Help, Chicken Leg Mites

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Robyn67, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Help needed, and apologies for long post but I hope it will give you all the details.

    A couple of weeks ago I bought 3 adult Pekin chickens from a local poultry market (yes I got taken up in the excitement of the market and just had to buy). Then later that day when we were collecting some fertile eggs from a local breeder, we picked up another 3 pekin, but these are around 8 weeks old.

    Anyway, so I then did absolutely the wrong thing. I didn't quarantine them. A couple of days after I got them I noticed the older auction ones feet were very rough and thought that it must just be the breed. But coming across a google post I realise that they are all, quite badly infected with scaly leg mites.

    So this is what I've done so far - soaked the chickens feet in warm water and vinegar and rubbed with a toothbrush.

    After reading that you need to smother the legs in oil to kill the mites, I've made up my own solution I hope will work. I've used Coconut Oil which has some medicinal qualities (which is solid at room temperature, especially in my area), mixed with a bit of vegetable oil to get it easier to apply, put in some eucalyptus and tea tree oil for their healing power.

    I've also removed the old wood shavings from the coop floor and added new shavings and also some chaff (which is what we put in the duck coop). I haven't added anything else to the floor, but thought maybe baking soda?

    I'm also doing this for all our chickens too.

    Oh, and they are all free range, so are not stuck in the coop 24/7, but the pekins tend to spend a lot of time in there.

    Can these mites affect our ducks? As the ducks and chickens seem to love going in each others coop during the day to snoop around.

    Any help with our situation would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I think you can use Neem powder, I used to sprinkle it in their coup and laying boxes.

    Not sure about mites on ducks never had ducks but I’m sure others can help.
     
  3. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Letsgo. Where would I buy neem powder from.
     
  4. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I got mine from the lady that sold me my chickens. But try a produce store.
     
  5. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    thanks, I'll try that.
     
  6. eggcentric

    eggcentric Active Member Premium Member

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    When I had an outbreak of scaly leg mites a few years back, thanks to wild birds bringing them on to our property, I applied a product called VetRX for poultry. I cleaned out their coop first, sprayed neem oil on all their roosts and in crevices and corners,, then treated the chickens by cleaning off their legs, then applying VetRX liberally on their feet and legs right up to where their feathers started. You will need to treat all of them, not just the ones with visible signs. I don't have many chickens, so I applied it with an old makeup brush. If you have a larger flock to treat, I have heard that using a container with some sort of oil with a few drops of tea tree oil, that you can dip both their legs into, works a lot faster. You can use any oil that you have on hand - vegetable, sunflower, coconut, olive oil - whatever. You can also apply Ivermectin topically. No matter which method you choose to go with, it's important to retreat in 6-10 days, to make sure to eliminate any nits that may have hatched after your initial treatment. Good luck!
     
  7. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Eggcentric. I'll try to get some VetRX and some Neem Oil & Powder.

    The three we bought from the action are quite badly affected, so I think I'm in for the long haul in getting their feet & legs back into a good condition. I'll treat all the others as long as I'm treating the auction three.

    And, in the opposite to you, I may have introduced these horrible mites to the native birds, we have a lot on our property.
     
  8. Gavin Middleton

    Gavin Middleton Member Premium Member

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    We had a problem with scaly leg mites in our girls last year - treated the coop as above, and smeared Vaseline (a generic petroleum jelly is just as good) on their legs. That smothers the mites, and cleared the girls up well. :)
     
  9. eggcentric

    eggcentric Active Member Premium Member

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    Yes, it's true: I know of many folks that have used Vaseline (and Bag Balm) successfully - I just don't like putting petroleum based products on my birds - personal preference, that's all. It works on the same principle as any oil or VetRX; that is, to smother the mites. I used VetRX because I had it on hand and it also contains some natural antiseptic and antibacterial herbs. If I hadn't had it on hand, or I would have grabbed some sunflower oil.
    Don't beat yourself up, Robyn. Stuff happens with poultry sometimes, no matter how careful we are. Scaly leg mites are a royal pain, but easy to fix: A couple of applications of whatever treatment you choose to go with, and your chickens will be right as rain. :)
     
  10. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Gavin, that might be a bit easier and quicker to get actually - our postal service here to country NSW is slow for things we have to get delivered (and even then for where I live Aus Post don't deliver packages to the door or letterbox, we have to go into town to pick up) The delivery companies don't come out here either, even our poor local shop has to go into town to pick up his supplies from a depot. AND.... we are only 20 minutes outside a major town classified as a city here, but really a big country town (Armidale NSW)
     
  11. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    thanks Eggcentric. Just feel bad that I didn't quarantine them. I think I'll try to do the ducks too just in case. But the ducks, whilst relatively friendly, are absolute buggers to try to catch and hold, and they have sharp little claws that do some damage.

    But what it has done is made me aware that I probably should have some of this stuff on hand for times like these - as I mentioned we have wild birds everywhere and often they a mingling in with the chickens.

    I'll try to pick up the neem powder & oil today in town. Last night I found myself taking little branches off the lavender bush and then putting it through the nesting boxes & floor and then sprinkling lavender oil around - as I read that lavender also helps, but not as much as the neem, but it's what I could lay my hands on.
     
  12. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yes to all that's already been said here.
    I would add the following. The mites are very hard to get rid of once you have them in your pens & surrounding pasture. They hide in every little crevice & some only come out at night to feed on poultry blood such as red leg mite.
    Others lay their eggs (nits) on the feather shafts such as poultry mites. But they too are very hard to get rid of once established.
    Regular dusting of the whole bird from head to toe will help break the cycle.
    This means setting a time table to do all the birds at regular intervals.
    Having them quiet enough that you can close the do to their pens & not have them fret to death is important. I mention this because some free range poultry are not used to being locked up for even a few minutes.
    Doing them in the evening once they have roosted is the easiest way to catch & treat each bird.
    You can do them methodically by picking the bird off the perch, dusting the body & oiling the legs plus administering wormer down the beck then putting them on a different perch where they will stay because it is night time.
    You can wear a headlamp. It wont affect the birds, as they still cant see at night even in that amount of light.
    So if you don't routinely lock them up every night you need to get them into that habit so that on the nights that you need to treat them they are already in the pen. A nice tasty treat such as warm well soaked copra horse feed or barley grain, right before roosting time is the best way & making sure there is enough perch space to prevent hostility so it is a nice place for them to want to be. Then having an extra perch set for when you treat them & need to place them on a different perch after treatment.
    I use DE (food grade only, diatomaceous earth) in the toe of a sticking & puffed on all surfaces in the pen. I also have another stocking with a suphur based mitacide in it so I can puff that all around particularly on the wooden perches plus the hens. I puff both on each bird as I hold them upside down under my arm. I then dose them with wormer via a small 2ml syringe, (no needle).
    I wrote a fair amount of poultry health info in this following thread. It saves me having to type it all again.;)
    https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/threads/chicken-wormer.1284/
     
  13. Robyn67

    Robyn67 Active Member Premium Member

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    Just thought I'd update.

    I couldn't find neem powder or oil, but could get pesterine and Vaseline. So I've continued with my home made concoction of coconut oil, tea tree oil and veg oil and added vaseline to the mix. I've been treating every 2 days with a soak in warm water with vinegar and then add concoction. Legs are so much better. Will be re doing unaffected chickens again at 1week mark.

    I couldn't see any sign of other mites or lice thank goodness, but decided to dust all of them and coop in pesterine anyway just in case. I'll remove all the coop litter again in a week and redo again with pesterine.

    Oh and discovered that ducks don't get scaly leg mites. Phew, as that would have been quite a tough job.
     
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