Lice are often found on hens that are debilitated or unwell. Live adult lice are visible to the naked eye are golden in colour, approx. 3mm long, and lay white eggs (nits) on the hen. Lice are easily spotted running on the skin under the wings and around the base of the tail.
Lice lay their eggs (nits) in clusters on the skin and around the base of feathers. These clusters are very hard to remove without actually plucking out the feather.
Lice have a three week life cycle so it is important to keep treating the hens by dusting them 3—4 times a week with louse powder and continue this application for three weeks. Providing a dust bath made up of a dry mix of wood ash, compost and Diatomaceous Earth allows hens to clean their feathers and keep lice at bay and you can also use Diatomaceous Earth to dust the coop.
There is usually a rapid increase in lice numbers during the autumn and winter months.