What’s Wrong With My Roo?

Yesterday, I noticed what seems to be scaly leg mites on my two adult hens and rooster.  They live separate from the pullets in our smaller coop.  I decided a plan of action for treating them.  None of them were acting sick or lame at all, they seemed totally normal except for the raised and swollen scales on their legs.

Today the roo is acting weird.  He is walking very purposefully, slowly placing each step as if he is in pain.  Most of the time he is holding one or the other leg halfway up when he stops walking.  When he does stand with both feet he is standing very wide and crouching a bit.  And he isn’t his normal active self, though he is still crowing.

All three of the treated birds’ legs are bright pink in the areas where there aren’t the swollen scales.  The hens are acting fine.

What’s going on?

Is he sore from the treatment because the mites are dying?  I know that some skin parasites can cause more pain and itching after treatment as they wiggle around trying not to die.

Did the vaseline make his legs more susceptible to the cold temperatures and he is sore from the cold?

Did the oil on the roosts make it harder for him to hold on to them and he is sore from having to roost in a different way?

Is he sick with something totally unrelated and he is walking like that and standing like that because he has a belly ache or some other pain somewhere in his body?

I don’t know what to do at this point except just wait it out and see how he does.  We have a cold storm moving in that is supposed to bring us quite a bit of snow.  So the chickens will be hanging out inside their coop the next few days likely.  I’m going to do a quick clean out and get the bedding changed since they will be stuck inside (doing it for the pullets too) and do all I can to make his environment clean and comfortable.

3 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With My Roo?

  1. I had a quick look in my chicken health handbook, it recommends treating scaly leg mites with a mix of one part kerosene to two parts linseed oil, and dosing with 1/4cc of cattle or horse wormer containing Ivermectin. If your rooster is not doing well but the hens are recovering okay, I would separate him out. Good luck!

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