Fleas and Lice – A Check List
- Chickens can be affected by both fleas and lice, the latter being more common and living directly on your birds whilst the chicken fleas live mainly in the bedding, jumping aboard the birds to feed.
- Are any birds looking lethargic, or anaemic (noticeably loss of redness to comb, wattles and face/head in general). Loss of feathers is another common sign.
- Look for egg clusters mainly around the vent, the underside of the belly and under the wings and around the neck. The clusters are fairly-easy to spot, looking like a small, flat, greyish cotton wool bud at the base of the feathers.
- Fleas are 2-3mm long, a pale yellowish-brown colour and move very quickly.
- Even if only one bird appears to be affected by the problem, it is best to assume that all birds do have it, and all should be treated.
- Apply ‘Diatomaceous Earth’ (Diatom or DE for short). By sprinkling the powder liberally around the inside of your birds’ housing, nesting boxes & perches. It should be also applied to you birds at skin level where possible, concentrating in the main affected areas.
- Prevention is better than cure – always provide a dust bath area with Diatom powder added.