Bumblefoot disease and need help!!


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
I am a new chicken owner as of just Feb. this year. I have six chickens, one black, three brown and two white. The two white ones who happen to be the smallest of the bunch have bumblefoot and I am having a heck of time treating it. Here is a run down of treatment so far. Since I am new at this I decided to so surgery only with the worst foot to start with.

Miss Pinky -

Performed surgery on right foot, was a success. I squeezed out one large infection "curd", I manipulated the foot and there were no other lumps, just appeared swollen. I was not successful in squeezing out any puss or anything. I bandaged up the foot after applying neosporin (kind without pain relief). I kept her in a dog crate for three days with daily cleaning/re-wraps along with 15 minute epson salt soaks. She appeared normal, drank plenty of fluids but only eat about 1.5 cups of feed during that time. Legs feels warmer than other side.
Her left foot that has a small infection (surgery was not performed) I performed daily epson salt soaks and swelling decreased but lump and scab still present.

Miss B. -

I have given her daily epson salt soaks for past two days, swelling has decreased but lump and scab still present.

I went to local feed store and bought PCN. I have attempted to give each girl .2cc injections with 22 gauge needle but am having a heck of time getting the medicine to inject once inserted in what I believe is their breast muscle. Note both girls are very skinny and not very meaty. When I feel for muscle all I really feel is bone.

They both act like nothing is wrong and I hate to put them down. Any ideas what I am doing wrong? I am not squimish is try anything and work in the medical field and know how to draw blood and give injections but am not familiar with the chicken anatomy and these injections are being a pain in my butt!

Please note: I love my girls but taking them to a vet is not an option. Me and my husband took this on with the idea that the girls are livestock not house pets. Besides right now all our "vet money" is being spent on my English Bulldog that inherited some bad genes.
Epsom salt soaks are great but appear not to be working. Switch to a betadine soak and while the foot is in the water use your finger to gently rub the wound and clear away any neosporin and wound debris. Dry the wound gently, make sure inside wound is dry. Wrap with bandage and place a small piece of gauze with a drop or two of betadine in the wound. The next bandage change and soak use neosporin.

Leave the other bumblefoot sores alone for a while. Sometimes they go away by themselves. The scab stays but the chickens immune system fights off the infection.

When injecting the penicillan (forgive me if you already know this) while depressing the plunger pull the needle out slowly.

Check for mites or lice. If the answer is no then you will want to worm when the bumblefoot is better.

What are you feeding them? How often etc.

In the mean time get some chicken water soluble vitamins and add high protein foods like scrambled egg mixed with a few drops of healthy oil, full fat cottage cheese, cooked oatmeal mixed with applesauce and though some disagree I give my chickens the carcass of a roasted chicken or turkey if I have it. They pick it clean.
I feed them pellet and they graze the backyard every other day. I did start adding vitamin supp. yesterday and put a frozen water in the tub each day since it we are having 100 degree heat in Texas right now. I also give them lots of srcrap fruits and veggies, dried worms and corn. I did a body check on all of them a couple days ago and skin and feathers look great! No sign of problems there. I have wondered about worms and droppings look good but then who knows which girl dropped which one.
Thanks for the advice on Betadine. I will give that a try. And of all the research I did I thought bumblefoot would not go away on its own and I have been scared to death for them. Well Miss B.'s feet are not so bad and now I have some hope!!!
Is there anywhere else you might suggest i try giving the injection?
Sorry I can't. It's always worked for me but I'm sure others will be along to give you more suggestions.

I've had small cases of bumblefoot that showed the scab and some warmth or swelling. If given time it (make sure you keep an eye on it a couple times a day) will either heal on it's own or result in surgery. For me most have cleared themselves without intervention.

Sounds like you are doing everything right with their diet. Maybe try a different brand of food or try crumbles instead of pellets. Make sure you are using layer pellets/crumbles.

Do you give them scratch? Shouldn't be more than 10-20 percent of diet.
P.S. I noticed you said how much do I feed them... I just keep the feeder full, oh and I mix crushed egg shell in the feed for added calcium. Sorry if I am being so specific but since I am new new at this, I'm giving full details. I guess I am a little worried I'm not doing something right. =} thanks for the advise!
Specific and details are good. That's what we need to help out when a problem arises. Sounds like you are doing a terrific job and everything right.

Just had a thought.....search this site for injection. There might be more information. You can always google penicillin injection for chicken. Lot's of information out there.

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