Use sur­gi­cal spirit for scaly leg

Your Chickens - - Ask The Vet -

Q Some­one said that scaly leg causes paral­y­sis in chick­ens. Is this true?

A Vic­to­ria Roberts says: The cause of scaly leg is a mite that bur­rows un­der the leg scales and cre­ates crusts of de­tri­tus mak­ing the legs look rough. This in­fes­ta­tion is ir­ri­tat­ing to the af­fected chick­ens and if left with­out treat­ment the mounds can get so large and re­stric­tive of blood flow in the legs that a hen can go lame or, at worst, get gan­grene from the blood re­stric­tion. This is not paral­y­sis, how­ever, so I am afraid that you have been mis­in­formed. Easy treat­ment is to dunk all the flock’s legs in sur­gi­cal spirit once weekly for three weeks us­ing a wide­mouthed jar like a honey jar. De­spite the mites hav­ing been killed, the legs will not look nor­mal again un­til the next moult as scales moult at the same time as feath­ers. Do not pull the crusts off as there is raw skin un­der­neath. Scaly leg in­fec­tion has a musty smell like mice, so in white-legged birds the early stages can be found by smelling the legs, while in dark­legged birds there is a patchy white area early on.

Af­ter scaly leg, the legs will only look nor­mal again af­ter the next moult

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