chicks with hard fleshy marble-sized growths on ends of toes.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sandrainitaly, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Hello all, I am new as a registered user but have perused the site often----It is a great help.
    I have searched the web and so far haven't found anything like this described: I have a hatch of nine chicks, about three weeks old. Two have a marble-sized fleshy hard growth on one toe each, a third has one on each foot. We thought they were accumulated mud but on closer inspection were horrified to see the masses were actually flesh. They chicks are otherwise healthy and happy, although these three are beginning to have troubles moving around. One hen has scaly leg mites, and I wonder if this might be related? Also our flock is accessed by local birds, mice, etc. as it is an open pen in the country. There will be no changing this condition I'm afraid. This is a disturbing development among an otherwise healthy flock. We have hatched a number of chicks (or rather the hens have!) and have never seen this problem. Any ideas? I assume it is a viral condition as there are three of them affected.
     
  2. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    The only time I've seen this is when they have gotten into some string or even long human hair. Once embedded, you no longer see the string or hair. It tends to get wrapped around and around the toes and they will develop those types of knots.
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is rather young I would think for bumble foot but you may look it up. Scaly leg mites left untreated will eventually kill off the toes, then the feet and eventually the legs.
    sharon
     
  4. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Nope, not bumble foot. It is what I would call a "gall" of the type you often see on plants where certain types of flies have affected them. They have a definite tumor-like aspect, and even are covered with the same scales of skin that the feet are. But here is the strange thing: Today there are only two of them affected. Where did the third one go? Did it just drop off on its own? I also learned today that the previous brood that I gave to a friend has two chicks with the same symptoms, except one has the growth near the beak. We assume it is doomed. I'm taking care of the scaly leg mite problem, but I am sure the two things aren't related. The chicks with the "tumors" are also very small and runt-like compared to the healthy ones, which also points to aggressive tumor growth. To all those who (justly so!) suspect these things are blobs of dung or mud, good call...but they bleed when scratched. I am mystified and a little worried about my family's health as well.
     
  5. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    How closely related are your chickens? Its possible its a birth defect from inbreeding? Have you noticed any others? Do you know which rooster/hen are their parents?

    Did you hatch them by bator or broody?

    Where the eggs dirty or cracked before you set them?

    Just trying to think of somethings that could have gone wrong.
     
  6. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Thanks Farmer Chef, for the input. My chickens are not totally unrelated (they come from a farm that has about 100 hens and ten roosters at any given time) but they are all an interesting mix of "experimental" breeding results from many different lines. That means, we have fun mixing and creating all kinds of characteristics. We aren't interested in keeping any breeds pure....we don't even know what the heck they are!! They came to us already mixed. That said, I have only one rooster, who is himself an interesting mix of types, and quite unusual-looking. So, all the chicks have the same father, but I have eight hens and the eggs are from all eight mothers. You may be onto something, after all, mutations do appear on a trial basis across the board in nature. I am suspecting that if the tumors, as it appears to be, have dropped off the toes of one chick, they may do the same with the other two. I am hoping!
     
  7. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Redcatcher, thanks, you have an idea there, but I have looked closely and I see no way this could have happened. The masses are really hard and appear to cause no pain to the chicks, just mobility problems. In fact I can hear the one with the largest mass as it moves around the pen and bangs against food dishes. Another observation that might be pertinent to the viral origin: we have loads and loads of magpies here who make free use of the chickens' food. I wonder....
     
  8. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Quote:------Well as to cracked eggs, nope. The brood were hatched by the broody hen as per textbook instructions. Only problem with this hatch is there were some tardy additions and they died fully developed when the hen left the nest to tend to the newborns. Lost four that way, will keep a closer eye on things next time. I have hatched many broods in the incubator and have had a low rate of defects (in four hatches there has been one chick with no beak---the horror!--- and another who despite having a curled foot is doing well as an adult).
    [​IMG]
     

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