Hen with tender scale-less feet


Dec 3, 2015
I have a Buff Orphington that I've had for about a year now (i think she's about 4 ish) and I'm concerned for her feet. When I first got her I noticed that her toes (especially between them), the backs of her feet and parts of the bottoms of her feet didn't seem to have scales and seemed a little pink and sore. Especially if its cold or wet out she frequently lifts one or the other foot, flexes it and holds it tucked into her feathers for a moment, switches feet and then keeps walking. I assumed this was either from the poor nutrition or wire bottomed shelter she had at her last home and figured it would heal. I was wrong I guess. None of my other birds, including one from her same flock have this problem or exhibit this behavior. Is arthritis a thing in chickens? I can't seem to find any one else who has had this problem.

I will try to get a picture a little later when the rain lets up.


Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
Placerville, California, USA
The only time I've heard of a bird lacking scales on the feet is due to the Scaleless gene. The Scaleless gene is recessive. In it's homozygous form it results in a completely naked (or naked with a few feathers here and there) bird and in it's heterozygous form it can result in either a bird who appears normal or lacks some scales on its legs. If your bird does truly have Sc, you have a very rare animal on your hands. You may want to speak to Kev or Kassaundra on here, they are the resident scaleless experts.

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