Black foot?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jeff M, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Jeff M

    Jeff M Out Of The Brooder


    Does anyone have any idea what this is? We found this young chicken like this, eats & drinks fine, seems healthy otherwise, just has hard time walking with the foot. Possible injury? Not sure what if anything can be done. Don't want it to suffer tho. Thanks for your help
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Good lord. That chicken foot is in the process of auto-amputating. Notice the swelling at the top of the black part. That's the chicken's immune response to a badly injured and infected foot. The tissue "walls" up above the damaged part. Circulation has all but halted to the foot. When the process is complete, the black parts fall away.

    At this point, there is nothing anyone can do to save the foot. It's very uncomfortable right now, and once the foot falls off, the chicken will need to adapt to walking around on one foot. Don't worry. She will learn quickly to re-balance and she will be running around as fast on one leg as she once did on two.

    I had a hen lose a toe in this manner. It's a fascinating process, and pretty remarkable how a chicken can discard a damaged body part without having the infection run through the rest of their body.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It looks like her foot got frostbite or suffered an injury that has cut off circulation, and I agree it looks as though she will lose the foot eventually. I would spray it with betadine to keep down infection.
  4. Jeff M

    Jeff M Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you both! I thought I might have to put her down so its good to know that she should adapt. [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    This seems to be something that is a common thread running through BYC right now and I'm do you think this happened? I can't imagine the temps have been that cold in South Carolina....has it been really wet where this chicken lives and cold temps at night? Does it have roosts to roost on at night? Is it a young bird without much conditioning or fat on the body?

    It would be really nice to identify the conditions in which this happens so people can try to prevent it.

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