7 Steps to Treat and Prevent Scaly Leg Mite in Chickens

Updated: 15 August 2021


Have you noticed your chickens are developing scaly legs?

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

Scaly leg mite symptoms include the lifting and crusting of the scales on your chickens’ legs.

Can scaly leg mites kill chickens? Only in extreme cases. But, left untreated, Scaly Leg Mite in chickens can lead to pain, deformities and loss of toes. 

The good news is, we can show you how to treat scaly leg mite in chickens—and we’ll talk about scaly leg mites prevention.

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’s scientific name is Knemidocoptes Mutans. It is a microscopic parasite that burrows under the chicken's scales on its legs and feeds on the skin underneath.

Are scaly leg mites contagious to humans? Humans do not make viable hosts to scaly leg mites, however, they may bite you, causing irritation. They are, however, highly contagious to other chickens.

What do scaly leg mites look like?


How to Treat Scaly Leg Mites on Chickens

One of the problems with backyard chickens and scaly leg mites is your entire flock can become infected. 

Once you notice scaly leg mites, your treatment for chickens must start immediately. Where possible, use a scaly leg mite natural treatment.

Fortunately, the treatment is painless.

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.


How to prevent scaly leg mites in chickens from coming back after you’ve finished the treatment? 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!

Repeat the washing process if there are still many crusty scales after four weeks of scaly leg mite treatment for chickens. 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. Then, grab your jar of the best scaly leg mite treatment—100% natural and organic Scaly Leg Mite Balm, today.


I’d love to hear your success stories or your suggestions on how to get rid of scaly leg mites. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook, or send me an email - elise@chickencoach.com

Want your chickens to be the healthiest and happiest they can be? I offer backyard chicken workshopsonline programsphone 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.

Grab my free guide, The First 8 Steps To Naturally Healthy & Happy Backyard Chickens now! 

Elise McNamara, Chicken Consultant & Educator.

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