Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bumblefoot in Chickens

This is Raspberry.  She is 9 months old, as are most of our chickens.  She is our largest pullet, lays the largest light brown, almost white eggs, and is very friendly.

Raspberry has developed bumblefoot in both her feet.  Bumblefoot is when the bottom of the foot becomes swelled and infected.  A scab (bumble) will appear on the bottom of the pad of the foot.  None of our other chickens have this issue, just Raspberry.  She shows no signs of pain in her feet at all, she still jumps and runs, absolutely no limping or slowing down. 

Her left foot was worse than her right, so we decided we'd better treat her, as we didn't want her going lame.  We figured we'd start with the left foot, and when that one got better we'd treat her right foot.

We started by soaking her feet in warm water to clean them, then put antibiotic ointment on her left foot and wrapped it as shown in this video.  Raspberry is very calm and it is relatively easy to wrap her foot.  We did this for 3 days, re-wrapping it every day with a fresh bandage.  During the day she ran outside with the other chickens with her bandaged foot. 


After 3 days of being wrapped with antibiotic ointment, her left foot was very soft and the black bumble scab came off the bottom of her foot.  Puss came out, and we cleaned it again, covered the wound in antibiotic ointment, bandaged it, and let her loose.  She ran around as if it didn't hurt at all.  A week later the foot has all healed and has no bumble (scab) on the bottom.  The bottom pad of her foot still looks swelled up, so we are still treating it and wrapping it every day.
After her daily treatments we reward Raspberry with a variety of treats, from corn (her favorite) to cut up cooked liver, broccoli, or anything else we happen to have available.  I think she looks forward to her treat time every evening.  And she still lays eggs for us every morning. 


Farm Girl said...

Just some questions, Where do you get vet wrap and you feed your chickens liver? Is is cooked or raw?
I have a hen that I think is anemic.If that can happen I don't know and I was thinking she needed extra iron, so giving them liver would be good I think and help them from picking and eating each others feathers. Very nice video, I had never heard of bumble-foot in chickens before. Thanks

John Gray said...

never heard of bumblefoot. thank you for the teaching session

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm Girl - you can buy vet wrap at a feed store. I've seen it at the feed store where we buy chicken food and straw. But we use generic brand Ace bandages - the kind that sticks to itself. It's cheaper than vet wrap (I think) and it's a light tan color. If you use a bright color the chickens may peck at it more - our vet store has vet wrap in all sorts of crazy colors.

We read somewhere that Vitamin A is really good a helping a chicken recover from bumblefoot. And liver is full of Vit A (and iron, too). My husband loves liver (not me!), so we cut up some small pieces of cooked beef liver for the chickens (and some for the husband, too!). There was a good sale at the grocery store on liver recently - a 2 lb package was under $1... The birds all really love it, and it's good for them. The guinea keets need more protien than chickens, so we try to give them mealworms or cooked meat when we can. I had not known much about bumblefoot before, I think we all learn as we go!

Do you know anything about chicken saddles? I need to keep the roosters from tearing up the hens backs and necks, so I'm going to look into chicken saddles next. Poor hens are really getting hurt from those roos...

John Gray - No problem!! I still have so much more to learn about raising chickens!


Farm Girl said...

Thanks! I have never heard of a saddle, but I think My Pet Chicken on line has so much chicken stuff I have never ever saw before, they might have something. I will look into liver for my hens. Very good advice. It was so hot here today, they did get cold watermelon. :)

Leigh said...

Such a great feeling to be able to help an animal. Lord B's bumblefoot never became an open wound, for which I'm thankful.

We found vet wrap to be cheaper at Tractor Supply than CVS or Rite Aid. Maybe you could get a better price at a discount big box store.

So glad Raspberry recovered so quickly.

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm Girl - Yep, that's where I was going to look - My Pet Chicken. I've ordered from them before.

Leigh - Is Lord B all better now? So it healed without having to open up the foot? Did the bumble go away on the bottom of his foot? How long did you give your chickens garlic water?

Raspberry's not totally recovered from her bumblefoot - the left foot is still puffy. But no bumble anymore. Maybe she just has puffy feet?? It doesn't seem to hurt her. And we haven't even started with the right foot yet...


NetRaptor said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! The bumblefoot issue is really interesting. I had a hen who went crippled in one foot. Her toes just curled inward, and she sort of hobbled around. I never got it to heal up, and kept her in a separate coop, where she lived for several years quite happily.

Robin said...

We have never got a case of bumblefoot here yet. I had read about it before. I'm glad that it was able to heal up nicely.