Bumblefoot in ducks who do not like to be handled

TheStooges

Songster
Apr 18, 2021
112
167
121
Savannah, TN
I have ready many many articles and posts about Bumblefoot and we have a pretty mild case on our hands. I understand how we should be treating but my concern is, these ducks DO NOT like being held… or even touched. Even picking them up to check feet is a process and once we pick them up it’s just a constant struggle, no calming down. Any advice on how to go about it?
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
2,355
5,172
426
Iowa
I have ready many many articles and posts about Bumblefoot and we have a pretty mild case on our hands. I understand how we should be treating but my concern is, these ducks DO NOT like being held… or even touched. Even picking them up to check feet is a process and once we pick them up it’s just a constant struggle, no calming down. Any advice on how to go about it?
Have you tried wrapping them in a towel like a burrito first?
 

Newfowler1

Songster
Jul 8, 2019
249
442
151
Purcellville Virginia
The wrap up in towel works very well, sometimes covering their head calms them down, SOAK the flippers first! I sit my in a drywall bucket with 2” of Epsom salt water for 20-30 minutes first. I scoot them under a chair to keep them from trying to jump out. Even the most stubborn kernels work losse pretty easily w/o the knife. Good luck and don’t let it go too long. If it gets to the ankle or leg swells I think you need proper antibiotics unavailable OTC. Thats some money spent at the vet which is never cheap

Good luck!
 

TheStooges

Songster
Apr 18, 2021
112
167
121
Savannah, TN
The wrap up in towel works very well, sometimes covering their head calms them down, SOAK the flippers first! I sit my in a drywall bucket with 2” of Epsom salt water for 20-30 minutes first. I scoot them under a chair to keep them from trying to jump out. Even the most stubborn kernels work losse pretty easily w/o the knife. Good luck and don’t let it go too long. If it gets to the ankle or leg swells I think you need proper antibiotics unavailable OTC. Thats some money spent at the vet which is never cheap

Good luck!
Thank you so much, I will try that!! It’s very early on, no swelling. I am going to soak him today.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,537
10,409
731
Carnation, Wa
My ducks, despite being very friendly and enjoying spending time with me, also dislike being handled for bumblefoot treatment. For their own good I just take care of it as quickly as possible. To catch them I gently herd them into a corner and then quickly grab one. This way I avoid chasing them which seems to be the scariest part. Struggling also seems upsetting, so the towel burrito can work very well to secure their wings and keep the chaos down.

Before I catch my duck I have all my supplies ready, that way my duck has to spend as little time stressed out as possible. I even cut my vet wrap first.

Neoprene duck booties overnight worked well for my ducks, too. During the day my ducks splashed water into them so I let them go barefoot.

You might also look at prevention. Some duck feet seem really sensitive to harder surfaces. I've had two ducks that were this way, and one in particular had bumblefoot repeatedly until my vet recommended that I change her environment. Since I did that I haven't had bumblefoot for... It must be 4+years now. I switched to grass only outside, 4-6 inches or straw inside. No wood shavings, boards, rocks, gravel, patios stones, ect. It seems that not all ducks need this, though, and it is a lot of work.
 

TheStooges

Songster
Apr 18, 2021
112
167
121
Savannah, TN
We are finishing up some free ranging precautions tonight so they can be outside in the grass most of the day. We do have pea gravel in the bottom of the run now though and since two of them have issues, we have begun to rethink it. How does the straw work? How often do you have to do a total change of it? I am definitely looking at reworking the pen now!

I will check back in and let you know how it works out, I am going to try the towel burrito and soaking them tonight. Do you think the booties were worth it then? I looked at them but wasn’t sure if they were. Hopefully we can get it under control so they don’t have to experience this often at all!

thank you so much for your advice
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,537
10,409
731
Carnation, Wa
We are finishing up some free ranging precautions tonight so they can be outside in the grass most of the day. We do have pea gravel in the bottom of the run now though and since two of them have issues, we have begun to rethink it. How does the straw work? How often do you have to do a total change of it? I am definitely looking at reworking the pen now!

I will check back in and let you know how it works out, I am going to try the towel burrito and soaking them tonight. Do you think the booties were worth it then? I looked at them but wasn’t sure if they were. Hopefully we can get it under control so they don’t have to experience this often at all!

thank you so much for your advice
Originally I had a smaller run with pea gravel, and pine shavings in their coop. My vet told me to redo the entire thing. I thought she was nuts, but it worked.

I redid their run by building them a 30x30 aviary for 6 ducks. It is fully enclosed with hardware cloth, so sun shines in. I split it up into a front yard and a back yard, so that when the grass gets thin in one side the ducks get moved to the other yard and I reseed.

I moved the ducks to a bigger barn room, about 10x10. I found straw to be much harder to clean and needing more frequent cleanings than wood shavings. I kind of spot cleaned it a couple times a week, by taking a pitchfork and scooping out their sleeping corner. Then I mixed up the entire room with a pitchfork. I completely emptied the room every weekend. If I tried to wait two weeks the straw would start to smell musty - not good for their respiratory systems.

Even though the entire thing was more difficult I felt it was less difficult than bumblefoot treatment. My heavier ducks had almost constant bumblefoot until we changed their environment. We would treat it, it went away, and then came right back - for about a year. For them the environmental changes really worked. It might not help your ducks.

I think the boots helped. My vet had us use them. I ordered mine through party fowl, but I keep hearing that they are really backed up with their orders so you might want to use crazy k farm or another company if you decide to get them. I recommend measuring your ducks feet and ordering off of the actual measurements, I ordered off of breed recommendations and the boots were HUGE and my ducks couldn't walk in them because they were tripping on them. I ordered them smaller and it was fine.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom