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My new chickens are doing a lot of preening, is this normal?

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I'm probably worrying over nothing, but my hens have been doing lots of preening today, both for themselves and each other. eg: one will lie down and the two others will peck gently at the feathers on her back, while she pecks at them. It doesn't look like fighting, more like communal grooming.

Is this normal, or could they have lice? If I pick one up, will I be able to tell if they have lice?





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If you part the feathers you would see orangey lice scurrying away, particularly areas that are warm and moist e.g. vent. They live on the skin under the feathers vent/under wings/even around the eyes sometimes.

My hens didn't use to peck, then Abbie came along and she pulls at feathers quite a bit, and beaks, so it could be nothing.

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