Bumblefoot is a chicken illness that can be a common issue among a myriad of chicken keepers. When many chicken raisers encounter Bumblefoot, they have no idea what to do and how to surmount this problem. This should help you garner helpful and useful information about Bumblefoot.
Bumblefoot is an infectious disease in chickens caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which is always around when chickens are present. Bumblefoot is also called staphylococcois or plantar pododermatitis.
A severe case of Bumblefoot. (Picture provided by another BYC member)
Chickens get Bumblefoot when they have open skin, cuts, or wounds. The bacterium is transmitted from the ground to the tissues in the footpad. Rapidly, it gets infected and spreads throughout the footpad, to the foot, to the shank, the knee, and then the organs. Once it reaches to the knee of the chicken, the chicken usually dies.
Bumblefoot occurs in mature birds. It is more likely to occur in roosters of heavy breeds, but it is still very likely for hens to get it.
Symptoms of Bumblefoot are: lameness, difficulty walking, not walking at all, inflamed foot (usually the footpad), swollen and pus-filled scab on the foot. If incubated for a longer time, swelling can move farther up the chicken.
If Bumblefoot is untreated, in most situations, will eventually spread throughout the rest of the chicken’s body and kill it. Which is why you have to intermittently check your chickens for symptoms. If you want a healthy flock, you need to be punctual about looking for and knowing diseases.
Preventing Bumblefoot is hard, but it does not make it inevitable. Changing the bedding in the coop, requiring little or no ground space, give chickens vitamins, and provide higher roosts will help prevent Bumblefoot.
Bumblefoot is extremely hard to get off the chicken, especially if the infection goes untreated for a while. It is best to squeeze the puss out and put antibiotics on it if the infection is small. If the infection gets bigger, you need to try and get the pus out, remove scabs, and wash out the feet with hydrogen peroxide. Although, commonly, Bumblefoot infections are chronic and if you are constantly treating it and nothing seems to help, cull your birds or take them to a veterinarian.
Be careful when with birds with Bumblefoot infections. The bacteria can cause minor infections in humans. I would recommend to wear gloves when treating birds with Bumblefoot.
Bumblefoot is a very common disease in chickens. Most large-scale poultry raisers will at least get chickens with it once. I would recommend to try and prevent this if you have not been affected by Bumblefoot already.
It is more likely to occur in hot and moist places. Bacteria cannot grow in very cold or very hot weather. It is a common in wet and hot areas because it can easily live and reproduce on it. Basically, it is most likely to occur in tropical or temperate climates.
Bumblefoot is not very serious of an illness unless it goes untreated. If it goes untreated for a while, the mortality rate is about fifty percent.
Bumblefoot is caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus, which I already mentioned. A similar bacteria has become a problem with humans. It’s called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, most people know it as MRSA. Bumblefoot affects the chickens in a similar way that MRSA does. It infects the skin tissues, through broken skin or wounds, and it eventually will affect the whole body and kill it if it goes untreated. It is important to know about diseases in poultry in order to protect your flock, keep a healthy flock, and in the long run, sustain poultry.
Megyesi, Jennifer The Joy Of Keeping Chickens
Damerow, Gail The Chicken Health Handbook