Scaly Leg Concerns


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 27, 2009
San Francisco
Hi all, I'm newish here.

I live in San Francisco and have 5 chickens and 2 ducks in a beautiful yard and garden.

Sadly, I awoke this morning to the terrible sound of the neighbor's awful yappy little dogs tearing their bantam rooster apart (this is not the first time this has happened, and I'll post on another thread about the neighbor woes). I hopped the fence and saved the bird, putting it back in the makeshift coop it had escaped from (and barricaded further escape routes). However, when I picked up the bird, I noticed it had horrible growths all over its legs. Some internet research suggests that this is Scaly Leg disease (caused by mites, yes?).

I am now concerned that these mites might be able to infect my chickens and the cayuga ducks that we allow to free-range in our backyard. As far as I know there has never been any contact between the neighboring birds and ours (we've had a few of their escapees try to hop the fence, but we catch and remove them very quickly and they've never been in our enclosed coop/run). I washed my hands very thoroughly after handling the infected bird, and am about to take a shower and wash the clothes I was wearing.

What can I do to protect my birds from these mites? Any information about scale and how it's transferred would be appreciated, as would any immune-boosting tips. I read that vitamin A deficiency can cause birds to be susceptible - fortunately, our girls eat a lot of dark leafy greens and squashes and carrots.

Thank you,

Your neighbor situation sounds just awful! Fortunately I don't think that the leg mites are much of a problem if you take good care of your chickens. Almost all the cases I have read about here were chickens that were rescued from bad situations. A healthy immune system is your best defense. You could make your chickens a "dust bath" out of a large container, or boxed in area, some sand, and some DE (food grade diatomaceous earth). Keep it dry so DE is effective, and this will help them with any pests. I would also have a regular worming program if I was in your situation--like twice a year. A good diet, adequate protein, grit and oyster shell, and greens is the best way to boost their immune system. I would not give them any of the odd stuff that is mentioned, just a plain good diet.
Scaly leg mite is spread by direct contact. The mites live in the ketatin layer of skin- in/between the scales. If the chickens have contact, they can transmit them. SLM (knemidocoptes) does not fly or walk very far.... next door birds pose a minimal threat to your birds for this organism.
I've heard that they don't go after ducks; they don't like wet legs.
You can add crumbled or powdered eucalyptus leaf to the dust bath as well. I run it through the blender in a small jar when it's done drying in a vase.
I feel terrible for the other rooster
I would mention to them what your thoughts are and maybe have them at least put Vaseline on the poor thing. That is awful
Although sounds like he may not be around long enough to worry about it if the dog has anything to say about it
I had a rooster with that same problem and Took care if it with I soaked his leggs in epsom salt warm for a bit then gently brushed his leggs with a tooth brush and put medicine on it that I got from the feed store , Every day , I also got that powder stuff every one is talking about and did the coops and ground , so far things have been okay he got better , it was a lot of work but he is worth it to me to take care of him hes a good rooster a little banty or sermea somthing of that effect
this is him

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