Saturday, March 05, 2011

Chicken question


I think at least three of our chickens have scaly leg mite, augh! We're trying to figure out the best way to treat it, but do any of you chicken-owning bloggy friends have any suggestions. We use the deep-litter method in our coop (with food-grade) diatemaceous earth added and I really can't clean out all the bedding right now!

18 comments:

  1. Yep, we've been there, done that. When I sometimes say that I'm too busy to bog because I'm dealing with life, this is the type of things I usually am dealing with! Then when I do post on my blog, I forget to mention things like leg mites and I talk about happy things like lots of eggs!

    But anyway, yes, several of our birds have had mites (but not as bad as the one in your link!!). We always use the DE in the coop. We tried the vaseline on the legs/feet. What a MESS! We'd do it at night. Don't bother, didn't work. Didn't try the cooking oil immersion, though. Now we are doing an immersion in warm water/leg mite meds mixture. It seems to work. But we need to do it again, possibly because we didn't clean coop right afterwards. I don't know the name of the mite medicine, the bottle is out in the storage area of the coop right now. Randy researched leg mites and tried several types of meds before finding one that worked.

    Also, in the summertime last year we had an issue with mites in the feathers. DE didn't work there, either, and we got some powder that's kinda like flea powder for dogs. It, too, is out is the coop.

    I'm curious what others say works for leg mites! I'll have to go out and get the bottle and re-comment later...
    ~Lynn

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  2. Ooooh.. My lady fears this. At this time of year the bedding can't be gotten out of the coop and she adds more and stirs it up but it's pretty stinky in there. Makes you itchy thinking about mites.

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  3. Last time I had scaly leg mite it stopped me cock-a-doodle-do-ing for weeks. It's nasty. Or maybe I'm getting confused.

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  4. H. Insciens - Maybe you're talking about brain mites. No remedy for that. I tried everything...

    Knatolee - I'm so sorry. It's certainly lots of work to take care of pets (productive or not). Hope it gets better for your dear chicken.

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  5. Ah... Claude reminds me I should have said I'm sorry about the mite news too, instead of just making some stupid remark. She reminds me to try to behave like a gentleman sometimes, does Claude. Hope the hens lose their mites soon.

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  6. Dear H. Insciens - I don't have to teach you anything. We all know you have a great heart. And I'm sure Knatolee appreciates your sense of humour as much as I do.

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  7. Do scaly mite infections make the chickens itchy? I hope none of the birds are uncomfortable.

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  8. I noticed mites just a couple weeks ago myself - that time of year me thinks! I went into full scale panic clean-up mode , shovelled out the shavings and shop-vaccuumed , vinegar sprayed and went in with diatomaecous earth and new shavings bedding, everything. Chooks loved it ! one problem - I didnt know about the leg or vent thing. Still trying to figure which chooks need treating. One has leg scaling for sure. Im glad you put this out there!

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  9. Lynn, that's great, thanks for all the info!!! If you find the name of the meds, I'd love to know it.

    Isobelle, we can't empty out our deep litter right now either. But once we figure out the treatment, we can add several bags of shavings and more DE. Sigh... I feel sorry for the girls.

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  10. H. insciens, not to worry, I enjoy a good laugh!! But brain mites, shudder... can you imagine? How does one scratch one's brain?

    Claude, you are correct. I love his sense of humour! Thanks for the good thoughts for the chickens, too.

    Ahab, apparently they do make the legs uncomfortable and itchy, so we'll get them treated asap. I am kicking myself for not noticing sooner, but I don't spend a lot of time studying their legs. Sigh. They all seem happy enough!

    Lauren, do you spray the vinegar on the bedding, or the perches, or... ? Your chickens must have been very pleased with their nice clean coop!

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  11. Poor chickens! Hope they are better soon!

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  12. Ok, I've gotten the bottle here now. Our treatment for scaly leg mites that worked is Adams Plus Pyrethrin Dip. Its for dogs and cats. It kills and repels fleas, ticks, lice, gnats, mosquitos and flies. We read about it online and bought it in a petstore. Follow the dog/cat instructions. Mix 1 tablespoon with 1 gallon warm water. Put it in a pan/bucket just high enough to cover the legs, and dip the bird's feet and legs in it. Don't dip the body. Most birds put their feet down as if they are going to be put on the ground, but instead they are put into the pan of water. Quickly put them back on the roost afterwards. Don't let their beak go into the pan. Don't do it on a cold night (wet legs on a cold night just doesn't sound nice). We didn't do it on any baby birds. Babies wouldn't need it anyway. It doesn't take long to dip the whole flock. It's been a few months since we dipped the flock, we are going to repeat on a few birds who are showing signs of leg mites again. I cannot imagine having mites under my skin! Poor birds!

    Let us know how it goes!
    ~Lynn

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  13. Lynn, fantastic, thanks so much!! I'll try to pick a night that's not too cold. We at least have heat lamps over the perches, but warm weather is a way's off. It's supposed to be above freezing later this week. This sounds really straightforward and effective. You're the best! :)

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  14. I sprayed the vinegar in the cleaned out coop and let it dry before putting DE down and new bedding, i didnt have a mild bleach solution so vinegar instead.

    here was my treatment for today - I bathed the chickens! full shampoo and vinegar water rinse. Drown the mites if they have them! Fortunately they all looked pretty clean. Vents too. I did a barrier cream on their legs.

    here's a video of edith at the spa
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qe7zLLQcZg&feature=player_embedded

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  15. OMG Lauren! I watched that video! Edith is soooo calm! There's NO WAY my chickens would sit still while being blow dried! No way! And I thought I had pretty calm, sweet chickens. I was way wrong, your chickens rule the calm, cool, and collected department! Great video! Thanks for the link and the smile! :)
    ~Lynn

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  16. Lauren, the Edith video was great. I loved it when you were blow-drying her fluffy butt! :)

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  17. Anonymous3:41 pm

    Lots of Cooking spray on their legs (or dip them in cooking oil) once a week until new, healthy scales are done growing in! It smothers the mites so they die, the unhealthy scales drop off, and before you know it their feet look like new. This is pretty much the ONLY way if you're going natural/organic with your poultry. In the early Spring after you're done cleaning winter's mess out, also spray your new bedding and paint vegetable oil on your roosts.

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    1. Thanks for that! I'm on it. I've used bag balm, but I think veg oil would be easier to deal with!!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!