Help!! Are My Roosters Feet going to fall off?!?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Harry'sMom, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Harry'sMom

    Harry'sMom Out Of The Brooder

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    IMG_3931.JPG IMG_3936.PNG Hi everyone, I am new to raising chickens.... and I live in Ohio where we have had the worst weather in a long time this winter :(

    I had been letting my chickens free range completely... they have a 10x10' horse stall where all of their food and water is set up, and typically would end up roosting there for the night in a big batch of straw I have for them.

    We had below zero weather for a couple of days, and I still let them come and go as they pleased, but one of them somehow got in my garage when I started my car one morning and stayed there all day while I was at work. when I came home to find him his feet were solid frozen. We slowly warmed them up and put him in a box with straw every night until they thawed out and I kept Vaseline on them everyday... he was running around fine until last week! He started babying one of his feet.... I noticed it was bleeding a little bit so I bought Vetercyin and it seemed to make him feel better... now he is babying the other foot!!

    They are looking sort of green and gray... is his foot going to fall off?? I thought I had a better picture of his foot, but I don't so I had to screen shot it from a video. He is still standing on one foot holding his weight!! And is there anything I can do to prevent this??

    I have the backs of his legs wrapped up with gauze soaked in Vetercyin because they were bleeding. I caught one of my other roosters attacking him so I have now separated him from the group

    PS the bottom of his feet are super black from the dirt in the stall being collected by the vasoline. I want to wash his feet, but it is still too cold here and he can't live in my house. So I don't want to put him back out in the cold after a bath :(
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I have had birds loose toes and less frequently entire feet from being frost bitten. It is hard to tell from the pictures just how bad his legs/feet are. Generally if they are going to fall off they turn black. Good luck to him.
     
  3. Harry'sMom

    Harry'sMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you!! I will take better pictures tomorrow to see what everyone thinks!
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

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    I'm sorry to say, it appears he very well may lose the feet. I have witnessed the process myself, and I recognize the signs.

    Be aware that he is experiencing a good deal of pain at this point. You might consider euthanizing him. Or at least giving him some baby aspirin twice a day to relieve some of the pain.
     
  5. SimplyLivinthatFarmLife

    SimplyLivinthatFarmLife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh nooooo...not good news.
     
  6. Harry'sMom

    Harry'sMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh no this hurts my heart... what are the signs so I can look closer tomorrow?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

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    The feet are showing demarcation lines between living tissue and dying tissue. The dying tissue (necrotic) is changing color, darkening as it loses circulation, slowly turning black. There is usually swelling where the necrotic tissue adjoins the living tissue, an immune system response to the dying tissue, walling it off, so to speak. Once the tissue become black, it begins to dry out and shrink away from the healthy tissue, and the final step is it falls away.

    Once the tissue turns black and starts drying out, it stops being painful since all the nerves have died off at that point. Chickens can learn to walk on stumps. However, they are easy prey, not being able to flee like their footed peers. They may become targets for bullying because of their differences in appearance and behavior.

    Just as with humans with disabilities, some individuals adjust and lead normal lives, while others struggle and their quality of life is diminished.
     
  8. BabyBoss

    BabyBoss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That line between the bright yellow (where it is healthy) and the unhealthy tissue says it is probably dying and may be lost, yes. :( I am sorry.
    If he were mine I'd give him a chance though. Let them dry up and keep an eye on them. Once they are ready to come off we can walk you through removing the dead foot and bandaging the stump- very easy to do when they are well and truly dead. Should not even bleed.

    Do you have antibiotics on hand? Can you give him some?
     
  9. Harry'sMom

    Harry'sMom Out Of The Brooder

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    I am going to start giving him antibiotics! Is there anything to do at this point to save them? So maybe he loses a few toes instead of his whole foot?
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Why are you going to give him antibiotics? There is no sign of infection. All you will accomplish by dosing him with antibiotics is give yourself a placebo to make yourself feel like you are doing something to "save him".

    It is a sad thing that this happened to him, and I feel your pain. Any one who has had chickens for any length of time has experienced an issue with a chicken who needs more than a "bandaid" fix. If he were my bird, I'd extend a compassionate end of life to him.
     

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