***GRAFIC PICTURES*** DONT READ WHILE EATING***
Anytime one of our animals gets sick I carry this sense of guilt. Did I not take care of them properly? Did I cause this? How long has this been going on and I just didn't notice?
The truth is no matter how well we clean our facility, what brand of food we feed them, how often we medicate, and how much love we give them... there will be times when our animals will get sick.
Hyjeevey is our French Black Copper Marans Rooster.We've had him ever since he was just wee lad. I was so surprised that he grew into such a handsome rooster. As time went by I noticed that Jeeve's legs where quite a bit larger and scalier than our Barred Rocks. Being new to Marans I just assumed it was the breed.
This past winter he was injured when I caught his foot in the door by accident. I felt horrible but it seemed to heal quickly with little problems... Well with in the last month I noticed that Jeeves was walking light footed. I kept an eye on him thinking perhaps it was from his old injury. Then I noticed that the pin feathers from his shanks were missing coupled with the scales on his toes were raising, making him look like his feet were crippled. Yesterday afternoon his legs and feet were extremely irritated. I caught him and made a startling discovery.... Scaly Leg Mites. Even worse... I concluded that this had to have been going on for a while.
I treated the pens and chickens with a light coat of Sevin Dust. I then left the coop, to return to the house to begin my research (via Backyardchickens.com, Merck Veterinary Manual, The chicken Health Handbook, and Storeys Guide). Yes, indeed Jeeves has Scaly Leg Mites. From what I have read it's tough to get ride of. I decided that since Jeeves and Purdy are important to our Marans breeding program that I would try to save him. FYI, if it was any other chicken I would have opted to cull.
Today I woke up bright and early. I cleaned out the coop and the run. I put down new bedding, and redusted.
I caught Jeeves for his spa treatment.
Then I dried them and applied a heavy coat of bag balm. I massaged the balm in, making sure it worked its way under the scales.
There were some places where the pin feathers on the shanks were bleeding, I pack those places with Triple Antibiotic ointment. I then removed any excess oil to from his feet.
I still have to construct Jeeves a separate place away form the rest of the flock. (I really wasn't prepared for this). Scaly leg mites will slowly spread to the rest of the flock if not treated. Yesterday everyone received a check up and fortunately Jeeves is the only one showing signs of it. Its also important to remember Jeeves has oily legs which isn't good for the feathers. Its wise that he not mount the hens thus getting oil on their feathers. (Oil makes it hard for the birds to control body temperature.) Separation is important.
The game plan is to wash Jeeves legs every day, this will clean out the build up under the scales. I will then apply bag balm on the legs in order to smother out the mites and soften the scales. The entire flock will be treated monthly with a one part Kerosene and two part linseed oil mixture as a preventative measure.We started a worming today as well... does anyone know what the withdrawal period for Ivermectin? Lets hope he shows signs of progress with in the next month... thats his DEAD line...
Any extra advice is appreciated... I hope that this post could help someone else in this situation.