I hope someone here has some insight. My friend has a flock of chickens
, some of which came from another farm infected with scaley leg mites. Yesterday I noticed that a couple of the hens were shaking their heads, one of them is missing some feathers from behind her left ear. The other one has little red ears but they now have white showing on them, almost like the ears are "puffed" up (both of these hens are black by the way, we are unsure of the specific breed).
Until now, they've been treating the mites on an as-needed basis with petroleum
jelly on the affected birds' feet. Is there another treatment, and do you all think
it's the mites that are responsible for the ear scratching/head shaking? I don't believe the missing feathers are due to pecking from another bird as this flock gets along very well and all the birds are very docile to each other and to humans. Between 10 hens they are laying anywhere from 8-11 eggs a day, which I take as an indicator of health, but they definitely want to get on top of this problem quickly.
I've already suggested that they try a paddock system for the hens, as they've been confined to a small area a bit more lately to keep them from the garden
(I suspect this is why the mites have started to affect them more). Until the garden went in, these chickens
were basically free
ranging all over the property all day long.
I'd love your suggestions for ear mite treatments (and indeed if you agree that this is mites), Alternative treatments for scaly leg mites would be great as well. A few of her hens have never been infected with the mites on their feet despite being exposed- is this an inheritable trait if they decide to raise any chicks?