Help! Bad case of scaly leg?


In the Brooder
Jan 14, 2017
Central Coast, Australia
hi everyone, my neighbour has given me his chicken as he doesn't have the time to care for him as his other one died the other day. From what it looks like to me this chicken has a horrific case of scaly leg mites. I treated the other day with Vaseline and then again two days later and today it's lame. I've got it soaking in a warm bath and haven't introduced it to my flock which I won't until I have it sorted. Any ideas on what I can do? She can't walk now. Poor chook. Please see photos attached


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I think it may be a severe case of scaly leg mite or it might possibly be gout.

In severe scaly leg mite, you can continue to soak and dunk and treat with topical ointments like vaseline. I read one article that suggested one dunk in gasoline (not sure how wise that is, but they swore by it). You can also treat with Ivermectin drops (cattle pour on 5mg/ML)...about 5 to 8 drops is good for a medium to large size bird, use an eye dropper, or better a medical syringe (with no needle)....usually its 1ml per 22 lbs, so a 5 lb bird is about 1/4 ml or about 1mg of medicine.

Chicken Chick site as a good article and their recommended dosage:

If she was deprived from adequate water, as he wasn't really paying attention to her, or had high calcium food, it is possible she developed gout...too much calcium. Water deprivation is often the cause. I'll link a gout article below.
I used ivermectin pour on (cattle version). It doesn't take much -- the directions said 1 ml per 22 pounds so I went with 3/10 ml from a baby dosing syringe per hen, applied to the skin on the back of the neck. I put it on in the dark so they would be still. And then wait as patiently as possible.

ETA: the pharmacy at Walgreens gave me the syringe at no charge.
Hi @lechez :frow

You have recieved some good advice from @Lady of McCamley and @debid

The only other thing I would add is when you wash the legs, gently scrub with a soft brush to loosen that "debris" that is under the scales. What looks like dirt is actually mite poop.

I believe the Ivermectin would be most effective in your case, but would still soak the feet a couple of times a week in epsom salts and apply some vaseline, A+D ointment or similar to help reduce some swelling and promote healing of the legs.
Thanks for the replies @Lady of McCamley and @debid and @Wyorp Rock I have some ivermectin but I have accidentally bought the horse paste, will that work or do I need pour on stuff? So she's lame and not eating or drinking now. Won't eat scrambled egg or anything. Looks alert and not in shock though. Any ideas? I feel bad cause she could walk just fine before I started treating the legs now she's red and tender and lame Worried I've done the wrong thing.
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How much of the Ivermectin horse paste do you give to a chicken...pea size?

Sadly she is not eating, and that is a bad sign. It may be hard to get her to take the paste. The nice thing about the pour on is you can put it on them (back of neck and below vent).

You may need to consider something more along the lines of gout. Scaly leg mite can be bad, but generally they aren't no walking and not eating. However, gout can produce both.

I don't think you have done anything wrong:hugs

Do you have a photo of what the legs look like now?

Tell us a bit more about this hen. I suspect she may have more going on besides the scaly leg mites.
Do you know how old she is?
Was she laying eggs before he gave her to you?
When you hold her, is there any swelling of the abdomen or bloat?

Gout is a possible, but from the opening photos I don't see any fat, gouty looking feet. Going lame, I'm wandering if she's have some reproduction issues or the stress of being in a new environment has caused symptoms of an underlying illness to appear.

Kathy (@casportpony ) is much better with dosages than I am. It looks like it depends on which "brand" of Ivermectin (Ivomec) you have as to what dosage to give.
Here's some of the info I have marked for Ivermectin starting at post#11, she also has some photos of the "pea sized dollop" at post#13

I hope that helps.

Try your best to keep her hydrated.
@Lady of McCamley @Wyorp Rock@casportpony So he doesn't know what the other one died of. He said all his chickens end up doing that. Just stop moving and then he cuts of their heads usually or they die naturally. One of its feet is really red, I have taken new photos today I will attach. The ivermectin is called noromectin and it's 18.7g/kg. I tried to squirt water down her throat with a syringe, she didn't like it very much.


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