Have you had trouble with scaly leg mites? If you haven’t experienced them yet, you will if prevention methods aren’t in place.
Chicken legs normally have healthy smooth and flat scales. If the scales start peeling up, flake or look dry the chicken could be suffering from scaly leg mites.
Leg mites are a type of external parasite that burrows under the scales of the chickens legs and feet. The scales become crusty and lift up. Scaly leg mites spread from hen to hen. The mites are too small to see with the naked eye, so the raised leg scales will likely be your only clue. If mites are not removed, they can cause the chicken to go lame, unable to roost and eventually die.
[Warning! DO NOT use alcohol, gasoline, kerosene, turpentine, petrolium or any other potentially toxic substance on your chickens’ legs. Don’t dose your chickens with Ivermectin. It’s dangerous and not healthy for the hens. Natural prevention and solutions work!]
Here are 7 Natural Methods to Stop Scaly Leg Mites in Chickens:
- Keep the coop CLEAN and DRY. If you notice your hens avoiding the nesting boxes, they may be infested. Get rid of ALL of the bedding. Clean out their run as much as possible if they are enclosed.
- Wash their coop and nesting boxes down with OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate and water. See our post on how to clean the coop.
- Once coop is clean, make a 24 oz spray bottle of 10 drops each: eucalyptus, melaleuca, and lemon essential oil. Top with water. Spray coop and nesting boxes, let it dry then add fresh bedding. You may need to clean the coop every week until the mites are gone.
- Provide access to dust baths. A dry dust bath is the chickens way of cleaning themselves. Chickens don’t wash with water, they use soil to clean themselves. Free range chickens will find plenty of soil to stay clean but if your chickens aren’t free range you can build a dust bath for them. Weed ‘em & Reap provides a great way to repurpose old tires and make a great dust bath.
- You can soak the legs and feet in warm water with a little Onguard Concentrate Cleaner then rinse and dry them off.
- Mix 3 drops geranium, 3 drops roman chamomile, 2 drops oregano, and 3 drops melaleuca essential oil in 1 cup of calendula or coconut oil. Mix well and coat the legs every 2-3 days until mites are gone.
- For overall health, add 5 drops oregano to 2 tbsp coconut oil and mix in 50 lbs of feed.
If you have a flock of chickens it is important to spend some time with your flock observing them to ensure they look healthy with bright eyes, smooth feathers & are active & alert. 🐥 If any birds look lethargic & don’t want to go in to roost at night, check for red mites. pic.twitter.com/yJx5pjRpgp
— Lillico Attlee (@Lillicos) February 15, 2018
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