Chicken Lice

     There are many different species of lice that can infest chickens. These include the chicken body louse (Menacanthus stramineus), shaft louse (Menopon gallinae), fluff louse (Goniocodes gallinae),  wing louse (Liperus caponis), and chicken head louse (Cuclotogaster heterographus). Of these, the chicken body louse is the best known and probably most common species. All of these lice are permanent ectoparasite of domestic chickens, meaning they complete their entire life cycle on the host. The chicken body louse can reach problematic levels regardless of housing or production type (caged, cage-free, free-range, or backyard poultry). The other listed species are rare or unknown to infest commercial poultry, but have been documented on backyard chickens in a recent survey of backyard poultry in southern California, and past surveys of backyard poultry worldwide.

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