Is there anything that looks like leg mites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kinnip, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I suspect something is up with my birds legs. Right now it looks like there are patches of dry skin and the scales are starting to look more distinct, though not yet raised. To my knowledge chickens have never been kept on this property, I know there have been none for at least 5 years. All of my birds, except two seemingly unaffected guineas, have been brought here straight from the brooder at 2-5 days old. None appeared to be infested. If it is scaly leg mites, then they had to have come from contact with a wild bird, or my shoes, both are longshots. We do have a lot of bugs here, however. My legs have looked like ground meat going on two years now and even my cats have bites all over their bellies. Can chiggers look like leg mites? I've read they attack the body of the bird, but in the case of bad infestation might they go for whatever spot is vacant? Do you think Eprinex will kill it off regardless?
  2. luckychic

    luckychic Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    First and foremost you need to find out for sure if it is mites. If you are near a local avian vet you should check it out, or at least take some pictures and post to this site to get an opinion.

    From everything I've seen mites tend to look like salt caked on the chicken. However, you definitely have a problem - what worries me is the problem with your cat as well. I highly suggest advantage for the cat problem. I've seen many times where people have managed to get rid of mites by using olive oil or vegetable oil on the chickens legs, but you also need to seriously clean out your coop and bedding. I'm talking about washing down the inside of the coop walls, floors and nest box. This is where the mites live.

    Good Luck,
  3. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Is it possible you have a bit of both scaly leg mites and chiggers? There are many, many kinds of mites and chiggers, and most seem to have a preference for the part of the body (and type of animal) they prefer.

    I keep a tub of Vaseline in the chicken feed area to prevent scaly leg mites, and I just rub some onto the girls' legs at bedtime once every week or two. I also use a permethrin-based poultry dust once every week or so ~ I just slap on some rubber gloves at hen bedtime and dust their bottoms and under each wing to prevent other crawlies.

    If you already have a scaly leg mite infestation, Gail Damerow's chicken handbook recommends a mixture of one part kerosene to two parts linseed oil, and applying this to the hens' legs. (Personally, I prefer prevention to treatment!)

    For chiggers, I prefer the old Girl Scout preventive: get some sulfur powder at the drugstore, and pour it into an old, clean sport sock. Tie the open end of the sock into a knot, and leave it hanging on a nail out on the back porch. When you get ready to go outside, bang the sock around your legs and ankles so the sulfur powder lightly coats the bare skin. Should work for the critters, too. Chiggers hate that sulfur powder.

    Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by