Scaly legs on chickens are caused by a parasitic mite (Knemidocoptes mutans) that burrow under the scales on the chicken's legs. The damaged tissue weeps, which is what these mites feed on.
Signs and Symptoms
- Raised scales on the legs
- Crusty legs
- Lameness (severe cases)
- In the early stages of the infection the chicken will have mild irritation. It takes several months of infection before the scales on the legs start to lift.
Scaly Leg Mite Treatment
Scaly mite can be treated by using a lotion that will soothe and kill the mites. There are a variety of lotions available; Omlet stock Johnsons Scaly Leg Lotion and Nettex Scaly Leg Remover. Whilst treating and after the infection has cleared up you can use repellant sprays as a preventative measure. You should treat all of your birds even if only one bird has scaly legs, as scaly leg mite is very contagious and it is highly likely that all of your birds will have the mite. Another treatment is to dip your chickens legs in surgical spirit three times a week and rub vaseline on the legs in between dips to try and soften the scales and suffocate the mites. You should also use mite powder such as Diatom powder to sprinkle in their run and in their coop. Omlet have a range of Diatom and Mite powders; click here to view mite powders.