Marans Feathered Feet Causing Irritation

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Viollettt, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Viollettt

    Viollettt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2013
    West Central Georgia
    I have a blue copper marans rooster that is 28 weeks old. He has the feathers that go all along his leg and outside toe. I noticed him very slightly limping a couple of days ago. I had to really watch him to see if he was really limping. Then the next day I was watching him and he was limping a little more. When I checked his feet I noticed that in a couple of places on each foot where the feathers are coming in his feet are red and irritated looking. These are really small spots right where he has what appears to be new feathers growing. One foot is a little worse than the other but they both have the spots in the same places. He roosts with all the other chickens on 2x4s that are laid so they roost on the wide side. He's still working things out so he seldom roosts in exactly the same spot. They have a run with leaves on the ground and they also free range in my yard. There doesn't seem to be anything in his environment that could be causing the problem. It's more like the action of the feathers growing is causing it. He does have a lot of feathers on his feet with apparently more new ones coming in now. I brought him inside and soaked his feet and after drying him I put a little neosporin on the red spots. Since it was going to be record setting cold here I also decided to wrap his two toes that are feathered and leg to help hold it on there loosely with gauze and then a little tape to keep it on him. He was still limping afterward but I felt better that I had cleaned them and covered them against the cold. He's still limping this morning. I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing for him. Can someone give me some pointers on what might be happening and how to fix it? I'm also worried that the gauze wrapping might be making it worse because of the feathers having to be held in with the wrapping. I didn't do them tight at all but just enough to keep it on him.

    Thanks!
     
  2. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2011
    Virginia
    I have some feather-legged Marans and have noticed that in damp weather, they tend to collect little mud balls in the toe feathers. I think you did the right thing by cleaning the area and applying a little Neosporin (it can't hurt). The one thing I'd suggest is that rather than using gauze which would unravel and become a possible circulation hazard, get a cheap tub of petroleum jelly and apply it to the legs and toes if you're worried that the feathers might be holding ice or something close to the skin. People put petroleum jelly on combs and wattles to prevent frostbite damage so I could see a protective layer on the feet being helpful, too, especially if it helps potentially-inflamed skin to stay smooth.
     
  3. Viollettt

    Viollettt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2013
    West Central Georgia
    Thanks! I've got the gauze so it cannot move. I used some athlete tape over it. I used the gauze to keep the tape from sticking to him. He seems to actually like his little toe shoes. He's stopped limping since this morning. It hasn't seemed to stop him from doing his rooster duties.

    I'm still looking for the cause of his feet being red and a little irritated around a couple of the new feather shafts. Is this common? Can his leg and feet feathers be trimmed or removed? Not all of them. Just the ones that are causing a problem. Has anyone else had this problem?
     

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