Scaly Leg Mites - Need Best / Easiest / Quickest Solution - Scaley

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nifty-Chicken, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Hey everyone!

    We've got scaly leg mites. A couple of our 7 hens look affected, but one of our RIR looks the worst... by far.

    I've tasked Emily with researching how to treat them, but I wanted to post here to leverage the great wisdom of the group. Here are my questions:

    1) Is this really scaly leg mites?
    2) What is the BEST solution?

    I know there are LOTS of suggestions (Vaseline, DE, orange oil, WD-40, etc. etc. etc.). I don't know how many of these are old wives tales or super excellent solutions that seriously work.

    So, if you have experience with whatever you see in the pic below, and you effectively treated it, please reply with what worked best / easiest / quickest for you and your girls.


    Thanks so much in advance for your help and ideas!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  2. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Yikes, poor bird. Sorry I haven't had that experience yet. But I'm hoping someone would respond, cause it'll happen sometime.
  3. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Yep, they look like mites. They are about the hardest things to get rid of so you'll have to hit them hard with immediate action and try to get rid of them. The mites live on the birds and in the coop. I like to soak my bird's legs in warm soapy water for a minute or so and then give the legs a good scrubbing with a finger or vegetable brush brush. After that rub on some sort of oily gel. I've used both Vaseline and Neosporin. Its easier to apply if you warm it for a few seconds in the microwave, or float a cup of it in a bowl of hot water. Use a paint brish and try to get every nook and cranny of the leg, re-coat the legs every few days. Red-Kote spray is an easy option for this if there are a lot of birds, but I think "hand painting" is most affective. After the birds are cleaned and oiled, put them in a pen or cage while you clean the coop.

    Thoroughly clean the entire coop and take out all the old bedding, nesting material and feeders/waterers. Sprinkle all surfaces with an insecticide powder and let the coop air out for a few minutes (its best to leave all windows and doors open. make sure to get the roosts and nest boxes good and replace them if possible since they are the breeding ground for the mites. Put clean fresh bedding in the coop and try to repeat the cleaning cycle over a few times over the course of a couple months.

    I did this several times and had good success but I never entirely got rid of the mights. I ended up using Ivomec, an injectable insecticide for cattle and swine. I called a vet to get the proper dosing, using an needle-less syringe I administered only a small drop to each hen orally, with bantams getting about have that dose.Ivomec is not approved for poultry so you'll have to withhold form eating eggs for a while. Ivomec is a bit extreme and its powerful stuff and can be dangerous if not used properly but in my eye its the only realistic solution to getting rid of leg mites.
    2 people like this.
  4. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    9SpiceyChickens likes this.
  5. FlightsofFancy

    FlightsofFancy Songster

    Jan 22, 2008
    Canton, GA
    There are alot of different methods, I like your thinking....Quick, Easy, and well, Safe!
    I rescued a chicken with a really bad case and this is what I did. It only took one round and it was GONE!
    First I bathed and soaked the chicken (you could just do the legs and they LOVE it!) in an herbal flea shampoo. I used a tooth brush and lightly brushed her feet and shanks. This does 2 things: softens the skin and loosens the mites and mite dirt, then it treats the area to help it heal.
    Next I put Campho-Phenique on her legs, completely covering her shanks. I also treated all my other chickens with the Campho, just in case.
    Now that really took care of it, but I re-treated with the Campho in 10 days and then 14 days after. Just to be sure.
    With this method there is NO egg contamination.
    GOOD LUCK!!! [​IMG]
  6. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Might be an old wives tale, but think I'd start by dunking their legs some strong vinegar solution with some MUrphy's oil soap added, and let it set a bit before rinsing.
  7. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Great, keep the ideas coming!

    I'm going to try whatever is easiest and most commonly proven to work the fastest first and then move down the line towards more difficult and more invasive (internal drug) methods. We just started getting eggs from our girls, so I'd like to enjoy them while we're getting them.

    What insecticides are there (besides DE) that you can spray / powder inside a coop to kill mites, but that is safe for the birds and we can still eat their eggs?

    I'm going to try to take pictures and document my progress as we go along.

    Again, thanks for the suggestions and please keep them coming!!!
    mariesterful likes this.
  8. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    I've heard to clean their legs really good and then spay well with WD40.
  9. mothergoose

    mothergoose Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Chebanse, Illinois
    Picco covered pretty much everything. Ivomec is great and you'll be taking care of other parasites as well.
    As for topically on the legs, pretty much anything that will coat the legs. The idea is to smother the mites. If they can't breathe they die. Vicks vapor rub works well too.
    Christie [​IMG]
  10. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    I guess if it is just a matter of smothering them then an oil based product will work, so I'll go with the cheapest / easiest to apply. What about cooking oil in a spray bottle? If not that, then maybe Vaseline is cheapest.

    I'm not apposed to anything a bit more toxic... if it were guaranteed to work best I'd even use WD-40.

    I guess I should treat their perches too?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: