Is this bumblefoot? And is my vet treating it right?


5 Years
Jun 2, 2014
One of my girls definitely has bumblefoot and went to the vet yesterday. I check all their feet regularly, but missed the fact that another one of my chickens (a barred rock) had round black scabs on her toes (instead of where I expected the scabs to be). I washed her feet and cleaned the scab with chlorhexidine solution (which the vet gave me). This is what it looked like after cleaning:

She's got the scab in the same place on both feet. I'm also really concerned about the redness along the inside of her legs.

Is that a sign of the infection spreading? Should she be on antibiotics?

Part two of my question is about how the vet said to deal with bumblefoot. I have seen the tutorials for treating bumblefoot which require cutting out the scab, removing infected tissue, and bandaging the foot. I didn't want to do it, so I went to an avian vet. She just cleaned the scabs really well (removing scab tissue until it was all pink) and then told me to do the same every day with the chlorhexidine every day for a week. She said that since the bumblefoot was minor, it didn't require more than that. And she said not to bandage it at all. (she said bandaging would make it take longer to heal, because wounds need air to heal. But I know that's a myth when it comes to injuries on humans, so I'm not sure why it would be true of chickens).

There are two other avian vets in my area, one of whom is out of town for a couple of weeks. Should I talk to the other vets and see how they would handle the bumblefoot? Does just cleaning the scab areas really well work when you catch the bumblefoot early?


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Many chickens have that red streaking which can be a sign of fertility. Examine your other chickens, and if they are breeds with lighter colored legs, they may have it too. The bumblefoot doesn't look too serious. I would follow your vet's advice. Many people use epsom salt warm soaks to the feet also.

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