Severe Scaly Leg Mites

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Smccau3, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Smccau3

    Smccau3 Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2012
    One of my chickens has a severe case of scaly leg mites. She is our shyest chicken so we did not notice until we saw her limping today. One leg is so bad it looks like a growth on the side of her leg.

    We caught her (with a net, unfortunately) and washed her legs and generously applied vaseline. I have read through a lot of information and haven't seen a case with the growth looking part. I have read that you have to reapply vaseline rather frequently. I do not see this as an option because it took us a long time to catch her and I don't want to stress her out that frequently.

    She is the only one of our four chickens that has an issue.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2013
    waverly ohio
    the old timers say to use kerosene, diesel fuel, or used motor oil, rub it on the legs then coat with vasaline. i have used the diesel fuel, it worked well for me- but use your own discretion.
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    Hi, Scaly leg mites can be very persistent! But you do have to keep up consistent daily or every few days of treatment up for a few weeks (at the least). After that, you may want to treat at least once a week when you see the yellowish scaly yuck beginning to slough off. Vaseline seems like it might work well.

    In our case (back in June) newbies that we are, we purchased an OEGB RRB that we couldn't resist, with a severe, persistant case of the scaly leg mite (of course.). It didn't take long for me to figure out that his legs seemed thickened and stiff (like tree branches) and that his comb had previously suffered many black blood marks from fighting with his brothers (they were at the business for sale as well.). After researching, we decided to dip our new roos legs (separately) into a cup of mineral oil, up to his hocks to try to get every crevice oiled, to last and not be too sticky! Then, I would rub the oil gently into the cracked parts. Then, we would "flour" his poor legs in DE so he wouldn't get mucky feathers. He was high steppin' in white boots right after a treatment. Now, this is not an easy thing to do with a rooster who hardly knows you, and has large spurs! However, we were VERY lucky that he was friendly and submitted to anything we did to help him. He didn't struggle or spill anything.

    It's taken many months of being consistent, but we started to see the yuck "chip" away, leaving a smooth, healthy gray leg underneath. He has a few small dead cell patches left to chip away, but we keep up treatment occasionally and still dust his legs, so I know it will all be completely gone in time. If you do this method, have someone hold the chicken to dip, them you (wearing gloves) guide the leg into the cup for 20 seconds, remove leg, and drip excess on old towel, massage legs and toes, dust with DE in a bath powder shaker. Clean up drips with paper towels.

    I think you can see from the top (before) photo in June, that his legs (comb and waddles) look not too good. After treating him, he seems less tired, his legs are thinner, shapelier (less straight up and down) and more flexible with no "crunchiness," as seen in the bottom shot. You can still see one chunk left on the leg in front. He just seems overall happier too. (But that may have something to do with all of his lady friends. lol) You could also try mixing mineral oil and water to thin it out in a sprayer and spray it on for your hen. I've heard of people using vapor rub too, but, I would be nervous using that- with the pungent essential oils used in the formula.

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  4. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 9, 2009
    Best to catch her when she is on the roost at night... take a torch with you and single her out for her vaseline treatment... sorry to say but all of your other chickens will need treating too!
  5. Smccau3

    Smccau3 Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2012
    Tonight I went out and oiled all the chickens legs while they were roosting. Unfortunately, it was hard for me to get to the hen with the actual mites as she roosts in a weird spot. I think with some help, a nightly treatment will be the best option.

    The vaseline was easy enough to apply but it was definitely sticky. I like the idea of flouring her legs with DE. I will try that tomorrow.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Try some castor oil--I have read where you don't have to put it on every day, and it's cheap. It's what I will use if the problem crops up.
  7. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had leg mites in my flock, and the vaseline worked well. I treated for three weeks, but my case was very minor. Vegetable, castor, fuel, and mineral oil will all work as well. I would also advise washing, and scrubbing her legs once a week, just to get all of the loos scales off, that way you will be able to tell how it improves. I wouldn't really be worried about the "growth" if you look up pics of wild birds with leg mites, they often have bulges, where the scales are especially dirty, or sticking out. I bird can actually lose toes if leg mites is left untreated. I always treated at night, as it was the only time I could catch them all. You will also have to treat your whole flock, because if one chicken has it, they all do! Hope your girl get better!
  8. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    If you look at the Ultimate Chicken Medicine Dosing guide chart, you will see an antiseptic fungicidal spray horse/ cattle product there, also recommended for chicken scaly leg, it's called, "Scarlet Oil Spray." It's a slow-drying antiseptic dressing for minor skin lesions, surface wounds, cuts and burns, etc. too.

    SCARLET OIL Active Ingredients: Contains: Mineral oil, isopropyl alcohol (32.1% v/v), pine oil, benzyl alcohol (2.4% v/v), oil of eucalyptus, methyl salicylate, etc...
    Hope your chickie is better soon.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  9. CherishHolland

    CherishHolland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2013
    Canyon Texas
    Try some Vetrx
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    X2. I've never used VetRx for scaly legs before, but I've read that it can work.

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