Monday, February 13, 2012

The Chicken Doctor is In

Remember Phyllis?
The determined banty hen?

She's stricken.
Nothing too terribly serious.
A darn good case of the scaly mites.

Scaly mites are something that affect chicken's feet.
Their scales start to raise - and if left untreated, they can lose toes, even feet.

I guess it is terribly serious now that I think of it!

Phyllis had this trouble a year or so ago, and I convalesced her here in the house and did have to amputate two of her toes.

Now - this is the stuff you shouldn't think about before getting chickens.  It's just so rare that this stuff happens.

I really try to look over my flock well.  Every morning when I feed and water them, as they are walking around - I always give their feet and bums a good look over.
I look for swelling in the feet, runny beaks, and dirty butts.

Phyllis doesn't roost anywhere with any other birds.  She's taken to the garage.  She roosts up in a beam in the garage roof. 
 She's also the only one that has this problem.

What you have to do is smother the mites.
I like to use Preparation H initially because it also helps with any swelling that may have occurred.

I'm embarrassed to report that poor little Phyllis's legs got pretty bad before they were noticed.
Not sure if you can see here - but even her claws are overgrown because she hasn't been able to scratch.

Now - this might sound a bit sick in a weird twisted way - but I was just kind of hankering around for something to nurture.
Aaron got over the flu - Glen never got it - there was nothing for me to take care of.
: -)

Now I've got Phyllis.
She's sitting here on my lap now all cuddled in.
She's going to require a lot of care.

We watched 'Downton Abbey' last night and have been discussing it since.
That Mary!
We both have a crush on Mr. Bates.
Matthew's plight choked our craws right up.
If I'm sitting down, Phyllis is with me.
A regular ole lap chicken.

If you ever find yourself in need of doctoring a chicken up - this is a trick that I learned that works like a charm.

Cover their head.
I was walking all over the kitchen whilst Phyllis just lay there still.

After completely covering her feet and legs in Preparation H, I gauzed them up.

I'll need to do this daily.

I'll also need to exercise her a little since she'll just want to sit with her legs like that.
Do ya blame her?

Danged mites.

After I get the swelling out of her legs, clip her claws and assess things in a day or two, I might take her to the vet - or look into a miticide.  I know the Preparation H and Vaseline worked great last time, so why use chemicals?

I may have to treat her roost though.

This is her new roost now.

Gracious, I love this stinking bird.


  1. Oooh. Good to know. Thank you! And I love that stinking little bird, too!

  2. So cute. Mites are the pits. They happen in horses as well. Probably all animals. One just doesn't know it. Looks like you have it under control. Thanks for sharing.

  3. "Lap chicken"? LOL. Who knew?
    She's lucky to have a good "Chicken Mom" who cares for here and let's her watch movies!!

  4. She looks like a very sweet girl to have in the house. I love holding my chickens. My friend has a Japanese Banty rooster that weighs less than a pound, I'm sure. He fell asleep in my arms last week and I swear he was purring! I had a few of them at one time. If you haven't seen them, check them out. They are so dang cute....and small.

  5. You are sure one dedicated chicken mama! I don't think our chickens have ever gotten that problem, though we have had sick chicks.
    I can't wait for spring. We are going to get a couple of Rhode Island Reds to round out our flock of white and blue egg layers. Our egg customers love the colors.

  6. Oh Phyliss has such a pretty little face :) I love my banties too. Her poor little feet :( Momma Jayme will fix her up :)

  7. you are so kind. i love to hear of animals lovers & how they take care of their animals & pets. it is so special & sweet. i hope Phyllis will improve soon. (:

  8. Oh my gosh. That is so sweet. Her little wrapped up feet. ;)

  9. Dang girl. You make me want another flock. Even if I had to deal with mites, foxes (which we have plenty of), coyotes, and other poultry afflictions, I would love to have another flock of garden birdies. I just love to hear them as they go through the flower beds looking for bugs and other goodies.
    Thanks for making me smile!

  10. So, how often do you get pooped on???
    While I love having chickens in our backyard, I don't think I could ever give them the personal love and care you give your flock! Such a good momma!

  11. She may justnever leave that roost...she's got it made! Hope everything turns out okay.

  12. I had a girl that was egg bound and she passed last Sunday. I cried the entire day. We spent a lot of time together with her on my lap and being carried around. She was enjoying her baths and the attention but I just couldn't save her in the end. Chickens have such endearing qualities.

  13. Awww! Takes a very caring and special person to doctor all of God's creatures. I love them too!
    Joined your site. Hugs, Lynn

  14. The Fowl Physician...a new mini-series/reality tv show if I EVER heard of one... I'll be watching!!! yousa good feather mama. :-) Hope she will be scratching around good as new very soon. {{hugs}}

  15. You are such a GOOD MOM...well, except for NOT noticing she had them for a few days!;>0 I'm sure she will be all better soon with your good Mama skills! xo Diana

  16. She is a purty thing. And now I have another chicken illness to worry about. Just got past the stick fleas!... *sigh*

  17. Here I am feeling sorry for myself and Phyllis has mites. Hope she is better soon.

  18. Are you using a chicken diaper?

  19. I can't believe she is so docile! My girls would never put up with all that. They are ok with holding but much more????
    So glad my girls are healthy, I am not sure I could do all that. You are a good Mom.

  20. I fear you may have just talked me out of getting chickens. Toe amputation? I don't have it in me I'm afraid.

  21. and we love you for taking such good care of your critters. I hope Phyllis is enjoying her special treatment and is back on her feet ASAP. I just love your chicken stories!

  22. She does have a sweet little face!!! You are a good chicken mommy.

  23. Must have been something nasty on the board she sat on? I assume it's CATCHING to the others, too. So good you are babying her; she is a cutie. I was wondering what you were up to; now I know.

  24. Very helpful post, especially since I think one of our hens has scaly mite. After your advice I shall make it a priority to get rid of the condition.

  25. I've doctored quite a few but never dealt with that problem. Learned a lot here as usual! And something I *should* write down instead of the recipe to those delightful looking chocolate cupcakes! ;-P
    Happy Valentines Day!

  26. Poor Phyllis. Scaly mites doesn't sound like a lot of fun. I can't wait to tell someone that I know a blogger who has to treat her chickens with Preparation H. You're a good chicken mama.

  27. I have a chicken question that I"m sure you'll be able to answer. I buy eggs locally from a woman whose chickens are free range, but very dirty and ickypoo. She has a flock of several dozen that scrounge around her hoarder/filthy farm and nasty hen house. Poor little ladies are covered with mess. Anyway, the eggs I get are many times swiped with feathers, poo or other ickyness. Is it okay to wash them in water and then store them? Should I keep buying eggs from ickypoo hens or should I find another source? Not too crazy about seeing poo on the hens and the eggs. I know, I'm such a city girl :o) If her hens have some sort of mite or craziness, are the eggs safe to eat???
    I'm clueless.

  28. That is one lucky chicken. She will not want to go back outside!

  29. i hope phillys will get well soon :)

  30. Are you saying it's time for me to hop aboard the DA train? Ferreals? If you say so, I will.

  31. Now I want to run and check my chickies feet! They're all looking so good right now since they all molted in the fall. I'd hate for them to get mites! Is there any preventative measures one can take?

  32. I do have a touch of the scaly leg, but I don't think it's the scaley mite. Our little banty never roosted with the big girls, she was banned to the lower levels of the chicken house, all bys herself. I always felt sorry for her, she never had a cuddle buddy or a bff, she was alone in the world. And to make matters worse she was a spinster, she had never found Mr. Right. I should have at least tried to help her hook up but that was before

  33. My feet and legs are sorta scaly. I await your arrival.

  34. Jayme, check out my new chicken, she's so cute and stays where you put her! How's Phyllis these days??

  35. Makes me want chickens, and a few years ago I could have...but the city changed their by laws...we are in a city ....sad....I want chicks and ducks....

  36. Jayme,
    I don't know if you have heard of using Diatomaceous earth for ridding your gals of mites and it even helps with mites. We put a dish pan in our hen house with a good amount in it. The gals get in it and take a good dust bath. So far, we have not had any infestations. We even sprinkle it around our hen house and in their nesting boxes. Maybe you could put a box out for Phillis to have a good dust bath sometime in some. It may help her little feet. Hope she heals quickly but with all that TLC, I am sure she will but may not want to be an outdoor gal anymore.

  37. This looks like what my chickens have. A few months ago I had one then started limping and then could no longer walk but I didn't know what to do for her. Then over night last week, I had two roosters start limping. My mother brought me some used motor oil? I guess it's some type of old remedy. I guess it is supposed to smother the mites? I may try the preparation H. I feel so sorry for them but have no idea what to do. Why do some chickens get in and some don't or will they eventually all get it. I just don't know what to do. My email is (shelia little) Thanks


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