Warts on feet

by Maree
(South Africa, Kwazulu Natal)

Question
My free range layer hens have developed warts on the feet and legs. It is grayish in color and is thick in some areas. How do you treat this, as it seems to be spreading to my other poultry.

Answer
This sounds like scaly leg mites. Liquid ivermectin and pyrethryn treatments seem to work best.

It’s important to thoroughly soak the legs with the treatment, and possibly retreat periodically.

Just follow the directions on the product you choose. You generally can’t see these mites. They creep up under the leg scales and multiply.

They are highly contagious and can lead to extreme discomfort, bloody sores and lameness. Once the mites are successfully killed the rough warty crust can be soaked and removed and legs will look normal again.

Sometimes just oiling the legs, after mite treatment, will help dissolve this crust and it will eventually fall off. Some chickens seem very resistant to this mite, but as the infestation grows in one bird, the more eggs hatch out and can spread to other birds.

If your birds have been sharing an area, there isn’t much point to quarantining, unless you have an extremely bad case. You can wait for signs or just treat all.

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Andalusian Blue

by Matthew
(Almeria, Spain)

Question
I have 4 point of lay Andalusian Blue chickens & about 1 week ago one of them started to get wart like growths around the eyes and head which has since spread all over the head & neck, causing the eyes to disappear behind the warts.

These are hard & crusty & sometimes bleed, it has affected the other 3 to varying degrees, they have been treated with a local antibiotic, it has not affected any of my other breeds. Hope you can help.

Answer
If warts, they are a sign of a virus and other than preventing infection topically, an antibiotic wouldn't do much.

I would highly recommend you get the worst one vet checked for an accurate diagnosis. You may be dealing with something highly contagious, possibly something they were exposed to before you got them.

It could also be something your other chickens are immune to, possibly having fully developed immune systems that are functioning well.

These growths sound like they might be an avian pox which can be spread by mosquito bites. All types of birds can get this pox and sometimes a mosquito will bite an infected bird, and then spread the disease to its next victim.

Getting the help of a good avian/poultry vet would be the best thing to help you know how to deal with this.

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