Last night all of our chickens were good and alive, with no signs of illness. Our chickens are mostly flighty and don't like being handled so we only check them closely once a month as a collective effort (last check was mid April), and we have a lot of chickens. This morning my dad was in a hurry to pick up our pork from the butcher (we raise pigs) and so didn't go into the coops when letting the chickens out this morning. I just went out to get eggs and found a 3 year old red sex link dead on the floor of the coop, on her back, neck stretched out, legs in the air. Comb blue/purple (like when a cornish has a heart attack). That was my first guess, until I saw her foot.
She had a large green lump on her foot with a bumblefoot scab. Picture included:
Her vent was a little swollen but I didn't check for an egg being stuck - it wouldn't be our first sex link with a stuck egg. My question is how long does it take for a bumblefoot infection to become system wide and fatal to chickens? I feel terrible, because this could've been prevented by checking our chickens far more often. This past month has been extremely busy, between several litters of piglets born, some with troubles, and we've been bringing in pigs to the market from the previous litters... we got 70 meat chicks recently as well, and between work and finals week for college, we've neglected health checks on our birds.
First step we'll take is to up our health checks. If we get it done on our 40 birds every 2 weeks would that be sufficient in treating cases of bumblefoot in time? This is our first case of bumblefoot, by the way (I'm assuming that's what this is)...
If anyone remembers my previous thread about Psycho, our easter egger with nuerological symptoms, we sent her in for a necropsy to make sure it wasn't infectious - and it wasn't. She had brain tumors from a non-infectious origin, and they are thinking it was genetically predisposed - but nothing more on that.
We'll check them all tonight when they're in their coops, since catching them out on the yard in daytime is almost impossible with these birds.
All the other birds look healthy right now - no respiratory problems, limping, or lethargy. We have two molting hens, and one of them is almost bald... poor girl... Of course, none were limping yesterday, so an individual foot check is in order.
Any advice would be appreciated. I think I'll even check the ducks...