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Thread: "Hay Lice"

  1. #1
    Schoolmaster
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    Default "Hay Lice"

    Just a random wondering really. Was chatting to a friend of mine who said that some of the horses at the yard she keeps hers at got lice. She said they were 'hay lice' and came in with the hay. Now I was under the impression that lice are contracted animal to animal and couldn't survive without a host. It could just be a miscommunication due to her being Dutch and us speaking English but is there any bug that the horses can catch from hay that is like lice?

    So if anybody could clarify that would be great
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  2. #2
    Old nag
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    Not usually in hay. Quite common in straw. Usually only effect heavy horses with leg feather and dont effect the body.

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  3. #3
    Veteran Vikki89's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    as far as i know mites can be in straw so they might be in some hay

  4. #4
    Old nag
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    Static Lice

    Static Lice are actually tiny Mites that feed off skin debris and adhere to the outer half of the hair shaft, often around the rump. They often come in with hay - hence they are sometimes known as Hay Mites. Eggs are also laid on the hair shaft and look like small dust particles on a light-coloured pig. These are the least damaging of the Parasites.

    All I could find

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    I remember our guinea pigs picking up mites from hay years ago! Poor little things had to be bathed with mange shampoo, but made good recoveries.

  6. #6
    Sport horse jenh166's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    kate you are right in thinking that lice are spread by direct contact between animals and cannot survive without being on a host...it must be mites she is thinking of..? i know there are a species of mite that can be found in the bottom of forage bins (when the food goes all crumbly) but havent heard of any living in hay.

  7. #7
    Old nag
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    Mites not lice in the sense that we know them. Mites can indeed be found in hay straw and feed but lice need live hosts although they do live quite some time without.
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  8. #8
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    Thanks for all the info guys. So I'm guessing what they had was mites then. Makes the most sense
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  9. #9
    Veteran Daisychain's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    I remember years ago seeing hay covered in mites/lousy things.... Dont actually know what they were though.
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  10. #10
    Old nag
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    Default Re: "Hay Lice"

    Thinks she must mean mites - as in harvest mites which can live in hay or straw and can survive for a fairly long time in the bedding.

    I avoid this problem by not using straw on my heavies and using pig oil and sulphur to make an environment they find very uninviting to them.
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