Birds infected with scaly leg have raised or protuding scales, sometimes with a white crusty appearance. Scaly leg is extremely irritating to the infected bird, and in extreme cases can result in lameness.
The disease can be treated by soaking the afflicted bird's legs in soapy water mixed with diluted ammonia, and the encrusted areas scrubbed gently with a soft brush, followed by the application of an insecticide to kill the mites, usually oil based. Petroleum jelly (mixed with sulphur if available), or a commercial chest rub can be used — the mites are unable to breathe beneath the jelly.
Multiple treatments may be required to completely eliminate the mite, and pen, perches, and nesting areas should be sprayed. Ideally birds should be moved to a new area for at least a month to avoid re-infection from dropped scales that may remain infectious for up to 30 days.
- Poultry parasitic diseases, Mississippi State University
- Moore, Alanna (1998). Backyard Poultry — Naturally, 2nd Ed. Bolwarrah Press, Bolwarrah Vic Australia. ISBN 0-9585590-1-5.