Is this scaly leg mites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aussie_chooks, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. aussie_chooks

    aussie_chooks Hatching

    Aug 19, 2018
    This is my first post so hello to you all :frow

    I have five lovely little chickens. The other day I noticed that my two isa brown's feet looked larger than the other. Upon further inspection, it looks like a few of their scales have fallen off and several scales have lifted up. The other chickens three are fine.

    Does this look like scaly leg mites to you?

    The two chickens in question are 2-3 years old. They are looking and acting completely normal. The only thing out of the ordinary is their egg shells have been very thin recently and I've found two eggs without shells (I suspect they were from a different chicken who is moulting at the moment though). I've been feeding them crushed egg shells to help with that.

    They live in a dirt ground based environment if that helps. Their roosting area has pinewood shavings.

    Thank you for your help :)
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Welcome. Yikes, that does look like scaly leg mites. I would start treating ASAP.
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  3. Ursuline Chick

    Ursuline Chick Crossing the Road

    Jul 21, 2017
    Have you tried putting Vaseline on the feet after they go to bed to suffocate the mites?
    :frow Welcome from New Orleans. hope this fixes your problem, may want to treat the whole flock. Good luck.
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

    Chickens don't lay eggs when they are molting. Please post feather pics... maybe you have more parasites.

    Suffocation should work... yes that looks like SLM to me. If you have other possible parasite or worms... Pour on Ivermectin might be a good a choice as it treats many including SLM.

  5. 4 ever Orpington

    4 ever Orpington Mr.& Mrs Orpington

    Nov 5, 2017
    :frow :celebrate :welcome
  6. Shylock

    Shylock In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2018
    That is definitely mites, treat it promptly.
    Vaseline works well as does dipping the feet in oil.
    The mites will not be killed by a single application in my experience this process must be repeated about every two weeks for best results.
    Orpingtons seem particularly vulnerable to this (although my barred rock had it at one point as well), but if kept under control they remain happy.
    It's interesting that they are laying eggs without shells, one of my chickens also had the combination of mites and no shells.
    My theory is that they are out of condition due to the mites on their feet, as this may have internal effects on them, but once again, I don't know for sure.
    Good luck from Waikato, New Zealand.
  7. aussie_chooks

    aussie_chooks Hatching

    Aug 19, 2018
    Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your help. I thoroughly cleaned out their coop and applied a lot of vaseline to everyone's feet. I also brought some pestene lice and mite powder and applied it to the chickens and in their clean coop. They are very angry with me right now :rant I'll do it again in a couple of days.

    How long until I'll know if the treatment is working?
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  8. aussie_chooks

    aussie_chooks Hatching

    Aug 19, 2018
    Is this what you meant by feather photos? Are they clear enough? :)
    The white leghorn is the moulting one, and the isa browns are the one with scaly mites.

    The leghorn is very sad because of her moult. It is the middle of winter here. Looked so depressed :( She did the same thing last year. Thanks for your help!
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  9. Kfults

    Kfults Songster

    Jun 12, 2018
    Southwest Louisiana
    My chickens were upset with me too but forgot pretty quick. I found little black mites on cockerel so coup got cleaned and sprayed and each of my 12 birds got sprayed and for good measure I put Vaseline in their feet!! Now to do it again at the end of the week. I often ask them- do you realize all the work I do for you? Do you appreciate it?? LOL
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Pretty ladies! :love

    I know molting can be very taxing, even when it isn't heavy. It takes a lot of energy and is why they don't lay during molt. Come to find out... it's one of the ways nature helps to control parasites! Feeding extra protein during molt can help them recover faster and makes a HUGE difference in my experience... feathers are made of 90% protein and it's amino acids (animal source).

    Soft shelled eggs are very often a hiccup of gals coming onto or exiting lay and their system working its' kinks out. A hen will sacrifice her own calcium from her body even if she doesn't have access to plenty and softees can happen even with plenty of access to calcium. It's possible the leghorn had an egg or two that needed to be released but she would be laying regularly enough to think they were hers if it is happening very often, unless she is returning to lay already.

    Since scaly leg mites are microscopic they could be on others but not as bad. The ones originally posted... that is a long term growth of them. But all birds have different immune systems and may not be equally effected. I do see some striations and hollowness (barbless) look to some of those feathers on the Isa's, indicating some parasitic action... but since you already got a treatment, you should be good.

    Ah, that's the hard part... The scales won't automatically look better and neither will the feathers.

    Some people do bath soaks to soften the scales and scrub with a toothbrush to help remove the old lifted ones and reveal fresh scales underneath. It's interesting how they will flake away like old skin. The good news is that mites can't develop resistance to suffocation. :plbb

    Only way I know to tell if the other is working is by checking with a flashlight after dark and part abdomen/vent feathers and look for crawlies running away. They are easier to see then. I do this at least monthly to a couple random birds... in backyard flocks it was shown the 10% of the birds carry 90% of the parasites... so it's important to check a variety. The mite I am battling live in the cracks of wood (stumps, roost, or such) and come out to feed on the birds so would not likely be seen on them during a day time check and maybe not even at night since my roost is clean... but I have seen the red buggers in my yard... and their evidence on my birds. :barnie So while I don't have a clear answer to offer as to how will you know it's working... You are off to a good start, do your best and look at the clues. Even though the individual feathers may still be damaged... seems like I can notice an overall condition improvement. :fl

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