Bumblefoot Treatment and Broken Leg Feathers


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 13, 2010
Hello everyone, up to this point I've simply lurked and gathered bits of info, now I am in need of direct advice. So..here goes according to the sticky...

1) What type of bird , age and weight.*****
Various types, all pullets. Age: 2 years, and 2- 5 year old birds.

2) What is the behavior, exactly. *****
Typical bulblefoot scab on foot, some more severe than others (IE: open wounds from plug removal)

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?*****
2 days that the symptoms have been noticable

4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.*****
Open pockets from plus removal, some very angry looking.

5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.*****
rectangular narrow hardwood perch that was replaced today with round sanded perch.

6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.*****
Doing both robustly.

7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.*****
Normal as chicken poop can look.

8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?*****
Removal of plug, washing and flushing holes with peroxide, bandaging with neosporin/gauze/vet wrap. ONE shot of Dura-Pen today, subcutinous (1/4cc)

9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment?For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?*****
I would like to treat myself, as I have very few organs that come in twos that I may sell to pay the vet bills

10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.*****
(insert swollen bumblefoot picture here)

11) Describe the housing/bedding in use*****
Free range to run on 3/4 acre yard with 4 geese, 1 horse & 1 goat. Pen is 8x4x4 with perch running length, Pine shavings 3" deep throughout entire hutch.

I have about 7 birds that I am treating, some of which are more severe than others. I have been cleaning and rebandaging for two days including today. My issue is that I can not seperate them in any particular area to keep their feet dry. With the rain that we've had, along with our lovely clermont county clay, the ground is not readily absorbing the water and the bandages are getting wet. I do not want to block them in their hutch since its been SO hot.

I really am worried for my girls, I love them dearly but am at loss as to what to do for them. Some of them do have open sores that the bandaging is getting moist from walking on wet ground. What can I do in this situation where I can not confine them to a small dried area until they heal? I've read that antibiotics are used (which is why I am using dura-pen) but I am afraid to use too much/the wrong type/not enough.

I was de-plugging one hen last night with the xacto blade that was recommended and she kicked and cut her toe. I applied pressure to stop the bleeding and bandaged the toe thoroughly, however I still have the moisture problem...


My second problem is my one hen who has feathered legs has had some feathers break off almost flush with her skin, there is not enough there to grab and pull like I would with a blood feather on my parrots. She also has a deformed toe on both feet that curls under and creates a pocket for dirt and debris to stay in. I routinely flush this and fill it with neosporin, however the broken feathers concern me. With all the mudd and muck I feel like its a straw that leads directly into her body. I cleaned and swabbed her legs with antibiotic today as well.

I just got some epsom salt so that i can begin soaking the girls feet. Am i wrong in assuming this helps to draw the infection out? How long should I soak?

Any help that I can get would be greatly appreciated. They're my babies and I hate to lose any of them
I'm going through the same thing with one hen. I can't offer much help, but I can sympathize. Tonight we cut her feet open and tried to get everything out, but I doubt we got it all out. I felt like we were torturing her. We're keeping her in a small animal cage in our garage. If she would stop knocking the water over it would be a dry space.

I saw you wrote you now have round perches. Does that help prevent it? Good luck!
I read somewhere on the internet that a larger perch is better, I think anything would be better for my girls than the 3/4" they had to perch on. When I had chickens and was much younger (6-7, im 24 now) I had rounded perches and never had this problem at all. Im rather baffled as to why I am having it now, what with them not being in a coop and simply allowed to run about as they see fit.

They seem to like it better, although I imagine a 2x4 laid flat is best really. I have my round perch screwed firmly in place so as to avoid the great chicken lumberjack situation with all the girls at once.

Its scary how big those plugs are and how they cry when you try to remove them....plus my helper (boyfriend) cant stand the sight of any blood/infection and gets barfy/feints when he sees it, is the only one who CAN help me hold them *rolleyes* urgggghh, the things I go through for my animals.

Can you bend a wire coat hanger and make a bowl holder to mount to the side of your cage to keep your chickie from knocking the bowl over? I have to do it for my pigeons
how high are the roosts they sleep in?
I have 2by4 perches and never had that kind of problem
I may try getting an attached feeder from petsmart, thanks for the idea. My girls stay in a large run, I have no clue what she cut her foot on. I know it can happen if they puncture their foot on something.

My boyfriend and I have a good system. He does all the cutting and I do the squeezing and digging. I can't stand to push hard to cut through their tough skin, and he hates to see the weird stuff come out... So this works. I just know it was hurting her pretty badly, and that's the hardest part. But I guess it's either this or she dies of a staff infection.
With my coop they are 2-3 feet high. I bought the coop from horizon structures and the roosts were built in. When you use 2x4s what part are they on, the 2 or the 4? I hope that makes sense.
approximately 10 inches from the bottom of the coop. What they currently have(just today) is a rounded perch inserted in the same hole as the old perch. I'm thinking the older perch was waaaaaaaay too narrow. Any idea on what to do with my feathered leg girl? same treatment?
Do you know if I should leave them running barefoot after treating with the tricide-neo or if they should be bandaged with neosporin again?

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