First snow - bleeding feathered feet !

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by yve7, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. yve7

    yve7 Hatching

    Dec 8, 2007
    Eastern WA
    We are in Eastern WA and this is our first winter with chickens. We have cochins, brahmas, and australorps. They have a well insulated, heated coop and are let out into the run during the day. We had snow fall a few days ago that has all melted now but today we noticed that all the feather footed varieties have blood spots on their feet. It looks like the feathers are breaking off or being pulled out. They don't seem to be limping or upset. We have a lot of cold weather ahead, what can I do to protect the feathers around their feet? Thank you!
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    The birds are probably picking the snow off and taking the feathers with the snow...
    Maybe if you sprayed their legs with cooking spray the snow would fall off easier...I've heard it works with shovels.
  3. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I try to keep my feather legged birds that I show inside when its snowy or muddy. The feathers get caked with the snow/ice/mud and can break off. I've never seen blood, but I have seen lots of broken feathers on my non-show birds. I also had a problem with broken feathers on my Japanese bantams whose wings hung low. If you plan on showing, I would keep them in when the weather is bad, and if you don't plan on it you could trim the feathers on the feet to make it less of a problem.
  4. Often foot feathers are 'blood feathers' ones that have blood in the hollow of the shaft. They do bleed when damaged. With wet sticky snow damage will occur but I have found them to be fine once the temprature is low enough for the snow to be dry and fluffy.

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