my 'children' some sand for their play area!

Anonymous said...

My chickens dig these great little holes. The first time I saw one I swore something was trying to break into the run. Duh, it was chicken bathing. Ha ha. Great reminder post.

sundcarrie said...

That is nice to know. I have my first six backyard chickens and they have a sand/dirt area they spend quite a bit of time in. I will add some of the DE just to be safe.