1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Bumblefoot after new feed + ducks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RedCoopOnWheels, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. RedCoopOnWheels

    RedCoopOnWheels Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    25
    Jun 28, 2015
    NE Illinois
    A number of our hens suddenly are suffering from bumblefoot (some bad, some not so bad). We never had this problem before, and the only things that have changed are:

    1) we added ducks to our flock about four months ago. The ducks are messy so there's a lot more water/mud around.
    2) About two months ago we switched from organic feed to a good non-organic brand (trying to save some money)
    3) After we discovered the bumblefoot, we removed all of the perches (which were square wooden rods) and replaced them with new clean round rods.

    Can switching feed cause bumblefoot? Could it be the mud? Is there something else that I have not thought about?

    Any insights appreciated.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I don't know if a change in feed would make bumble foot more likely. I had always read it was caused by injury - rock, thorn, etc. - to the bottom of the foot, into which bacteria entered, resulting in bumble foot. I read that just because a bird has such an injury doesn't necessarily mean bumble foot will be the end product. Some just get better on their own. That got me thinking about your new ducks....the way they make muddy messes makes me wonder that if that makes it a better breeding ground for bacteria which, on the muddy ground, also migrate more easily into a wound on the bottom of a chicken's foot? Seems plausible to me but I must admit I'm not sure. Hope someone chimes in with the answer!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,770
    2,026
    356
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    For what it's worth, paying attention to drainage can help. Our duck pen is on about a 2% slope, and the bottom edge has a shallow channel that leads to a raised garden bed downslope. We don't have an issue with mud. I have sand and smooth pea gravel under the swim pans, and with the slope, it stays pretty decent. We had a bit of bumblefoot the first couple of years with the flock, but since then, gosh, I think it's been 4 years without any.

    We feed an organic non-corn, non-soy feed. And yes, it is pricier than standard feed. I agree with the suggestion to give vitamins regularly to help boost their immune system. You might even read up on some herbs, like oregano, that are being used to reduce the need for antibiotics in flocks.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by