Cronkshaw Fold Farm, The case of the scaly hen feet part 2, 28.7.16

After researching ‘scaly leg mite’ treatments on different websites such as https://poultrykeeper.com/external-problems/scaly-leg-mite/ and farmer forums, I have produced a plan which will hopefully kill the mites and improve the condition of the hen’s feet.

This is some information I’ve put together about the condition for future reference…

Scaly leg mites:

Scaly Leg is an infestation caused by a small parasitic mite known as Knemidocoptes mutans. This tiny mite lives in the ground or sometimes the floor of the henhouse in damp conditions. It then burrows under the scales of the bird’s legs or feet, where it causes great discomfort. It may also infest other areas such as the comb or wattles of chickens. The mite causes a multiplication of the tissue cells and the secretion of a serum. The scales are raised, and the legs become thickened and have a rough lumpy appearance, often showing what would appear to be a white growth on the leg

Scales should never be picked or cut off as this will damage the legs. Birds need to be treated to kill the mites and then scales left to come away naturally through a moult. It can take up to 12 months before the scales have moulted and regrown to look normal again.

Species Affected: All Poultry.

Other Names: Knemidocoptes mutans.

Symptoms: Scaly, raised encrusted scales on the legs.

Area affected: Legs.

Causes: Knemidocoptes mutans โ€“ Mite burrowing under scales.

Transmission: Spread by direct contact with other birds. The mite spends its entire life cycle on the bird.

Diagnosis: Contact with other birds, bringing new birds in that are carriers, raised encrusted scales on legs.

Treatment:

  1. Inspect legs and gently clean with soapy water to remove dirt then dip legs into surgical spirit to kill the mites.
  2. Rub Vaseline on the legs between treatments to help suffocate the mites and to soften the scales.

I will treat the hen with surgical spirit twice a week and any time between this with vaseline which should make the treatment more effective.

Summer 2016 treatment plan:

Friday 29th July: Clean + surgical spirit

Saturday-Monday: Vaseline

Tuesday 2nd August: Clean + surgical spirit

Wednesday-Thursday: Vaseline

Friday 5th August: Clean + surgical spirit

Saturday-Monday: Vaseline

Tuesday 9th August: Clean + surgical spirit

Wednesday-Thursday: Vaseline

Friday 12th August: Clean + surgical spirit

Saturday-Monday: Vaseline

Tuesday 16th August: Clean + surgical spirit

Wednesday-Thursday: Vaseline

Friday 19th August: Clean + surgical spirit

Saturday-Monday: Vaseline

Tuesday 23rd August: Clean + surgical spirit

Wednesday-Thursday: Vaseline

Friday 26th August: Clean + surgical spirit

Saturday-Monday: Vaseline

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