Scaly leg mites

Over the course of the past month I’ve been treating my serama hen princess against scaly leg mites. Although it was a simple treatment as I said it did take roughly a month to improve but I’ll talk about the whole process here.

Cnemidocoptes Mutans are a parasite known as scaly leg mite and as you can probably gather affect the legs of your chickens and can even cause lameness and pain if left untreated. Scaly leg mite burrow into and under the scales on the legs of your chickens causing irritation. Once the mites have burrowed in they leave behind dirt which leaves the scales rough and dry.

To treat scaly leg as I do you will need:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Olive Oil
  • Scaly leg mite remover spray (I use a Nettex brand )
  • toothbrush (preferably an old one!)
  • Dish
  • Cloth
  • Warm water
  • Disinfectant

The process is simply and can be done once a day or every other day for roughly a month:

  1. Take your dish and fill it with Luke warm water and dip the affected chickens legs into the dish scrubbing the dried and loose scales away carefully with the cloth and brush.
  2. Once washed and dried spray the required amount of spray on the birds legs again running it in with a cloth.
  3. Coat the legs in olive oil rubbing it into the legs once again
  4. Finally smother the legs in vasaline to suffocate the mites.
  5. Once treatment has finished disinfect perches, houses and bedding.

There are other methods available such as using ivermectin or sudocrem (which works the way vasaline does to smother mites). I’d like to also add I’ve only used this treatment on my one affected hen and sprayed the rest of the flock with the nettex spray each evening.

Signs of improvement may not be immediately visible as the new scales will regrow during a molt but the washing of the scales this will help hydrate them and promote new growth.

I hope you manage to treat scaly leg mites wether you use my preferred treatment or something else and remember don’t give up as it can take up to a month to break the cycle!

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