bumblefoot treatment advice


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 9, 2012
Hey everyone, I've been lurking around this forum for a while, and now I need some advice. I do not have pictures yet, but I will have them later in the day if people feel they are needed.

A little over 2 weeks ago I spotted a lump on my brahma-mix's foot. I am still new to the chicken world (only had mine a little over a year) so I was horrified when I looked closer an saw it was red and inflamed. I picked her up to study it better, and realized there were more of these bumps on either foot. 3 per foot to be exact. After researching the issue, I discovered it was bumblefoot. I am embarrassed and angry at myself that I did not notice the issue sooner, but what can you do. She does not limp or act like walking hurts. Her appetite is still insane- she eats 2x as many treats and food as my orpingtons. To be honest though, of all the pictures on the net of bumblefoot, I haven't seen a chicken with this many of them...

My chickens are free range, so anything in my yard could have caused the issue. Their favorite nighttime perch is about 2 feet off the ground, which may also have led to her getting abrasions on her feet. She seems to like to throw herself off of it in the morning to have a hard landing on the ground, The chickens also like to spend most of the afternoon under a giant wild rosebush, so trying to forage under it could have led to the issue.

To start out with I tried the least invasive approach I found online: washing foot with warm soapy water, smearing with Vetericyn, applying gauze soaked in Vetericyn to wound, and wrapping with vetwrap. After a week of this treatment, I am not sure if this is going to be enough. There is no change in the bumps, if anything they look slightly more inflamed. (I have applied new bandages every night, too.)

I found this thread dealing with the issue, and am going to try it out once I have acquired the supplies. My plan is to soak her feet as the thread states, and only try to treat one bump on each foot at a time as trying to treat them all at once seems inhumane. I also ordered this handy neoprene chicken shoe, as I have been having trouble getting the bandages to stay on.

I am looking for any advice or anything really to help me. I am hesitant to do this surgery as it is the last resort besides culling, which is what I do not want to do obviously.

Anyone have any good experiences with antibiotics- topical, oral, or injectable?

I also am looking for advice on what to do about the feathers on her feet. They are in the way of 2 of the bumps, and it is hard to treat the bumps with them there. Would cutting the feathers off be appropriate? I am worried she will bleed.

Thanks for reading this! -Jackie
Hi Jackie!

Do the bumps have the "sterotypical" signs of bumblefoot? The black scab, etc?
Can you post a photo for us?

Sometimes the feather-footed breeds seem to get problems near the large feather follicles that is not necessarily bumblefoot. I also find that wrapping the feet of feather-footed breeds needs to be done with care or it can really irritate the feather follicles. Worse yet is if the wrapping holds any moisture-- chafing is rapid which can cause another whole set of infections. I had this issue with one of my Faverolles, and it make a "simple" bumblefoot cure into a months long problem because the wrap caused chafing, and a secondary infection, despite changing it daily. (I ended up having to leave it open and keeping her in the house on clean towels)

I'm not trying to scare you, just to warn you that these fluffy feet give us way more trouble than normal clean feet, over here!
Good news everyone! Pictures aren't needed. The Vetericyn did exactly what I was told it would do: soften the plug until it can be pushed out.

I have wrapped it and liberally applied Vetericyn for almost a month now every single night, as described in original post. I didn't think it was doing anything, as the bumps were only getting more inflammed. The plug wasn't becoming soft either (aka, the black spot on the bottom of foot.) However earlier today I pressed the bump in towards the black spot, and it started to come out. I pushed a little harder, and out popped a black circular shaped squishy mass that smelled a lot like poo. (Sorry to anyone eating and reading lol!) I tried it with the remaining ones, and all of them came out. I then packed them with Vetericyn, and another gauze pad, and wrapped the feet up.

There was no blood whatsoever, too. The one difference between these ones and others I have seen is her bumps were located between her toes and side of feet, not on the bottom pad of the foot. I'm sure this would work for the bumps on the bottom of the foot, too.

I am so overjoyed this worked, and I didn't have to do surgery! I would highly recommend this method now. It just takes a little money, time, and patience. This is the type of Vetericyn I used, the one with the parrot on the bottle. I bought the largest size they had. (I used ebay, got a good deal there.)
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Decided to add pictures, why not. This is after a week of bandaging, the bumps were inflamed and at their worst.

^ side of one foot

^ bottom of other foot

^ top of same foot
I love it when I learn something new!
Thank you for sharing.

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