Poultry Lice in Crested Breeds

The crests and beards on some breeds are the perfect environment for poultry lice and mites.   Raising healthy poultry means keeping a healthy flock, and managing pests, including lice and mites. 

Below we have a picture of poultry lice and their egg casings. The top arrow (purple) shows the egg casings around the shaft of a feather.  This is probably the easiest to detect.   The second arrow (red) is pointing to a little black speck.  That is actually the pest itself crawling on a feather.

poultry lice


Here we have an example of poultry lice in the beard of a bird. Notice how the feathers are matted together.

poultry lice


Now look at the picture of the white bird without the arrows. See how much more difficult it is to detect the parasite?

lice in poultry


And now lets look at a crest without any parasites. There are no casings that have glued the feathers to the shafts. See how much cleaner, fluffier and healthier the feathers look?


J.M. Trujillo reports that the first picture was with 2-3 years of using Adams Flea and Tick spray. But the mites apparently built an immunity. He is now using Martins and hasn’t seen a single mite in 4 months. 

This is an important topic that we have heard over and over. What works today will not always work as the pest build up an immunity to the treatments. This requires you to “mix it up” from time to time.