Can bumblefoot be bred away?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Henrik Petersson, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Crowing

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    When it comes to fowl, I'm all for eugenics. Instead of constantly harassing our birds with ointments, medications, band-aids, tapes, trims, splints, surgery, training and various other procedures, I sympathize with the method of 1) buying the healthiest specimens we can find, 2) let them reproduce, 3) cull all sick individuals, and 3) rinse and repeat throughout the generations until you have a flock that stays hale and healthy with basic care.

    Enter our muscovy ducks. We bought them as four adults, one drake and three hens. They live in a grassy enclosure of some 20 by 20 feet, have a kiddie pool size pond that's changed every day, some thick branches on various heights for them to roost on, and a coop which they only ever use to lay eggs in. They eat regular basic chicken pellets and are allowed to roam free on a half-acre yard with lots of grass and surrounded by woods all day long, most days.

    A year ago or so, the drake was treated for bumblefoot. The hens were checked for it at the same time, but their feet looked fine.

    About the same time, we slaughtered about 10 male ducklings that were 10-15 weeks old or so. Half of them had bumblefoot.

    This year, we have a brood of 22 ducklings, 9 weeks old tomorrow. I've picked up five of them (with much ado) of both sexes, and all of them have bumblefoot.

    Granted, the ducklings have on some days not been allowed to roam free. On one occasion they were pretty much cooped up for a whole week. Also, their pond was not changed that week. And on a separate occasion, 1/4 of their yard was covered in not-too-coarse gravel for about a week. So there have been some possible bumble-foot causing "mistreatment" going around. But their feet seem super-sensitive to me. Do they have to walk around on fresh grass 24/7 from day 1 in order not to get bumblefoot? How do 99 % of muscovy keepers around the world get by, then? Most of them don't even let their scovies free range, do they? Or was it the week without a pond that did it? Seems somewhat unlikely, since most of the scovies don't even want to take a bath most of the time.

    So my main question is: Can I kill the present drake, replace him with a non-bumblefooted one (if there is one), and hope to not get as much bumblefoot in next year's brood? And maybe, as I called it, rinse and repeat and barely get any bumblefoot at all in a distant future?
     

  2. ChattyChickens4Life

    ChattyChickens4Life OCD (Obsessive Chicken Disorder)

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    You can't 'breed out' bumblefoot per-say. Bumblefoot is the result of a chicken or duck cutting it's foot, and the cut getting infected. You can't breed away injuries. Good luck and best wishes! :)
     
  3. ^ Agreed. It's environmental. Perhaps your suggesting that you can breed ducks with thicker skinned feet. Bumblefoot can be caused by some sort of trauma (stepping on a thorn) or developing cracked feet which can lead to infection. Having a lot of water available will decrease chances of cracked feet but I do not think its as simple as selective breeding to diminish cases of bumblefoot.
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  4. Change out your Roosts....2x4 flat side up work great...
     
  5. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Crowing

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    They don't sleep on roosts, they sleep on the ground...
     

  6. Environment plays into Bumble foot....What they walk on...Sharp stones....I don't think you can breed it out....
     
  7. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Songster

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    Many animals get bumblefoot. Rodents, wild birds, pet birds, even birds of prey. It is not a weakness in the animal, but, the bacterial load in the environment. Warm, moist environments have heavier bacterial loads. The animal's skin is breached and the bacteria do what they do best, invade. In the wild the unlucky animals die. But as animal keepers we care for our stock and our pets. Buy some Birdy Booties, from Crazy K online store, for your ducks, and they'll have added protection for their feet. These boots are also infused with colloidal silver. I had the same problem with my rooster, since he started wearing boots, no more bumblefoot. It's been a year and a half now. I just take his boots off and wash his feet and boots every 2-3 months and he's good to go. Best regards, hope all goes well with your ducks. :)
     
  8. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Crowing

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    Look everyone, I was right!

     
  9. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Songster

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    upload_2017-10-26_15-10-56.png upload_2017-10-26_15-24-50.png
     

  10. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Crowing

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