Chickens with white scaly growth on feet

Asked May 1, 2014, 8:51 AM EDT

All of chickens, young and old, have a white scaly growth on on their feet. Client has been applying peroxide but condition still exists. They thought it may be some kind of mite. Would like to know what it is and how can it be treated.

Alpena County Michigan poultry

1 Response

It sounds like the chickens have scaly leg mites. See the article at http://www.extension.org/pages/66149/external-parasites-of-poultry#.U2doL3ajOSo

The small mites burrow under the scales causing them to bulge out. The best treatment is to dip them in vegetable oil such as linseed oil or coating in petroleum jelly. The mites breath through the skin and but dipping the legs in the oil the mites suffocate and die. It will be necessary to repeat every 4-5 days for 3 weeks to make sure any hatched eggs die. While the mites will die off, it will take a while for the scales to fall off and the legs to return to normal. In some extreme cases they may never return to normal.
If they have other birds in the flock, they should be treated even if they are not showing any signs.