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hard round growths on chicks feet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sandrainitaly, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Hi all----I wrote before about this, and a month has gone by. I took a couple of pictures to show you which I hope will ring a bell in someone's memory. I think this is a genetic mutation. The father of all the chicks is a mix of breeds with feathered legs, and the hens are all genetically quite different from each other. This is freaky! They are healthy, about 6 weeks old, and these hard growths are growing right along with the chicks. They look like keratin (fingernail material). Of course I am afraid to get the scissors out to check, wouldn't want to cause bleeding, but I don't know if these are destined to die anyway. Please check out the pics and tell me if you have seen anything similar. Two broods from this particular rooster, and both have these. [​IMG]

  2. Bigcreekpeafowl

    Bigcreekpeafowl Chirping

    Aug 1, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Yes I have seen this before. It is not a growth it is a accumulation of fecal material, and whatever else that has adhered to the chicks feet. To remove it takes a little time.
    Get some warm soapy water and soak the feet for about 10-15 minutes. Then slowly pick at the little balls of matter on the ends of the toes. It will seem almost rock hard at first. Soak and pick a little is the key. After you have picked what you can then soak a little more. Hold the foot and support the toe so you will not damage the feet or toes. Again It will seem hard as a rock at first. But through the soaking and slow picking it will all come off.

    Just be sure to remember there are delicate little toes underneath the ball of "stuff". So you need to use care.
    But it will come off.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  3. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    it's POOP....
  4. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Well I thank you for that, I imagined somebody would say I'm an idiot for not realizing it is poop.....But I have two doubts: 1) Why haven't any other of my broods (8 or so) developed this...ever before? Could it be the weather? Nothing else is different. I should specify that out of nine chicks 5 have these to varying degree, the others not at all. And 2) They seemed to have these practically from day 1. I remember scratching them, back when they were softer, and I got blood! That seems counter-intuitive to me, that from day one a couple had these balls on their toes already. So I repeat that the only real change in the situation is the new rooster who fathered all the chicks. Hmm.
    But I do appreciate the info. Can you tell me in what circumstances you have had the same thing? Summer, winter, mixed genes, whatever...There is one more ominous clue that makes me think something else is afoot (bad pun): I hatched another brood for a friend and immediately gave the chicks to him. They developed the same thing. But his developed also on the area near the beak and was quite obviously a tumor of some kind. Or isn't that a logical observation? He has had chickens for at least 40 years and has never seen this----ever. What could have changed? Could it be due to a very finely ground (almost like flour) feed that I have been giving them? But again, my friend doesn't use the same feed. He unfortunately killed all of his off out of fear of "infecting" his large coop. I will give it a try right now and let you know. And THANKS!

  5. sandrainitaly

    sandrainitaly In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Quote:Thanks for the input, concise and to-the-point. See my reply to the other post. We shall see!
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Weird for sure.................... will be following this one.
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well Lordy - let us know if that's the case...update us!! I'm intrigued, because if they're growths, how horrible THAT would be. I'm hoping it's just clumps of poo/mud... [​IMG]

  8. mitchell3006

    mitchell3006 In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2009
    Don't kill your chicks! Clean their feet! They are getting damp chicken c#@p on them. Carefully remove it. Your picture is very clear so I guarantee the problem. It builds up in layers and dries gradually forming a ball. The toes should be fine underneath.

  9. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    It is a combination of damp food and chickie poop. The fine powdery food gets just like cement and gets in and around the scales, which is what is causing them to bleed when scratched/pulled off, so that is where your bleeding is coming from. Just like other posters, a good soak and careful lifting of the "stuff" should work. It is a long process and will take several soaks as you get the top layers off and reach dry inner layers. When you get it all removed, a nice soak in dilute betadine water would be a good idea, too. I would use more of a crumbled food to prevent it in the future.

    Good luck!
  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop

    If you take a pair of needle-nose pliers and pinch the edge of the ball, they'll pop right off. Do it at an angle that won't pinch the toe if you slip.

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