Chicken Lice are extremely irritating for your chickens, and
a severe infestation can kill small chicks. These lice are just
big enough to be spotted with the naked eye as pale insects on
When you examine your chicken’s feathers, you might spot
them crawling around the base of the feathers, and you may see
clusters of their eggs on the feather stems. Lice love somewhere
soft and warm, so also check under the wings and around the vent
Other symptoms include a dirty vent area, weight loss and reduced
egg yield. White build up around the feather base near the vent
can often be seen and in a bad case there could be a build up
on feathers as well. The whiteness is lice eggs.
Chicken Lice Treatment
Lice should be treated using a specialist lice
powder for chickens, and always apply it exactly as per the
instructions. Apply the powder to EVERY bird in your flock, infected
or not. Poultry lice can survive for up to 5
days without a host bird to feed on, and can reproduce in just
What’s more their eggs are resistant to the powders, so
you should brush them off and repeat the lice powder treatment
in 7-10 days to kill off the next louse generation before they
can breed again.
You must also clean out all bedding and dispose of it well away
from the chicken coop. Then, properly clean and disinfect the
chicken coop including under the perches, before filling it with
fresh bedding, and returning your birds.
Chickens naturally rid themselves of lice by taking a dust bath.
If your chickens do not have access to natural soil, provide them
with a box filled with dry soil or sand. If your chickens do have
a lice infestation, remember to replace the dust bath contents
with fresh materials, and add a dash of lice
powder just to be on the safe side.