A Nature Friendly Way to Treat Scaly Legs on Chickens
Even though our chickens are free range and have a very large area available to graze and wander, we often have problems with scaly legs (or 'kalkben' as we call it in Danish).
Every product I was able to find online had lots of fancy (and chemical sounding) words in them. The older guys I asked for advice (and who btw are the type of people who think organic is a joke or a pain in the ass) told me they just dipped their hens' feet in a bucket of gasoline or similar. Considering that I don't want to put anything of the sort on my chickens, both for their sake and for ours!!! I started looking for more natural alternatives.
As far as I could gather, the goal is to suffocate the nasty mites which cause the problem, so first I tried rubbing their legs with olive oil. But it simply dissolved too quickly. From what I could read on the labels of the pet store solutions one component of the treatment was some kind of vaseline, and thus I arrived at the perfect solution:
Coconut oil! It's a natural product, it's anti-inflammatory, and it is thick and sticky and water repellent like vaseline and keep the legs coated for long enough to kill the mites.
The grown hens I treated with coconut oil last spring have never had problems with scaly legs since. But I'm noticing it now on last summer's chickens. So it's time to give them a round of coconut oil too :-)
Try it out, or comment below and let me know if you have discovered any natural ways to treat common chicken pests. I would love to know!