Skip to main content

Chicken Scaly Leg Mite - Easy Treatment at Home


Easy treatment for chickens scaly leg mite with a store cupboard item, cooking oil!

Are your chickens legs looking a bit strange? Knobbly with the scales sticking out? It sounds like scaly leg mite, (or scaley leg mite depending on how good your splelling is!) and it's a common parasite among chickens.

This tiny poultry mite burrows underneath the scales on your chickens leg causing discomfort, irritation and inflammation. Luckily it doesn't kill the poor chicken but it does spread and is unlikely to get better on its own. Poor chook!

This lens shows you how I cure scaly leg mite on my chickens. It's quick, easy and more importantly cheap to cure scaly leg mite with this old and well tested remedy.

How to Get Rid of Those Scaly Leg Mites

A cheap, easy, environmentally friendly and non invasive way....

Chicken scaly leg first shows up as an abnormailty of the scales on your chickens leg, making them appear to be 'lifting up' or sticking out. Scaley leg mites burrow inderneath the chickens scales and its the inflammation that lifts the scales, irritating the chook in the process.

Your chickens scaly leg mite problem is only going to get worse over time if not treated. This eventually thickens the chickens leg until it is more than twice its normal size and quite knobbly and deformed looking. The mites definitely annoy the chicken as well, I watched mine regularly 'worrying' their legs and pecking at them.

Scaley leg mites are also very likely to spread to other birds in your flock if they roost together.

BUT, don't worry, scaly leg mite is quite simple and cheap to treat.

This method has been used for years and I have used it several times (my chooks forage over 3 acres and pick up all sorts!). As long as you don't mind picking your birds up, you'll have no problems using this easy cure.

Basically, to kill scaly leg mites you need to..........suffocate them! (and no, it's not 'mean'!)

The easiest way is to 'drown' them in oil! (I know, it sounds terribly medieval, but it works!)

Step by step

  1. Buy a litre of the cheapest cooking oil that your supermarket stocks.
  2. Next find a small pot approximately 10cm or 4" deep and about the same in diameter. I use an old plant pot, although any heavy pot or bowl is fine.
  3. Fill it almost to the brim with your preferred type of cooking oil (you can use olive oil if you are a little bit 'posh')
  4. Taking the chook gently but firmly manouver the bird over the pot and dip each leg for a few seconds. The bird will help by putting her legs down as you lower her, thus plunging the scaley leg into the oil.
  5. Repeat daily for a few days, usually a week or so will get the legs sorted out and looking pink again, (Put the pot of oil somewhere safe in between dippings, topping up as necessary).

If your chickens are a bit wild as mine are, wait until they are roosting and get the pot(!) ready and just lift them gently off their roost and proceed as described above. You can calm them by talking to them if you like!

You will notice a difference after two or three days, and certainly after a week of treatment they should be quite pink with new scaly skin minus the mites! Your chook may even help matters along by pecking at lose scales etc as the treatment progresses.

Additional points to note

With this method, the chooks will look a bit scruffy as the dust and muck sticks to their legs and the oil may get on the lower feathers as well while roosting, making them dirty as well. Rest assured that all will be clean again a few days after stopping the treatment with the oil.

Also, now might be a good time to clear out the chicken coop and spray your normal disinfectant everywhere. You don't want to cure the chooks legs only for it to find some more mites lurking amongst the roosts!!

Example of Scaly Leg Mites (couple of days after starting treatment)

Example of Scaly Leg Mites (couple of days after starting treatment)

Example of Scaly Leg Mites (couple of days after starting treatment)

After one week of treatment and a further week of recovery

After one week of treatment and a further week of recovery

After one week of treatment and a further week of recovery

Scroll to Continue

Scaly leg mites all dead and gone.

Scaly leg mites all dead and gone.

Scaly leg mites all dead and gone.

Scales sticking out

If you look at the above photo you can still see that the scales are not 100% perfect. I have found this to be quite 'normal'. After all the scaly leg mite is a pretty invasive little mite who makes quite a mess of the chooks legs and I don't think that the chickens leg will ever look exactly the same again. But the mite is gone and the chicken is healthy and happy and that's all that matters!

You too can easily become a chicken expert... - ... with books of course!

I learned a lot of my knowledge about chickens from reading (I am a serious bookworm!), and I can recommend the ones in the following amazon box.

When you think about it, books are great value for money considering how much time and research it takes to write one. Imagine how much it would cost to attend seminars or conferences to learn the latest on any given subject. Buy the book and you have all that knowledge for the price of a drink or three!

Raising Chickens

Certified: Always Fresh

Chickens are funny...

Simple hen house from materials lying around

Simple hen house from materials lying around

Chooks aren't too fussy about where they live!

(not like you!)

Building your own chicken coop is not that tricky, and believe it or not, no matter how poor you think your effort is......your chooks will LOVE it! I have lost count of the coops that I have built using 'scraps' of stuff just lying around and I think that it adds to the whole scene.

If you want to build something a little more, well....'posh', the guys from backyard chickens have compiled all their considerable knowledge into their new book...Guide to Planning and Building Coops and Tractors, plus real life advice from the forum.

My new tractor design stems from ideas I got from Backyard Chickens and I love how easy it is to keep clean, I'd never have thought about installing a 'poop' tray underneath their roost for example. Photos soon!

That's all folks!

I hope that you enjoyed this hub on the scaly leg mites which can plague Chickens.

Feel free to get in touch, I can be found most days at, call in.........the kettle is always on!

Anything to add about chickens and the treatment of scaly leg mite problems?

If so, have a banter down below in the comments...

Chook nook....... - Come on in...the waters lovely!

Greetings, Ian! on July 31, 2017:

Not sure, but I think you were the gentleman who told me about the "oil dipping" method on BYC!!

If so, I've been doing this for 8 days now (missed 1 due to rain) and their legs do look better!

So, if you don't mind my asking....can you give me a bit more advice on this please?

What if I were to switch from my olive oil, canola oil combo dip (deep, narrow coffee can) and switched over to CASTOR OIL?

Would that speed up this process at all? I'm trying to up my game, Ian, cuz this is dragging on way too long for me.

Also...Abby's legs still have these dark, hard, scales on them plus that huge pointy growth on one of her legs and I don't know what I need to do about that!

I'm doing this on my own, so holding her and working over her legs/feet with a tooth brush doesn't sound like a good idea for me.

I'm also thinking about the NU-STOCK ointment which everyone is raving about! It's pine tar and oils mixed together, stinks to high heaven but it works in only 2 treatments and is good for a ton of other issues too!

You may respond to me here, Ian, or on BYC under "LindaV" (pic of my two hens close together)...I'm 99% sure it was you! Thanks again, Ian for your time on this! :)


nina alhaurin on February 22, 2016:

Cannot thank you enough for this simple mite treatment, I am new to chicken ownership so was really worried when this appeared having only had my silkies for a week!! Now on day four of oil and what an improvement. Thank you for your really helpful post. Best Wishes.

gail on November 05, 2015:

You say to use a disinfectant in the coop but that will only kill bacteria and germs. What will kill the mites? What pesticide is most natural and safe for me and my hens. Also I have dipped them in oil before and the feathered legs are a mess but it doesn't matter. Apparently I didn't kill all the mites at the source, my coop.

smidge on March 19, 2015:

I read this and started treatment on one of my chickens that was really bad. Yesterday I noticed she was "hiding" in the coop, when I got her out one of her toes was stripped of the scales and a bloody/jelly mess. Turns out the other chickens were pecking at it, I feel so horrible. So now I have her alone in a dog kennel but I am afraid to dip her anymore because of the bad toe.. any advice?

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on July 11, 2014:

@donkeypam: Hiya Pam,

Usually you can stop by now. A week usually does the trick, killing the mites. i would stop and see how the legs settle down and heal over a week or so. If you see her still 'worrying' her legs then it looks like a few mites have somehow eveaded the 'drowning in oil'. Start over and try dipping in oil for another week. Make sure you 'dip deep' to fully cover the whole leg.

You can mail any pics you have to me at ian (at) and I'll have a look.



donkeypam on July 11, 2014:


I've been dunking Gertie's legs for 10 days, they look much better although not fully pink yet. How long do I have to continue? Or should all of the mites be dead by now?


bowgirl2 on July 03, 2014:

Oil- so much easier than Vaseline which I have been doing with some success. Just dipped Viva's feet in Castor oil( very healing)- she thought it was a beauty treatment. She hasn't been moving around too well, but eating, drinking and laying so I was thinking arthritis at first but noticed the scaley legs this morning...... I'll get the ladder out and spray the branches of the tree they roost in- yes, they prefer the tree to the, what I thought cool, coop I built.....

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on July 02, 2014:

@donkeypam: Send it to me..... ian(at) and I'll add it to the lens soon!


donkeypam on July 02, 2014:

@handycrowd: I've got a photo but can't put it up here :-(

donkeypam on July 02, 2014:

I've taken a photo but can't put it on hereð

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on July 02, 2014:

@donkeypam: A heavy pot is for sure Pam! I also do it in the field next to the coop so a little dripping is no problem. I should amend the lens to add the putting down of newspaper first :-)

I forget that not everyone is keeping chickens out in the open and that many are in backyards etc.

Good luck tomorrow lol!

donkeypam on July 02, 2014:

Moral of the story....make sure the pot you use has a wide base, or else the chook might kick it over covering everything in oil!ð

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on July 01, 2014:

@donkeypam: That would be great! I also was a bit backward in taking pictures that would have greatly helped me write this lens! Let me know if you need any help. You can always email/etc me the pics and I can crop them and post them in the lens. :-)

donkeypam on July 01, 2014:

Well that wasn't too bad......should have taken a 'before photo'! Will take one tomorrow

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on July 01, 2014:

@donkeypam: Good luck donkeypam! It usually goes well, like I say the chook will try to stretch his/her legs down as you lower them, helping...... as long as they don't miss the pot!

donkeypam on July 01, 2014:

Thanks for the advice on scaly leg mite, I will give it a go tonight. Fingers crossed I don't get covered in oil!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on June 11, 2014:

@libertyspride: Lots of folks swear by vinegar based solutions and many use apple cider vinegar. DE or diatomaceous earth has plenty of advocates too.

I must admit I have used various brands of commercial 'coop cleaners' in my time but for my latest coop I might do a little research on home made concoctions!

Good luck getting rid of the scaly leg mites and you are right, cleaning the coop will help prevent re-infestation.

Thanks for stopping by,


libertyspride on June 10, 2014:

Thank you for your valuable info!!! After mites are gone, what is a nontoxic, natural product I can use on the hens wooden roosts to kill these mites? I have brushed canola oil on their roost. Not sure if it helped. What is a safe product to clean and sanitize their wooden coop?

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 24, 2014:

@Chelseaaa93: Hi Chelsea,

The same oil is fine, you might just have to top it up a little every couple of dips. It certainly sounds like scaly leg mite and yes the pecking is just her trying to get at the itchy little mites buried under her leg scales. It doesn't make them sick as such but they are troublesome. It's a good idea to disinfect the coop too to kill any mites there.

So, keep dipping for up to a week and see how it looks then. If she stops worrying her legs you've probably killed all the mites. Then its just for any inflammation to die down and her scales to sort themselves out.

Good luck!

Chelseaaa93 on February 23, 2014:

I've noticed that there is something wrong with my little silky chook. Within the last few days she has become very limpy on her left foot, she doesn't seem to be in pain, still has an appetite etc. I've also checked for damage to the leg, I thought she may have a broken bone, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Her legs look exactly like the pictures you have shared of scaly leg mite. She is also picking at her legs, it seems like she is trying to pick the leg mite off herself? I've just done my first oil dipping, and will do another one again tomorrow. Do you have to use fresh oil every time? Or is it okay to re-use the same oil again? I have about a litre of oil in a bowl at the moment and I'm dipping her legs into that. I'm hoping that the treatment works, as she is our only chook, and a very loved family pet.

Chelseaaa93 on February 23, 2014:

I've been trying to figure out what has been wrong with my little silky chook. Within the last few days she has become limpy. I've checked for damage to the leg, broken bones etc, she doesn't seem to be in pain, just irritated. Her legs look exactly like scaly mite, so I've just done my first oil dipping. I hope it helps. She has also been picking at her legs, it seems like she's trying to pick the mites off herself. I hope the treatments works. She's our only chook, and a dear family pet.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on January 14, 2014:

@chookaholic: I hope thats a typo...... :-)

Good luck with the dipping, it's quite easy once you get the hang of it. Any pictures? You can mail them and I'll add them here.



chookaholic on January 14, 2014:

Hi i have just noticed my booted bantam has scaly leg and have died him and will do daily for the next few days ... no pesticides!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on November 13, 2013:

@vikingwife: Hiya,

On facebook search 'ianandcia' or go to my blog.

Good luck with the chickens, dipping in oil works if you keep at it for a few days!

Thanks for getting in touch!



vikingwife on November 13, 2013:

Hi there, glad to have found your page on pinterest. My chickens have this plight and I am going to try your cure. I have never owned chickens before. My husband and I have a little farm in Norway. Do you have a facebook page?

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on September 10, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Anita,

Do you have access to a vet or any neighbours that are chook 'old hands'? Just that it sounds like its getting worse and as I say, not likely to be scaly leg mites causing all those problems!

Good luck finding some answers Anita.


anonymous on September 10, 2013:

@handycrowd: hi there the smell is abit hard to discribe i do have some photos on my phone of it is there anyway to send a picture t there are 3 in the same coop and one is also started to sneeze and watery eye

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on September 09, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Anita,

Sounds like there is more going on with your chickens than just scaly leg mite because they are normally only under the scales on the chickens legs.

The smell is troubling, can you describe it?



anonymous on September 09, 2013:

hi there i have just brought 3 chickens and have just noticed that they have scaly legs but it is also under it belly spreading up to its neck and also smells can you please advise me if i can treat the belly in the same way

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on September 02, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Marty, well I usually say that you should dip the birds daily for 5 to 7 days. The aim is to suffocate the mites and that can happen on day one. Some mites get missed however, so daily dipping over a few days (up to a week) should get them all.

I wouldn't advise dipping for longer than a week, as this might start to cause problems with the poor chickens skin etc. Don't forget you're only dipping in oil to suffocate the mite, the skin/scales/etc then get better on their own, naturally.

anonymous on September 01, 2013:

Your advice has been extremely helpful. We have been dipping our Chooks every day for 2 weeks now. We also have biddies that are separate but close to the older birds. We have been dipping them every 4 days. Our older birds are now looking pink and good on their legs and are producing more eggs. How often and how much longer should we treat?

anonymous on August 19, 2013:

Hi thank you. After reading and seeing the pictures my chickens have scaly leg mite problems, I'm going to try the oil method, will let you know how I get on.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on June 20, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks for your advice Tanika! Personally I've never needed to continue dipping for as long as 4 weeks though, normally around a week or so seems to do the trick for my chooks. You make a valid point though, it makes sense not to have re-infections from emerging mite hatchlings!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

anonymous on June 19, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Sasha,

You can use 100% vegetable oil, Vaseline or Mineral Oil. Baby oil won't work. You don't need to change the oil in the jug every time you use it. You DO need to keep the legs covered in oil for at least 4 weeks. The life cycle of the mites is 1 to 2 weeks and they've already laid eggs which will hatch out.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on April 29, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Sasha,

No, I wouldn't recommend bathing a bird for a whole host of reasons really. Mostly because they are simply not 'designed' to be bathed if you know what I mean! Birds clean themselves in a different way and I know you say that he is an indoor bird, I still think that bathing him would strip valuable oils from his feathers.

Bathing during the oil treatment could also remove at least some of the oil making it less effective in smothering the scaly leg mites.

So dunk his legs for a good few seconds each day and see how they look after a few days.

Good luck Sasha!


anonymous on April 29, 2013:

@handycrowd: Hi,

How are you? Thank you so much for your response. I decided to go with cooking oil since that's what is recommend by you. I started his oil treatment on Sunday. I really do hope his feet will get better. He's a mostly in-door rooster. Actually, the only rooster I have. So, he's a pet :) Very lovely.

I have a question--after his oil treatment, do you advise bathing him? If yes, what products do you recommend, and water temp, etc? Sorry if this is a weird question!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on April 27, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Sasha,

I guess you could use baby oil, can't remember how thick it is though. It might be too 'thin' to stick to everything. Try it though if you have a load sitting around. Probably more expensive than cooking oil.....

And yes the same oil each time is fine, you just need to top it up as the level will obviously go down after a few days.

The beauty of this method is that you don't need to touch any legs/feet. Just grab a hold and lower him over the pot and he will instinctively try to put his legs down, straight into the oil. Bravo! Job done.

anonymous on April 26, 2013:

Hi again. Regarding the oil, do we use the same oil that we soak their feet in or should be change it out everything we go to soak their feet? Thank you.

anonymous on April 26, 2013:

Hi, how are you? My rooster's legs are really rough and the scales definitely do lift up. Also, he really hates when people touches his feet, so I'm guessing with leg mites, it's really sensitive. I'm definitely going to try your tip. I have one question, can I use baby oil instead of cooking oil?

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on April 08, 2013:

@anonymous: That's what I like to hear Melanya! It's great when folks like yourself take the time to come back and say how it went. I am really pleased it worked for you.

Take care and good luck with your flock!


anonymous on April 08, 2013:

Thanks so much for this tip - as a new chicken keeper I didn't realise there was a problem until I found one hen collapsed on her side after being mounted and couldn't get up. Luckily he hadn't broken her legs with his weight and I first thought she was weak due to anaemia from red mites, which I'd had last year (they suck the blood) so isolated her, treated for and cleaned the house but in doing so noticed her legs looked really scaly. I thought it'd be a medication treatment but thanks to your lens I was able to nurse her back to standing again after 5 oil dips. A month later and she's still a bit wobbly on her legs but is so much better and laying lovely eggs again!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on April 06, 2013:

@anonymous: Don't have direct experience with silkies but the principle should be the same. The only problem is the feathers on the leg can stop the oil soaking into and under all the scales.

But you say that you can trim the feathers back, then it should work fine.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Best regards


anonymous on April 05, 2013:

What if it's a silkie? Should I remove the feathers on foot also will when it falls off will it be pink??

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on March 22, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Rudy Roo, Early Easter Holiday here!

Hmm, have the legs improved? Are they turning pink? If it is improving I would keep on a little while longer.

If the legs don't look markedly better after 10 days I am wondering if the problem was scaly leg mite in the first place :-)

Just make sure that the legs are actually dipped into the oil for a few seconds to allow it to really soak in and see how it is in a few days. Feel free to come back and let me know RR.



anonymous on March 21, 2013:

If all the dead skin and scales have not fallen off after a week, should I continue to dip or stop with the treatment?

anonymous on March 13, 2013:

if they are already bloody then maybe some lavender or tea in the oil will help ease and heal!! and that goes for anything and anyone!!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on March 13, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Laura,

Scaly leg mite will definitely make the chicken 'lame' in so far as it will get so uncomfortable that it will be reluctant to move around much and will start to worry their legs a lot!

Fortunately it gets better, so any 'lameness' is only temporary and down to the poor chook feeling the discomfort rather than a 'medical' definition of lame.

Keep up the treatment, it normally only takes a few days for them to feel much better.

Thanks for letting me know!



anonymous on March 13, 2013:

This has been really helpful thank you. My chicken definitely has scaly leg. Does it also make them lame? As one chicken which seems to have it is also lame and being picked on by the other girls (they are so mean sometimes)

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on March 03, 2013:

@anonymous: Aw shucks Lucy *blushing*......

anonymous on March 03, 2013:

This is brilliant, straight forward advice, thank you :)

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on March 01, 2013:

@anonymous: Well, she is too uncomfortable to perch on her roost I imagine. Unless you fancy taking her to a vet, I think killing those mites are the priority right now.

That's the only way to reduce the inflammation that's driving her crazy!

There is a chance of the raw sores getting infected, but that's a risk if they are open anyway. Clean oil should be pretty harmless to dip her legs. There's more chance of her picking up new mites from the coop floor if she is roosting there as well.

Good luck!

anonymous on March 01, 2013:

@handycrowd: I looked at the pics and that's what it looked like! and she has been scratching them with her beak, the scales on the front of her leg's were sticking out, but at the back of her leg's they were raw. I've been putting antibiotic powder on them, to try to heal them, before I start to dip her legs. She will not roost, but sleeps on the floor of the coop. Could that have any thing to do with it??

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 28, 2013:

@anonymous: No picking! Personally I dip each night and that's it. Legs start to go pink after a few days. and a week or so see's mine looking great. I can't be sure whether all the scales fall off or whether some just settle down and get better.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 28, 2013:

@anonymous: Sure would be a big job on 50 birds! What's making you sure the kerosene lasts longer? I am imagining the thickest liquid lasting longer as a 'suffocating' medium. Maybe the kerosene is poisonous to the mites and kills them rather than smothers them?

Interesting either way!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 28, 2013:

@anonymous: Never seen that before on mine. Hmm, in theory you should wait until the legs are not 'open', although it's unlikely that the oil will hurt the leg.

Have to be honest and say I don't know about iodine, not something I use on mine.

I am even wondering if the chicken has scaly leg mites! Had you diagnosed scaly leg mite and started the dipping, with the chook pecking at the loose scales?

anonymous on February 28, 2013:

Hi there, I am curious do the yucky scales fall off on their own or are you picking them off? My flock has come down with mites. Thanks in advance!

anonymous on February 26, 2013:

@handycrowd: I'm not sure the old kerosene method is any worse for the chicken than veg oil and is quite a bit more effective when only done twice over a week, then maybe once three weeks later. i've got about 50 hens so doing them all everynight for a fortnight would be quite a hassle, but it is a great idea for a few birds.

anonymous on February 25, 2013:

Hi, my hen has picked the scales off her legs, they are very sore and bloody, will it still be ok to use the oil? Would putting iodine on first help with the healing??

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 24, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Luna,

Hmm, not sure if it is scaly leg mite either, but at least the oil method can't hurt the chick! In theory the oil will smother any kind of mite that needs air.

Let us know how you get on!


anonymous on February 23, 2013:

Hi there, I'm not sure if it is Scaly Leg Mites, but mine is still a chick. It had these red things sticking at the back of its right leg and it keeps on pecking it. I sure hope the oil-treatment works.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 23, 2013:

@anonymous: Hi Brenda,

Sure is natural, much better than the old 'dunk em in kerosene' method!

Thanks for commenting,


Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 23, 2013:

@anonymous: Interesting Harry! Nice to know this method has a wider application than just for chickens. Thanks for letting me know!


Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 23, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks Sue, glad she is as good as new!

Thanks for taking the time to comment,


anonymous on February 23, 2013:

Sue Feb23rd 2013

Tried your method with olive oil as had plenty of it and can't believe the results after three days!! Our hen is able to bend her leg and walk around easily. We had not realised how bad it had got. She is not objecting to immersing her legs now either. Thanks so much for the tip. The pink mite spray is noy a patch on the oil.

anonymous on February 21, 2013:

I don't have chickens (yet), but I have gouldian finches. Two of my males have had horrible scaly leg and I have tried EVERYTHING to get rid of it to no avail. I tried the oil like you suggested and by the third day I saw a dramatic improvement. This is day six and their legs look amazing! Thank you so much for your advice!

anonymous on February 21, 2013:

Your cure with the oil really work and my chickens are a lot better and it's all natural which to me is the best thing.

I warmed the oil a little in the really cold weather and the chicken just sat there no problem thanks.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 17, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks for the suggestion Fannie, not heard of that one but we are trying to treat the scaly leg mite without buying over the counter stuff because we are a little bit cheap lol!

Thanks for stopping by!



anonymous on February 16, 2013:

@handycrowd: I have always used Bag Balm. You can get at feed store. Works wonders, load it on once a day for a week.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on February 03, 2013:

@anonymous: Yes Charper, that's the old method I heard about and thought, why does that work? Realising that it was smothering the scaly leg mites, I figured I'd use vegetable oil. Oh, that and the fact that I don't use kerosene about the place!

Thanks for stopping by!


anonymous on February 02, 2013:

My Grandma used to use kerosene/ fuel oil to treat her chickens legs, we have had good results with it. We have to treat them once a week for 2=3 weeks but they heal up nicely.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on January 15, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks Vonny, good luck!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on January 15, 2013:

@anonymous: Oh boy, sorry Debra, I thought I had replied to you! New year madness! I think that you should be ok temp wise, oil freezes well below water etc. Maybe trying some vaseline might be better in those temps? Sorry if its too late!

anonymous on January 02, 2013:

I've read with interest your advice below. What I first noticed wrong with one of my Silver Lace Wyndottes was her holding one leg up and not wanting to move. Then I really noticed her poor feet--she's one that usually scurries right out and away from the coop when I let them out each day so I hadn't noticed the problem developing as I should have if paying more attention. Anyway, I isolated her and called the vet who told me to put her down and I said no. He then suggested I use Ivermecterin on her which I rubbed into her legs, but while looking on the internet saw some suggestion to put it on their neck, like dog flea medicine. have you any advice on that. I am going to try your method of dipping her in oil but now have a question about that--it is winter now in Indiana, snow on the ground, about 30 degrees. Egret is in a small pen up off the floor in the barn with plenty of straw bedding. I'll make sure the oil is at least room temperature but will her legs get cold applying that oil in this weather. Although, I probably don't have much choice do I? I've been babying her for about 3 weeks and the legs seemed to clear up but not all the way. Any advcie you can give with all this info. Sorry it was so long. Thanks. Debra

anonymous on January 02, 2013:

I have been fighting these nasty little terrors for a while now. I will try the method you recommend and hopefully that will fix the problem. Wonderful advise.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on December 30, 2012:

@anonymous: Brilliant! Great way for her to start the new year! :-)

Thanks for returning to let me and other readers know the method works just fine!



anonymous on December 29, 2012:

@handycrowd: Thanks so much! Yes we always treat at night anytime we have to give medicine or a treatment. I too take advantage of their night blindness. My girl is doing very well with this treatment. Her feet are pink now!! She is acting like her old self too, running and participating with the others. Thanks a lot for your help!!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on December 27, 2012:

@anonymous: Gosh Mary, you only need to dip them in for a few seconds! More or less straight in and out has worked for my birds in the past!

I normally only do mine once a day (plucking them of their roosts at night) unless I fancy some exercise chasing them all over the plot lol!

We did drop one once and that was fun, chickens really are terribly blind at night and the poor thing was blundering around with all of us chasing her :-)

Good luck this time Mary, not sure why the vaseline didn't work, it is usually effective. I guess that if the mites have been there for months they are well established and 'dug in', lets hope the thinner oil can reach them.

Good luck Mary, let is know how you get on! and Happy new year to you and yours!


anonymous on December 26, 2012:

Hi, I have a chicken that has had scaly leg mite for several months now. We tried that Vaseline method, where we coat the legs and feet and repeat one week later. Well, we did that 3 separate times with no success. I started the vegetable oil tonight like you said. I want to do this RIGHT. So, is soaking her for 3 minutes each day long enough? She's pretty high-strung so I did not want to overly upset her. Thanks!!

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

@handycrowd: I noticed their legs appeared thicker than the other one. We treated all three today as the other one is broody and could be caught. I will keep you updated.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on December 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Joanne,

Yes, I think I would only treat the others if they start to show signs of the mite. At least you will catch them early because you are looking for them!

Glad to have helped! It's a great method isn't it, very effective if you can pick up the birds easily.

Take care

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

Hi we have 5 mixed breed chickens and in January we got 3 new hampshire red girls. Two appear to scaly leg mites and the other doesn't. The original gang of 5 appear to be fine. We have started the cooking oil treatment on the 2 that appear to have the mites and have noticed a marked difference already. Is it possible for only the 2 to infected and not the other 6. Thanks

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on November 13, 2012:

@anonymous: Sorry Annette, not seen that before, sounds like a circulation problem doesn't it? Google the symptoms and let us know what it was if you find anything useful!

Good luck,

anonymous on November 13, 2012:

I have chickens and have been treating them for scaly leg mites for a week, one has developed purple legs that are very cold. Any ideas what this could be?

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on November 11, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Mohan,

Not sure, my own experience is only with chicken scaly leg mites, but if it is a young bird straight from the nest, it's unlikely that it will have come into contact with mites? Unless of course the parents have them.

You should Google a love bird specific site to find out more, try to start off with. Good luck and I hope the poor thing gets better soon for you.



anonymous on November 10, 2012:

We have love birds at home and they nested and the eggs hatched. But the chick which just popped out of the nest has huge swollen feet. Are they mites? any remedy we can do at home?

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on October 22, 2012:

@anonymous: Not sure if it's not about scaly leg mite, maybe try google to find something more specific?

anonymous on October 21, 2012:

we have one chick in our house & his bottom feather were few & skin was visible having doub't of disease we applied some ayurvedic oil his wing got soaked & he is now not able to balance himself kindly give us some remedy to clear his oil

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on October 13, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Robert,

Thanks for getting in touch. Sound like the scaly leg mites are really burrowed in! You have done well to pesevere for 4 weeks!

Personally, I have only ever had to do it for a week or so before the legs are pretty clear. But is does sound like you are in the right track. Maybe its time to stop though and see if they settle down. Normally, it's only when you stop the dipping that the legs dry out and start to look normal again with scale growth.

Let me know how you get on!



anonymous on October 12, 2012:

Dear Ian,

I have been applying your methods, but it is taking 4 + weeks to heal and still going. The legs are however considerably better, but still some major lumps of scale to go. Do i just keep going?

I have also vaselined the legs sore looking areas. I have started to wash them today with antibacterial-Hibiscrub, i would really love to know if i am on the right tracks?

Yours faithfully robert trembath

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on October 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Gisele,

Not seen discoloration with scaly leg mites before, so that might be something else, as you say. It is the roaming around that enables chooks to catch all these mites! Still, it's worth the risk as they are easily treatable if they get unlucky and letting the birds be free is part of the joy of keeping chickens I think.

Good luck with them and sorry for the delay, it's half term hols here!

Many thanks for calling and chatting!


anonymous on October 04, 2012:

I have 7 speckled sussex, which have white skin. They are only are just reaching sexual maturity. Both my roosters have some red looking scales on the outtermost sides of their legs. One has some minor purpling in the back upper part of his large comb. I was thing perhaps these 2 are sparring and possibly getting minor abrasions. However, I rubbed all their legs w/ vaseline jelly today- I just grabbed each one while they were at the feeder. I do not know if it is scaley leg or not- the feed store man thot it might be early stages, but I can't imagine the treatment would hurt them. They have an airy coop that is bottomless, and it is moved every couple weeks, plus they roam around in a large electric fenced area. Lots of sunsine & fresh air. 3 of the 5 hens have begun to lay.

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on October 04, 2012:

@Country-Sunshine: Thanks CG! Love the background on your own lenses too.

Stay well,


Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on September 28, 2012:

@anonymous: Good luck Alison!

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on September 28, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi to you too.

anonymous on September 28, 2012:

Hi thanks for the info, I'm going to try this later on with one of mine. :)

anonymous on September 27, 2012:


Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on August 22, 2012:

@anonymous: Sorry Elva, can't help you on that one. Message got garbled somehow.........

anonymous on August 22, 2012:

t to which you put on skin of chook thet also kills mite & worms can you tell me what it is & where i can get it Elva

Ian Anderson (author) from Asker in Norway on August 12, 2012:

@anonymous: Not convinced that it is scaly leg mite either Geraldine, or at least I have not had one do any more than just pecking at their legs in irritation.

The colour change makes me wonder if it is a deficiency of some sort? It might also be a little unusual for just the one bird to get mites too as they spread like billy'o!

Re the lime, not personally had any experience with it but I imagine that it will kill everything so no further treatment would be necessary.

Sorry not to have been more help!

Good luck getting her sorted out.


anonymous on August 12, 2012:

We have fifty chickens and am having a problem with one chicken, and am not sure if it is a leg mite problem or not. Both legs have over time turned quite white and appear flaky and she usually stands with one leg held up, and sits down as often as possible. She is very lame on that leg when she walks, which is as seldom as possible. She's eating and drinking and seems fine except for this leg problem but have separated her from the others and am unsure what else to do about it. Can you help her please...

When we clean our chicken houses we dust the entire floor and lower walls with agricultural lime, and have never used the vinegar solution. Is it still necessary to use it if using the lime?

Related Articles