bumblefoot

Common poultry diseases and conditions, advice on what they are and how to treat them.
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bumblefoot

Postby Kirst » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:55 pm

HI all. One of my chickens has bumblefoot. (I googled it as have never come across it before in the 2 years of owning 25 chickens). It says that you can lance it yourself. Has anyone done this? I asked vet for antibiotic cream but they wouldn't sell it to me - can I use human cream - video says to put some on afterwards. I have a sterile scalpel and also antiseptic clean from work. Any tips please?? Thanks
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Re: bumblefoot

Postby tishie11 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:55 pm

Does your chicken have the black scab in the middle of the foot or lumps between the toes? If it's not limping I wouldn't do anything about it. I have done the cutting out of the black scab a couple of times and it's very messy! A lot of blood! The chicken doesn't seem to feel it much however. I have cut and squeezed the lumps between the toes before and a lot of black dirt comes out. I think just general dirt gets in small cuts in the feet.

I think chooks get it more as they get older and especially the heavier breeds like mine (I have Orpingtons).

The trouble is with doing the centre of the foot scab cut out is that it needs to be bandaged afterwards and kept clean which is difficult if you have free range chooks and the weather is wet! There is quite a hole in the foot afterwards but it seems to heal up. Confining a chook to a cage for a long time is quite stressful for you and the chook! I think I used Betadine ointment on the wound from memory.

Good luck whatever you decide.
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Re: bumblefoot

Postby Kirst » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:31 am

Yes - there is what looks like a black scab in the middle is what I assume I need to cut out. Yes - that is the problem afterwards in keeping it clean. How long did you leave yours in a cage for? Is it until it is completely healed over? I might try and make a small run for her...
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Re: bumblefoot

Postby Marina » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:33 am

I'm with Tishie - unless the chook limps I wouldn't do anything. If it hurts your chook you'll notice. I've got big Black Orpington roosters who've had a scab for years and they never ever limped. One is 4 years old now and I only noticed the scab when I considered putting him into a show a couple of years ago. He's no good for showing with his scab but I've never done anything, he's still got it and it doesn't seem to affect him. I've got very good chicks from him.

If there is a pus bubble at the top of the foot - usually between toes - you can lace this. I've put a chook with a laced bubble into a box with a generous amount of straw and left it there overnight. The straw absorbed whatever came out of the wound and it healed up just fine. I made sure she was on green grass all the time, no wound on the bottom of her foot. I don't have any of those creams, never needed it, never lost a chook to an infection that originated from a wound.

If you lace the scab at the bottom of the foot (usually you can just loosen it with your fingers and it comes out as a plug) you need to keep your hen's foot meticulously clean afterwards. She got the bumble foot from soil bacteria invading her foot in the first place. Rinse her foot in salt water solution until all the pus seems to be gone. I've never used antibiotics - they don't work well on a chook's foot anyway as there is very little blood circulating to take the medication to the toes. Most chooks are very resilient and huge wounds heal up without causing an infection.

I've only ever removed a plug on the sole of the foot once and I put my hen with her plug removed and foot cleaned out into a dark box with heaps of straw. She went broody over night (so must have been about to go broody anyway). I gave her eggs to sit on, removed her from her nest once per day when I put her into another box with straw, food and water where she could poo, eat and drink. When her chicks hatched 3 weeks later her leg had healed beautifully. No bandage, no antibiotics - just peace and quiet.
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Re: bumblefoot

Postby Kirst » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:18 pm

Hi. thanks for that - she is limping so thinking I might have to do something. I don't have a rooster but maybe if I just give some eggs to sit on anyway might do the trick.
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Re: bumblefoot

Postby eae » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:56 pm

I have a large australorp with bumblefoot. She has been slightly limping for about 18 months, sometimes worse than others, but from my observation it doesn't seem to cause her a lot of trouble. She still hauls her sizeable self at great speed across the paddock at treat time. I've tried to cut it out twice, with no success. I don't think my insicions were quite wide enough around the plug to properly get hold of it. There wasn't just a pool of pus, it was more like yellowish stringy tissue that didn't easily come loose. I've resolved to leave it alone unless her foot swells significantly or she appears to be in a great deal of pain. It was surprising how much she didn't mind me slicing up her foot though :shock:
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