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Scaly Leg Mite Infestation


By Dr Rob Marshall


This condition is caused by a mite that burrows into the skin causing encrustations that scar the underlying tissue causing deformity of affected areas of the legs, feet and toes that may eventually cripple infected birds.

The mites live entirely on the skin with transmission to non infested birds by contact with infested birds and their surroundings.

Scaly leg infestations are usually found on older birds that are often low in the pecking order and generally of poor general health so that they become susceptible to infestation due to their accompanying poor skin health is also poor. There birds are also less likely to dust bath and groom themselves properly. As well, other diseases (e.g. coccidiosis, worms and other mites and lice) often accompany this condition.

Treatment is directed at killing the mite and supporting a full recovery by supplementing the diet with nutritional additives. Ivermectin is the best choice for killing the mite. It is applied directly to affected areas and is also adminsitered in te drinking water over a period of 4 - 6 weeks. A full recovery is expected in most instances excpet thsoe where severe lameness and secondary infection is present.

Treatment also involves supplementing the diet for 4 weeks.




  • Paint undiluted S76 on the affected areas daily for one week, then twice weekly for 3 weeks.


  • Wash legs, feet and toes gently in shampoo, rinse and dry before each treatment to clean legs and remove contaminated scale.

  • Administer S76 (5mls/2 litres) in the drinking water for two days each week and repeat for 4 weeks.

  • Full recovery is expected for most minor infestations within 4 weeks. Prolonged treatments may be necessary when infestations are crippling.

  • Repeat drinking water S76 two day long treatments each month during hot months and each 3 months during winter to prevent recurrence .


Chinese Silkies are our first choice backyard chicken. They are robust, loveable, quiet, lay good quality eggs and make ideal pets.

Our programmes are a simple and effective way to provide your chicken companions with the best possible care.

Click for information regarding our holistic methods for managing chicken diseases.

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