How to treat scaly leg mites on chickens naturally
Scaly leg mites are a common parasite infecting chickens, poultry and birds. They cause irritation, itching and inflammation on the legs and feet of the birds, and if left untreated can lead to infection and lameness.
Symptoms of Scaly Leg Mites:
- Inflammation of chicken legs and feet of chickens
- Thick, crusted feet
- Ruffled feathers
- Flaking scales (early symptom)
You can easily recognise scaly leg mites in Chickens. The parasite actually live under the scales that cover the legs of birds, tunnelling under the skin, eating the flesh and leaving droppings. A healthy chicken's leg will look smooth the belly of a snake. However, a chicken with scaly leg mites will have thick, crusted feet that look more like the skin of a very warty crocodile.
An early symptom of Scaly Leg Mites is the flaking of scales off there legs and feet. If you do not seek treatment, the legs and feet will become so crusty that they will suffer from a reduction in mobility or worse, parts of their toes may peel off.
Like all parasites, when one chicken in your flock is infested with scaly leg mites, it is likely that all your birds will be. It is important to treat your whole flock for the parasite, and to disinfect your coop, in order to prevent an ongoing problem.
Treat scaly leg mites with VetRx – 100 % natural
Fortunately, scaly leg mites are as easy to treat at home as they are to recognise.
We recommend VetRx. A 100% natural poultry remedy designed for treating chickens and other birds. We have found it effective ourselves as a natural treatment for scaly leg mites. Remember to treat all your birds for the parasite. This is important to prevent reinfection.
To use VetRx:
- Soak the feet and legs of the bird in warm water and scrub very gently with a soft toothbrush to remove any dead skin or crusty build-up.
- Dry the feet and legs, and apply a small amount of cold VetRx straight from the bottle. Rub in well.
- Repeat treatment every 3 days until symptoms have ceased.
Clean the chicken coop thoroughly after treating your birds in order to prevent reinfection. For more information check out our Top 6 Tips to preventing disease in the Chicken Coop. It is advisable to disinfect the coop using VetRx or Coopex Insecticide.
Because VetRx may not destroy all unhatched eggs, it can take several weeks for even a mild case of scaly leg mite to be resolved.
In severe cases, it may be necessary to completely coat the legs of the bird in a thicker layer of VetRx in order to suffocate the mites. Alternatively, treat as detailed above and then top the legs with a thick layer of Vaseline or similar.
More Treatments for scaly leg mite
While VetRx may be effective against moderate infestations of scaly leg mite, in severe cases alternative treatment might be required. Other options include using a poultry dust (such as David Grays Poultry Dust or a rotenone powder), mite and lice sprays like Avitrol or a deworming medication such as ivermectin (check the label carefully as not all dewormers are effective against external parasites). Some sources recommend dipping the birds’ legs in petrol.