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Scaly Leg Mites in Chickens

Updated: Dec 28, 2023


Scaly Leg Mites In Chickens

The pros of raising backyard chickens far outweigh the cons in my opinion! However, at some point, you'll likely deal with an issue that is less than fun. Like a sick or injured chicken, a predator attack or icky things like lice or mites. While I've never had scaly leg mites in any of my chickens (whew!), it can be a problem in your flock.


What Are Scaly Leg Mites

Leg mites are tiny microscopic bugs that dig under the scales of a chicken's lower legs and feet. They can wreak havoc if they’re not taken care of. They can also travel from bird to bird, so if one is infected you'll likely need to treat the rest of your flock or at the very least keep a close eye on them. If left untreated, scaly leg mites can cause pain, deformities, loss of toes or lameness.

Scaly Leg Mites In Chickens

How to Treat Scaly Leg Mites

There are many schools of thought on this, but I feel the most natural way to treat scaly leg mites is as follows. First, soak the infected chicken’s legs and feet in warm water with Epsom salts. Then, spray the legs and feet with Strong Animals Chicken Essentials Bye-Bye, Boo-Boos (spray after you’ve soaked them). You'll then want to thickly slather petroleum jelly over the entire infected area. An old standby for some is Vicks Vaporub. The mites don’t like the menthol and start to move out. You'll likely need to repeat these steps a couple of times throughout a week or more to bring effective relief. There are other more aggressive alternatives out there. If it’s a severe case, some vets will prescribe Ivermectin. However, please consult your veterinarian if you choose to go this route! Lastly, you'll need to deep clean your coop (scrub and wash!) if you have these pests otherwise they'll continue to be a problem.


How to Prevent Scaly Leg Mites

I know what you’re thinking… “I don’t want to deal with this at all!” I hear you! These issues are the not-so-glamorous parts of raising backyard chickens. However, raising them in a clean and dry environment will help combat most of these problems! Deep cleaning your coop a couple of times a year, keeping it dry, using the deep litter method, and being faithful with your Coop Recuperate™ will do wonders for your flock. Being proactive with your flock’s health and environment will benefit everyone!


The other product I use regularly is Preen Queen. Preen Queen is a dust bath additive that contains organic citronella and peppermint essential oils. Pests like lice or mites don’t like these scents and will steer clear of your flock. Preen Queen is so easy to use! You simply sprinkle it wherever your chickens dust bathe. That could be in a designated area you’ve created for them or in the holes they love to dig themselves.


Keeping your flock’s digestive and immune systems healthy is also a huge part of combating pesky pests like mites. Part of this is keeping a clean coop as we’ve already discussed. It’s also important to make sure your flock is getting a well-balanced diet. I like to use layer pellets and then occasionally give them scraps and treats. Every day my chickens get Chicken E-lixir in their water. Chicken E-lixir is a daily vitamin for your flock. It contains electrolytes to keep them hydrated, vitamins D & E, prebiotics, calcium and organic oregano essential oil. I am confident that my flock has stayed healthy because of Chicken E-lixir!


Strong Animals Chicken Essentials has made it so easy to keep my flock healthy! Using their products has changed the way (for the better) that we raise our backyard flocks. I love how they’ve made it so simple to incorporate essential oils into our daily routine without me guessing what or how much I should give them. The best part? These products are safe for all types of poultry!


Until next time,


–The Wing Lady

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