My cockerel and one of the hens have been suffering from mites which burrow beneath the scales on their legs and cause the scales to drop off. They look a bit uncomfortable whilst walking around and they have had their legs painted with oil which is meant to suffocate them (the mites not the chickens). It’s a hell of a job trying to catch them, let alone douse them in oil. The only hope is to nab them when they first come out of the chicken house in the morning. Trouble is, once you’ve got one, the others get wise to it and won’t come out. Who said chickens are stupid? The cockerel’s legs look quite sore now, where his legs meet his body but that might be due to the fact that he’s been walking around in the snow with no scales to protect his little skinny chicken legs. I feel that I ought to put my knitting skills to good use and knit him a little pair of socks but I’m not sure that would do his rep any good amongst his harem!
Although this condition is supposed to be highly contagious,the other 4 hens are showing no signs of it, although they have had it before and the oil treatment seemed to work well with them. I think it takes almost a year for the scales to grow back properly.