7 Steps to Treat and Prevent Scaly Leg Mite in Chickens

Updated: 19 February 2021


Have you noticed your young, healthy chickens are developing scaly legs?

The scales on the legs of healthy chickens (even older hens) should be smooth and flat. 

If the scales on your chickens’ legs are beginning to lift and crust, they could be infected with Scaly Leg Mite.

Left untreated, Scaly Leg Mite in chickens can lead to pain, deformities and loss of toes. 

The good news - it is treatable and preventable! Enjoy a happy and healthy flock with our 7 Steps to Treat and Prevent Scaly Leg Mite in Chickens.

What is Scaly Leg Mite? 

Scaly Leg Mite is a microscopic parasite, known as Knemidocoptes Mutans. This pesky parasite burrows under the chicken's scales on their legs and feeds on the skin underneath.

What is the Best Scaly Leg Mite Treatment? 

Avoid your entire flock becoming infected. Once you notice Scaly Leg Mites, treatment for chickens must start immediately. Fortunately, the treatment is painless. 

What to buy for backyard chickens? 100% natural and organic Scaly Leg Mite Balm.

1. SOAK 

Take a bucket of warm (not hot) soapy water. Soak the bird's legs for up to 5 minutes to soften the scales.


Using an old toothbrush or soft nail brush, lightly brush over the legs. You are trying to clean the legs and remove dirt and old crusty scales – if they don't brush away easily, leave them.


Grab a bucket and add clean water with a small splash of white vinegar to remove the soap and rinse the legs.


The aim is to suffocate the mites, so apply Scaly Leg Mite Balm to all areas. Start from where the feathers end on the legs down to and around each of the toes.


Clean out and replace all litter from your chicken coops.


Continue to apply the balm weekly for the first four weeks on affected birds


Even if the other birds in your flock are not showing signs of scaly leg mite, apply balm to all birds that have been in contact with the affected bird. Doing this once will minimise the chance of mites infecting others. This preventative step will save you time down the track!

If there are still many crusty scales after four weeks of chicken mites treatment, repeat the washing process. Then reapply balm fortnightly for a further eight weeks, 12 weeks in total.

Follow our 7 Steps to Treat and Prevent Scaly Leg Mite in Chickens to ensure your flock stays happy and healthy. Grab your jar of 100% natural and organic Scaly Leg Mite Balm today.


Want your chickens to be the healthiest and happiest they can be? I offer backyard chicken workshops, online programs, phone coaching, and in-person support to families, schools, and free-range egg farmers. Visit my online shop for natural, tried-and-tested poultry supplies in Australia.

Become an expert in Backyard Chickens 101 and check here for the latest tips and trends all about chooks. 

Check out my Instagram or drop me a line - elise@chickencoach.com, comment below or visit my Facebook page

Elise McNamara, Chicken Consultant & Educator.

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