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Depluming and Scaly Leg Mites

Extracted From:
A Pocket Guide to
Poultry Health
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By Paul McMullin
© 2004
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External parasites of adult chickens, pheasants, pigeons etc, Knemidocoptes spp.


  • Cause irritation and the bird pulls feathers.
  • Mange lesions on legs and unfeathered parts.
  • Unthriftiness.
  • Raised thickened scales.

Post-mortem lesions

  • As described under signs.


Signs, microscopic examination for mites in scrapings. The adult females are short legged, round, up to 0.5mm in diameter.


Not usually required in commercial poultry. For small flocks dipping the affected parts in a solution of acaricide may be beneficial. Application of mineral or vegetable oil is also beneficial.


Careful cleaning of buildings during down-time will help reduce the risk of these infections. Exclusion of wild birds from chicken areas is advised as far as possible. It may be best to cull affected birds from small flocks.

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