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Help, one of my hens has scaly leg mite!

(10 Posts)
SybilBeddows Mon 11-Jul-11 11:49:35

Any advice? I have read about using vaseline and kerosene, does anyone know of any treatments that are a bit less scary?!


SybilBeddows Mon 11-Jul-11 12:37:27

I think what I'm really asking is, is it better to use one of the traditional remedies or one of the special sprays specifically for treating it?

also, only one of my hens seems to have it - should I treat the other 2 as well?

MissBeehiving Mon 11-Jul-11 18:55:04

Don't use kerosene.

Surgical spirit - gently rub the legs with an old toothbrush then apply vaseline.

Or get some Ivermectin and use that.

I don't find the sprays very good.

SybilBeddows Tue 12-Jul-11 12:51:36

thanks very much MissBehiving.

my cleaner (who grew up on a farm) said I could use Dettol but I've done surgical spirit on the first (got to catch the other two), followed by cooking oil because I can't get any vaseline today and want to get on with it.
There seem to be so many suggestions - I've also heard about Sudocrem and WD40. Might try Sudocrem, I'm wary of using anything you wouldn't use on a person!

I might order some proper spray for preventive purposes in the future as well, as I'm guessing the mites live in the soil so they could get them again.

MissBeehiving Tue 12-Jul-11 16:18:26

Dettol is no use. The point of the Vaseline is that it stops the mites breathing so other oil will work to an extent. Vaseline is good as a preventative treatment too.

Good luck!

SybilBeddows Tue 12-Jul-11 16:20:40

I thought the Dettol would do the same as the surgical spirit? Come to think of it, what does the surgical spirit do? Is it just to stop it getting infected?

I've done 2 of the 3; the other one has never liked being handled so I'll wait till she's roosting.

MissBeehiving Tue 12-Jul-11 17:19:38

The surgical spirit kills the mites. Dettol will just get them very clean grin

SybilBeddows Thu 14-Jul-11 12:42:53

just thought I would update smile

I treated the Sussex (difficult to catch) with surgical spirit and Vaseline after she went to bed on Tue night.
Just now I have given the one in whom it was well-established her second treatment, with surgical spirit and Vaseline; it may be my imagination but I think it is looking slightly better. Certainly the encrustations are gone, though some of the scales are still sticking out badly (was not expecting any results at all this fast).
I plan to do it every couple of days for a week or so then weekly till it is definitely gone then monthly thereafter, since the mites will still be around in the soil.

the main thing I have learnt from this is that when I keep them in their run rather than letting them free-range, I need to make more of an effort to check them regularly, I am blush about having let it get established when it's so easily preventable.

MissBeehiving Thu 14-Jul-11 16:34:16

Thanks for the update. The big lumps fall off quite quickly (very satisfying)but it can take up to a year for the legs to get back to normal.

I wouldn't be blush about it. It is not obvious unless you are picking them up and checking their legs every week.

SybilBeddows Thu 14-Jul-11 16:38:08


presumably they only really get back to normal after they've moulted their scales and grown new ones; last year they moulted in the autumn so hopefully it'll be then.

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