Chicken mite remedies

Q. I just wanted to give you an update on our chickens and ask a question. All 4 of our girls are happy and well adjusted. Their feathers are glossy and eyes bright. I was worried about the cold nights but they seem to be thriving. We have a little dog house in the coop and they snuggle up in there at night. We love those funny birds.

The only issue is with Mrs. Which, the jungle fowl. She has had knarly legs and feet since we got her from Tim. It didn’t seem to bother her much at first but in the last month she’s been favoring one leg. And 2 days ago Connor noticed the hurt foot was bleeding a little from one of the crevices. Paul said it looks like she has arthritis.
We were thinking to try to soak her feet and legs in warm salt water to draw out any infection that might be there. Do you think that’s a good idea?

I was reading something about Scaly Leg Mites. It seems like that’s probably it. Apparently it’s contagious. There were all kinds of recommendations – from rubbing Vicks or vaseline on the legs to giving expensive drugs.

Have you ever dealt with it before?

Jennifer

A. I was glad to read the update about your chickens and to find out that they are thriving in their new home. They are definitely very happy. And I’m sure the rescued ones are thankful to you and your family.

When I first had chickens I worried about cold nights too, but chickens are very hardy. As long as they have shelter, they can survive freezing temperatures.

So, you have fell in love with chickens too? Aren’t they such a kick?

I would agree with you, Mrs. Which seems to be infected with the Scaly leg mite. It’s not much of a problem and is easily cured with regular treatment. And yes, it is
very contagious.

I wouldn’t soak her legs and feet in salt water as the disease is making her feet very sore and painful to her, I would try to soothe the broken skin instead.

I haven’t dealt with the mite personally, but I know many people who have. There is no need to get involved with expensive drugs. They are quick fixes, but home remedies
have the same effect without the expense. They just take slightly longer.

What I would do first is purchase FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and sprinkle it in their doghouse and also provide a tray of it mixed with sand for them to dust
bathe in. Or, sprinkle it over the chickens themselves. You can dip Mrs. Which legs in it too. In fact, if you do this regularly, you will be able to prevent any mites, lice, or parasite from infecting your chickens from now on.

Also, I would avoid all the expensive drugs and simply dip her legs in a veggie oil mix that has a few drops of lavendar essential oil. Or even shea butter or cocoa
butter. Vaseline is good, but she and the others will no doubt peck at her legs and it’s best to keep to natural food grade stuff.

Linseed oil is great too. What you will be trying to do with these oils and creams is smother the mites. I use veggie oil for my cat’s ears when they have ear mites and
it works great. Within a week or two, you should see some improvement. Don’t let her legs dry out, just keep them slathered with oil to smother the mites. It will also
soothe the itchiness of her legs and she’ll feel so much better.

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