Bumblefoot process


11 Years
Jun 13, 2010
Admire, KS
Last week I found bumblefoot in my flock. I have 6 adult hens, and 3 of them had the telltale scabs. One had swollen feet and that is why I started checking feet. A second bird had one foot with a pretty large scab (not sure it is really a scab, it looked almost translucent) and a small one on the other foot. A third bird had tiny spots on both her feet. I feel like a really bad chickie mom.

So, after research, I ordered a 5 gallon package of Tricide-Neo (ordered Tuesday a full week ago and arrived Thursday the same week). I immediately started with Vetericyn and oral antibiotics on the two more serious girls. This was at the recommendation of my vet. He isn't an avian vet, but he has some experience with chickens. The evening the tricide neo arrived, I started soaking feet for 7 minutes twice a day. (I'm mixing it 1/2 gallon at a time using 1.5T per 1/2 gallon of distilled water).

One week later: The third chicken is completely clear of any spots on her feet and her treament is concluded. The two who were on the antibiotics have finished that treatment.

The other two were improving, but not nearly fast enough. I have to leave for a week on the 12th, and my DH isn't even remotely interested in soaking chicken feet twice a day. My daughter (a wildlife biologist and chicken owner) is here for a couple of weeks, so yesterday morning we did the bumblefoot surgery described in another (really helpful) thread on both the remaining chickens. We soaked their feet and then sort of scraped around the edges of the plug to remove it. I was surprised at how different each infection was. One of Lily's feet had almost no pus in the wound even though the foot was swollen (though considerably less swollen than when we began with the tricide neo). The other one had yellow pus, but I couldn't find any sort of hard center in it. The worse foot on the other chicken (Angel) had two hard centers that popped out when the plug peeled off and more pus even though her foot wasn't swollen. The less involved foot had a little pus and drained nicely.

Both chickens were treated with triple antibiotic ointment and bandaged using a bit of a human bandage and vet wrap applied gently (not stretched much). In the evening, we removed the bandaging and soaked their feet again in tricide neo. There is conflicting info here about whether to use it on an open wound, but I decided to try it since their feet were still swollen. We worked on the wounds again with the tweezers and got a bit more gunk out of them. Rebandaged and put them on the roost for the night.

This morning I repeated the treatment (by myself without digging around in the wound any more -- they looked fairly clean) and rebandaged them again. The bandages I took off didn't show much sign of draining, and the girls are not behaving as if their feet hurt at all.

I am hoping to see dramatic improvement over the next few days, and I am going to continue the tricide neo soaks.

Oh, yes, I think I found the source of the injuries that brought this on. On my pop-door/ramp there is a latch at the top. The screws that hold the latch on (from the outside) were protruding through the wood at the end of the ramp. They were quite sharp. The problem has been remedied with a bit of wood over the screws.

As a sidelight, the Vetericyn seems to have cured a longterm infection (or something) I had on one hand. It has been itchy and sore for months and I've tried everything. After using the vetericyn on the girls feet last week it felt better, so I just kept using it on ME. Amazing stuff. My hand doesn't itch and the skin has stopped peeling. It may be a form of psoriasis, not sure.
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wow! that was quite an involved process! I think you have learned a lot at doing this. I'll come to you if I ever have any problems/questions! Glad you got the puncture source taken care of. I hope that was it and there isn't anything else. Question... how did your chickens take it when you were soaking their feet and squeezing them out? Was that a lot of work, or did they handle that pretty calmly?
I've learned way more than I wanted to know. The big thing is that I HAVE to monitor the condition of the chickens regularly. I have no idea how long those feet have been infected. Too long, that's for sure. Even if they hate it, I have to check their feet once a week until I'm sure the source has been correctly identified.

The chickens are pretty calm during the soak. I'm glad my daughter was here for the procedure, though. I'm not sure one person can do that without lots of practice. I'm not sure it is completely done, but I'm hoping that allowing the poison a way out and continuing the soaking will get them cured.

The irony of course is that of the 6 chickens, 4 are laying and three of those are the ones with the sore feet. Go figure that one. My 2 Delawares are laying regularly -- almost every day, even Angel with sore feet. The EE also lays almost every day. I'm not sure of the withdrawl time for the oral antibiotic, have to call the vet on that one, but we aren't eating their eggs at this point (they love them scrambled as a treat, though).

I posted the start of this problem over at Consolidated Kanas and got some good suggestions there for further research. This discussion board is a real benefit to all us backyard chicken owners.

I'm going though this myself and they have no kernel under the scab. But for the life of me I can't get the swelling to go down. What are the specifications of the meds your using and how are you applying them? More details the better.
My daughter had a friend in Oregon who was given Clavamox (liquid -- my chickens took it soaked into bread with no problem) by her avian vet for her chicken (who recovered) and told to scrape off the scab, squeeze out as much gunk as possible, and put triple antibiotic ointment (without painkiller) in the wound and then wrap the foot in vet wrap. There is a great thread here about wrapping feet following this surgery, and it really helped me. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=236649 My vet suggested using a little square of bandage material over the wound before using the vet wrap. They aren't bothered at all by their "vet-wrap shoes" and were able to roost just fine on their 4" wide roost last night after cleaning and soaking and rebandaging.

The soak I'm using is called Tricide-neo. IF you do a search on this forum, there is a lot of info on it. It isn't cheap, though. The powder to make 5 gallons was about $58 shipped. (the powder for 1 gallon was $23, so the 5 gallon size seemed sensible to me. http://www.koiacres.com/Koi-Acres-Products/tricide-neo.html is where I got it. I called in the order, but you can order online. They are in MN, and I'm in KS and it was here (using their $4.95 shipping option) in 2 days. It seems to be about the same price everywhere.

In another thread, a poster said that 1.5 Tablespoons of the powder could be mixed with a half gallon of distilled water (very important to use distilled) at a time. The stuff is only good for 5-7 days, so making it all at once would have been wasteful.

I still see swelling but the skin on the foot isn't as taut as it was on the EE. The Delaware didn't show any swelling to start with except on the bottom of the foot. I'm hoping the digging around in her foot didn't make it worse. Only the Del had clear kernal pieces in the wound. There was muck in the EE's foot, but nothing seemed to be coming out. I know I should be trying harder, but there is a heck of a hole in her foot, and I want to see if the Tricide-neo does its magic without hurting her anymore. Be warned there is a conflict of opinion about whether you should use the Tricide neo with an open wound, but I decided to go with the most direct course since I have a time crunch.

You have my sympathy. This stuff is nasty. The meds say to wear rubber/plastic gloves and sterilize after use since it is a form of staph. Good luck and keep in touch with your progress. Misery loves company. I'll post back to this forum if I see any positive results (or otherwise). I really don't want to lose my 2 girls. They are pets as much as egg producers.

Clavamox (amoxicillin trihydrate/clavulanate potassium). The way it was mixed, they got .5ml twice a day. As I said, an avian vet in Portland prescribed it for a chicken belonging to a friend and my vet agreed to prescribe it for my girls.

For how many days?

Don't wait too long before looking again in the EE, bumblefoot infection attaches itself to members in the foot and it's impossible to remove. I learned this the hard way.
7 days.

I'm checking her twice a day. Her feet are looking much better. Less swollen and red.

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