Help needed with foot issues


Nov 2, 2016
San Leandro
Hello everyone,

I need help for my sweet 2yo GLW. She's begun having greater difficulty walking and standing. I started noticing it last summer after a heat wave (110F) and attributed it to heat stroke. Ever since then she's walked kind of flat-footed and has been very sedentary (not foraging) and prefers to sit on the ground in the shade all day. All other behaviors are normal - eating/drinking, egg laying, dust bathing, and she made it through her winter molt ok. I've checked and thankfully she does not have bumblefoot or mites. However she just sits all day. Other hens are totally fine and have never shown any of the same problems.

Over the last week or two she seems to have gotten a little more wobbly and can't stand up for very long. I'm posting some videos from two days ago.

Then today I noticed she was picking at the top of her foot. When I went to put out their dinner I noticed she had peeled off the scales on the top of one of her feet. I thought maybe scaly leg mites... but her feet don't look anything like the pictures I've seen online and none of the other hens any foot issues.


Has anyone seen this in their flock? If so can you recommend some treatment?

Thanks so much in advance.



11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
I'm in agreement with @Redhead Rae. It's very likely scaly leg mites, but they are not advanced yet. That doesn't mean they can't be excruciatingly painful, though.

I have to commend you on the two videos. The first one was absolutely wonderful at showing this hen is not suffering from any neurological lameness. Instead, it's the tremendous pain she's experiencing that is causing her to choose not to walk any more than she has to, and the second video shows exactly that.

Go ahead and do the Epsom salt soak. A good twenty minutes, then using a soft brush, clean any loose dirt and scales off her feet and legs. I suggest giving her a baby aspirin before you start her soaking so it will reduce her pain by the time you do the light scrubbing. She can have another baby aspirin in the morning, a total of two a day.

The best, cheapest, easiest treatment is Castor oil. I dump the whole bottle into a small food container and dip the entire foot and slather the oil generously up the leg all the way to where her feathers start. Leave the oil on. Don't worry about the mess. It will be smothering the mites over the next few days. I actually filter the oil through a coffee filter and save it to reuse another time or two since I'm Irish and cheap, I mean frugal.

Repeat this process again in a week to get any mite eggs that have hatched. She should start to feel better in just a day, and in a week, you should see her walking normally again. If not, then we'll know it's not mites.

Report back to your thread, and we can make further suggestions if needed.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
In addition, I would use a vitamin that contains riboflavin or vitamin B2. When chickens sit on their hocks, it can be a sign of riboflavin deficiency. It also can cause curling under of toes. Her right side seems a bit weak perhaps in the hip area, but she can scoot when she wants to go.

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