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Infections and diseases affecting skin and feathers

Article discussing skin and feather infections of poultry.

Scaly leg mite

This arthropod (Cnemidocoptes mutans) burrows into the skin of the feet and legs distorting the skin and forming crusts which can lead to lameness. Infection is from other infected birds. It is common in pigeons and game birds. The most appropriate although quite slow treatment is application of mineral oil.

Photo of hen with a rough, scaly surface Scaly leg mite © British Hen Welfare Trust


This is a bacterial infection often caused by Staphylococcus aureus and which is introduced, in all probability, directly into the sole of the foot as a result of minor trauma. Bacterial multiplication and the host response can lead to partial lameness.

Antibiotics may be given but the infection may also clear on its own.

© University of Nottingham and the British Hen Welfare Trust
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Poultry Health

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