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How To Treat Scaly Leg In Chickens

Published on August 12, 2013 by Penny Roberts in Chicken Care

Recently I noticed that 5 of my 22 girls appeared to have scaly leg mite.

None of my flock has had this before, so I decided to act quickly to prevent them from all becoming infected with this nasty, irritating little mite. They get under the scales of a chicken’s legs and gorge away, which has the result of lifting the scales away from the leg. They can also attack the wattle, where you may see little black dots and in some cases spots of blood.

Having checked with my Vet I bought some ‘Nettex Just For Scaly Leg Spray’ and Boots own brand petroleum jelly (cheaper than the leading brand!). The spray contains only natural ingredients and so you can continue to enjoy the eggs. If you choose any other treatment then please check carefully as you may need to discard any eggs produced for 1 week after the final application.

It took one of us to hold each chicken safely, while the other gave 4-5 squirts of the leg spray to each chicken’s foot to stop any irritation. Then we gently applied plenty of petroleum jelly. Although a few of the girls were quite tricky to catch they all seemed to enjoy the free foot massage! Apparently, if done once a week for several weeks the spray and jelly will eventually suffocate the nasty mites, while the raised dry scales will fall off their legs to reveal new slightly pink scales/skin.

As with any mite infestation including red mite, the next step was to make sure that our Manor House chicken coop got an extra deep clean. When dry we used various anti-mite products in all the nooks and crannies to make sure we got rid of all unwanted guests!

I have to say that the required treatment is not a particularly pleasurable task, but needs must in order to address this annoying mite problem and to protect those who have not yet been affected.
There are some people who recommend dipping their legs into surgical spirit, diluted tea tree oil or even creosote. I can only imagine how much any of those might sting and so couldn’t do it to my girls.

Using a natural spay and petroleum jelly may take a little longer, but at least its more humane. Only thing now is I’m not sure how we can stop the clean wood shavings from clinging to the girls sticky legs!


How To Treat Scaly Leg In Chickens

Tags: manor house, scaly leg, anti-mite

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