Limping Mites? Early Bumblefoot? Honey as a treatment?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Therr, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    Sep 29, 2016
    I have a New Hamsphire who hasn't laid for about 3 weeks. This corresponded with the the temperature change (and time change) So I have assumed it to be a seasonal adjustment.

    However, I have noticed that she is limping/favoring one leg. She is still active and eating, other than the limp and not laying she seems normal. On the lame leg, it appears a bit scaly. Upon inspection, I do not see any signs of bumblefoot (no swelling and no round "core"), but I lost a chicken due to a late diagnosed Bumblefoot earlier this year...so I am not exactly an expert on issues affecting the feet.

    Something that has simultaneously occurred is that the one or more of the chickens have been removing all of the straw from the nesting box, taking it down to the wood floor. This has been happening since about the same time my New Hampshire stopped laying. My 3 others are about just about 9 months old and haven't started to lay yet. I don't know which hen is clearing out the straw.

    I have given her fresh garlic as well as liberally applied honey on her leg as I have read garlic is good for general health as well as bumble foot. My QUESTIONS ARE:

    1) Will Honey suffocate mites if that is the problem?
    2) Is honey really all that effective with treating bumblefoot?
    3) Is there a way to more easily identify the ailment?
    4) I have read that petroleum jelly is good for mites, but what about for Bumblefoot?
    5) I plan to star washing her leg once a day in an epsom salt bath, but should I apply honey or petroleum jelly after the bath?
    6) Is there some other alternative to treating this?

    Some details:
    1) I have a fairly liberal amount of DE in the coop.

    2) I have search for and not been successful in finding any sharp objects which would cut her foot. Although there could be something out there as I usually let them free range in the yard every weekend and during the week if I am home.

    3) I really do not have a human way to isolate her from the others. The other hens are not picking on her and they seem to be interacting as normal.

    I will try to post a picture,, but appreciate any advice.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    Photos will be helpful.

    For scaly leg mites, wash the legs/feet in warm soapy water and gently scrub with a soft brush to help soften the scales and remove mite debris. Dry the legs/feet well. Apply vaseline, coconut oil or A+D ointment to the legs, this will help smother the mites. Re-Apply your chosen oil/ointment to the legs several times a week for at least a couple of weeks. If there is still evidence of mites after a couple of weeks, then repeat.

    As for the honey, it may smother the mites. Honey does have healing properties, by I can't comment on the effectiveness on SLM, I have never tried it.

    Bumblefoot is where an infection (staph) enters the foot through minute cuts/scrapes. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may get by with just soaking the feet to see if it will help. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the core, the foot would be wrapped with antibiotic ointment. You could try honey to see if it works. It does seem to help with cuts/wounds, but how effective on something already infected would have to be seen.

    For your hen that is removing nesting material, that is a normal behavior. Hens scratch and move bedding and nesting materials all the time. She may be planning on make a nest or is just keeping herself busy.

    Here's more info on SLM and Bumblefoot:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/scaly-leg-mites-in-chickens.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/07/bumblefoot-causes-treatment-warning.html
     
  3. Therr

    Therr Just Hatched

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    Sep 29, 2016
    So I found my New Hampshire dead today. Yesterday she was foraging in the yard, she still was limping but using both her legs. My wife hear a clattering this morning and when I went out to check on the chickens, my NH was lying dead at the bottom of the coop ramp. It looks like she just collapsed. The other chickens stay away from her. I've never seen them attack her. I inspected her and there were no signs of an attack. Her leg looked ok. Her feathers seemed fine and I did not find any external evidence of any problems, including to see if she was egg bound...nada.

    Has anyone had a hen just collapse and die? I am wondering if it was old age (no idea how old she was) or gout as those seem to be about the only things that I can find when searching online. I am hoping it was just nature that took her and not owner error.

    I've inspected my other birds and they all seem physically OK, acting normally and no signs of trauma or issues to their bodies. I completely cleaned out the coop today as well. I plan to keep a close eye on the others, but has anyone experienced this?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It happens. But, seeing as she stopped laying and was limping, it would be a learning experience if you'd open her up and examine her internal structures to see if you could isolate any obvious problems. How old was she?
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Unfortunately without a necropsy there is no way to determine cause of death.
     

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