Scaly Leg Mites in Chickens, Identification & Treatment

Scaly leg mites are microscopic insects that live underneath the scales on a chicken’s lower legs and feet. They dig tiny tunnels underneath the skin, eat the tissue and deposit crud in their wake. The result is thick, scabby, crusty-looking feet and legs.
Scaly leg mites (Knemidocoptes mutans) are microscopic insects that live underneath the scales on a chicken’s lower legs and feet. They dig tiny tunnels underneath the skin, eat the tissue and  deposit crud in their wake. The result is thick, scabby, crusty-looking feet and legs. The longer the mites reside under the chicken’s leg scales, the more discomfort and damage they inflict; an unchecked infestation can result in pain, deformities, lameness and loss of toes.

Scaly leg mites spread from bird to bird in a flock, therefore when one bird is infected, all should be treated. As always when external parasites are found in a flock, the coop should be thoroughly cleaned.
Scaly leg mites are microscopic insects that live underneath the scales on a chicken’s lower legs and feet. They dig tiny tunnels underneath the skin, eat the tissue and deposit crud in their wake. The result is thick, scabby, crusty-looking feet and legs.

These are healthy leg scales on this Blue Ameraucana chicken.
These are healthy scales on this Blue Ameraucana.
A severe case of scaly leg mites:
A severe case of scaly leg mites

TREATMENT OPTIONS

OPTION 1: Soak, Oil, Vaseline
1) soak the feet and legs in warm water
2) dry with a towel, gently exfoliating any dead, loose scales.
3) dip feet and legs in oil, (linseed, mineral, olive, vegetable) which suffocates the mites.
4) wipe off linseed oil and slather affected area with petroleum jelly.

The petroleum jelly should be reapplied several times each week until the affected areas return to normal. It may take several months for mild to moderate cases to resolve.

OPTION 2: Sulfur & Vaseline
An alternate treatment option for scaly leg mites is to mix 2 tablespoons of sulfur powder with ½ cup petroleum jelly- applied daily for a minimum of two weeks.

OPTION 3: Ivermectin
In severe cases of scaly leg mite, oral or injectable forms of Ivermectin may be prescribed by a veterinarian. Per Dr. Julie Gauthier, DVM the dosage is 0.2 mg/kg per bird, repeated in ten days.  Gail Damerow indicates an oral dosage of Ivermectin of 5-7 drops for bantam birds, 1/4 cc for larger birds in The Chicken Health Handbook. She also states that “since the withdrawal time is not known, Ivermectin should not be used on birds kept for meat or eggs.”

OPTION 4: Gasoline & A&D ointment
This method is recommended by Dr. Michael Darre, PhD, Poultry Extension Specialist for New England at the University of Connecticut. It is effective and works quickly.

Day 1: DIP the affected legs in gasoline (the cheap gas, no need for hi-test). Don’t rub on or brush on, DIP the legs in it. Hold the legs out and allow them to dry. Slather legs with A&D ointment. The A&D softens the scales and promotes healing.
The gas gets up underneath the scales and kills the mites AND suffocates the nits. The nits are the biggest problem when trying to treat scaly leg mites with other treatment options. It can take weeks with other methods and often doesn’t kill all the nits, so the problem never goes away.
Day 2: Slather A&D ointment on the legs only- no gasoline on day 2.

Day 3: Repeat the same treatment as Day 1. Gas dip. Dry. A&D. That completes the course of treatment.

Healthy leg scales on a chicken's leg.
Healthy leg scales
Healthy leg scales on a chicken's legs.
Healthy legs and toes on my Easter Egger, Ethel.

Order your copy of my bestselling book,

The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens!

Available now on Amazon!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

82
Comments

avatar
285 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
117 Comment authors
swimmy44TheChickenChickJill Vance RueterDeltaLady1946Donna Jones Recent comment authors
TheChickenChick
Guest

Read this article- I would use the Garden & Poultry dust now and again in 10 days. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

My silkie has mites I cleaned the coop nesting boxes ect sprayed it down with mite spray .. I also sprayed all my chickens legs and under there wings as the bottle said .. repeated next day ..today I checked my silkie around her butt under her wings ect and can see the mites moving around 🙁 .. Please help me get rid if these awful things

Andrea
Guest
Andrea

It appears one of our hens has this, we have a flock of 14 and live in very chilly Minnesota. I am wondering about the coop, we have hay bales that line the inside of our shed that act as insulation, I understand the need to get rid of the floor hay, but what about the insulating walls? Also is there anything I need to use on the floor, or that I can sprinkle on the hay in order to prevent having to throw away a very large amount of good hay? Thanks

Carole Johnston
Guest
Carole Johnston

thank you

Carole Johnston
Guest
Carole Johnston

is "gas" petrol? uk here

1 55 56 57