Feather lice in chickens
Besides red mites, feather lice are also common ectoparasites found in chickens. The main difference is that feather lice feed on the protein in chicken feathers, rather than sucking blood. They are also a lot easier to see with the naked eye than red mites, because feather lice never leave the chicken, which means they are also visible by day. Do you suspect that your chickens might have feather lice? If so, they might be showing the following symptoms.
Symptoms of feather lice in chickens
- Chickens are clearly itching
- They stick their beak between their feathers more frequently
- Plume loss
- Flaky skin between the feathers
Identifying feather lice
You can see feather lice with the naked eye. When you gently hold back the feathers surrounding the cloaca, you will see little brown crawlies. They are small, brownish lice that sit on and between the chicken’s feathers. They lay bundles of eggs at the foot of the feather shafts.
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