Question: My hen has scaly legs. The scales on her legs are pushed up and sticking out. She's also walking stiffly. What's wrong with her and how can I cure this problem?
Answer: It sounds like your hen has an infestation of scaly leg mites. The pests burrow under the leg scales of the chicken, which is why the scales stick out. Since leg mites travel very slowly from chicken to chicken, stopping the problem is relatively simple. Control the mites by brushing the perches, roosts, and bird's legs once or twice a month with a mixture of kerosene to two parts linseed oil (be sure not to use motor oil). Older birds are more likely to get this problem than younger ones, so if you cull heavily you will probably not run into these mites. Another way to treat scaly leg mites is by smothering the parasites with petroleum jelly or a kerosene/oil mix. According to A Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow, the most effective treatment is ivermectin, whose accompanying box says its a "Parasite Zapper".