Help! Chickens toes coming off!

lorenlouise08

Chirping
Oct 1, 2015
35
30
64
Ok, I am almost embarrassed to post this. I want you all to know that I do take care of my girls! I recently purchased 10 more hens and a large coop that added onto my existing chicken yard. This girl is one who came with them. She is a Rhode Island Red, and about one year old. I noticed a couple of days ago that her toes were crooked. I did some research today and was stuck between Bumblefoot and gout. So I came home and got her out of the pen, and discovered this horror. Her middle toe on her right foot is only hanging on by a tendon. It looks like she’s already missing one toe on the left foot. I don’t see any sores, but a couple of the joints are red and inflamed. She is very thin and bony. I got her to drink some water and eat some wheat grass sprouts. So, what is going on?? I don’t see any bugs on her, she is just very thin and dehydrated. Is this contagious? What is going on??
 

Attachments

  • D0460F4E-A036-472C-A002-632A34CDCF96.jpeg
    D0460F4E-A036-472C-A002-632A34CDCF96.jpeg
    388.9 KB · Views: 25
  • 47836C97-60AA-4EC7-A8F5-C83FB5561ECD.jpeg
    47836C97-60AA-4EC7-A8F5-C83FB5561ECD.jpeg
    378.6 KB · Views: 26
  • A1E4D583-0E27-4961-A359-73F10DD74505.jpeg
    A1E4D583-0E27-4961-A359-73F10DD74505.jpeg
    354.7 KB · Views: 24
  • 968F598C-BD8A-4D4A-90CF-B0454B98C7C7.jpeg
    968F598C-BD8A-4D4A-90CF-B0454B98C7C7.jpeg
    421.4 KB · Views: 24

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
I'd guess bad frostbite.

My first reaction would be to separate her and a buddy from the flock until that heals up, in case they decide to peck at it. I don't know how your flock is, but mine gets a bit... tetchy as the winter progresses, and I wouldn't leave an injured chicken in with them.

Try giving her an electrolyte solution (2 qt water, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tbsp sugar or corn syrup, and 1 pinch salt) instead of water. It'll help her hydrate better.

I doubt that the last place took care of them very well. Is she the only one that's dehydrated and thin? Could it be because of her hurt feet?
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,906
1,282
522
central Ohio
That looks like severe frostbite to me. I hope that you have quarantined your new hens from your existing flock. If you haven't, you need to. Keep them separate from your existing flock for at least three weeks, if you can. If this hen is thin and looks sickly, she probably is. She (and all of them) probably need dewormed at the very least, with a broad spectrum dewormer. If it IS frostbite (not sure where you got them or where you are)...there is nothing you can do. The damaged toes WILL fall off. This doesn't mean the hen will die; it's amazing how well chickens can get around with serious infirmities like missing toes or feet, one eye, etc. But hopefully you can make sure they are all happy and healthy before you mix them all together. If you've ALREADY mixed them together, I would still keep her separate for a bit, til she improves. And deworm the whole flock.
 

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 27, 2012
21,206
48,898
1,192
Vermont
My Coop
My Coop
That would appear to be severe frostbite. She will lose those toes, since the tissue has died. The good news is, it's not contagious and after they fall off she will probably be able to get along just fine.

However, it's a sign that something isn't quite right. When she was at the last place, was the coop not kept up well? Did the bedding get damp? Are the roosts not wide enough that she can get all her toes on them and cover them with her feathers at night?

Something must have been going on that allowed her to become so frostbitten, so you'll want to figure out what it was and remedy it if it's not already fixed. You might want to check the rest over too to see if any of them are suffering from frostbite as well.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,065
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Personally, if she were in my flock I'd cull her and chalk it up to a lesson learned: why it's important to keep a closed flock. Such an outward appearance that points to very poor flock management would lead you to wonder what internal issues you will also be seeing in these birds. A bird that has both feet so severely compromised by frost bite has been in what I can only assume are at best lack of ventilation in an overcrowded coop, and at worst, horrid management. Given the fact that she is underweight, there may be other disease factors involved.
 

lorenlouise08

Chirping
Oct 1, 2015
35
30
64
We don’t have very cold winters here usually. We did go through a very cold spell, but that was before I owned them. Yes I am assuming their coop was kept too wet in the condition it was in when I got them. From what I could tell, she is the only one that has this. She has only became thin like this since it happened. But when I first got her, she was active like the rest of them. Since I’ve had them, it hasn’t been cold enough to cause frostbite, or I wouldn’t think so at least. But I guess it wouldn’t take too much since their feet are so exposed. Their roosts are wide enough.

I know when I got them, the coop was ridiculous. I was disappointed as they were from a friend of mine. They were using straw in a coop, and they were kept in this coop all but one hour of the day. when I was able to give it a good cleaning, I scooped everything out, sprayed it with vinegar water, put DE and some coop dry stuff I bought, and used pine shavings instead.

Unfortunately I don’t have a way to quarantine them. I did keep them separate for a few days, but they were kept in that coop the whole time.

The rest of the flock looks very healthy with good combs. I will look into de worming them.
 

lorenlouise08

Chirping
Oct 1, 2015
35
30
64
Personally, if she were in my flock I'd cull her and chalk it up to a lesson learned: why it's important to keep a closed flock. Such an outward appearance that points to very poor flock management would lead you to wonder what internal issues you will also be seeing in these birds. A bird that has both feet so severely compromised by frost bite has been in what I can only assume are at best lack of ventilation in an overcrowded coop, and at worst, horrid management. Given the fact that she is underweight, there may be other disease factors involved.

I understand. But she wasn’t this underweight when I got her. I think the frostbite was there, but I didn’t notice because I didn’t know to look. She gradually starting staying in the coop, not moving much. That’s when I noticed her feet.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom