missing toes!

lawatt

Songster
7 Years
Jul 7, 2012
2,345
95
206
sonoma county
hoping someone who follows this forum might be able to lend some insight -- i noticed this afternoon that several of my three-month-old chicks in a grow-out pen together are limping -- upon closer inspection, several of them are missing toes! an isbar cockerel is missing most of a middle toe, one isbar pullet is fine but the other is the worst off with two entire toes missing, and clearly having trouble putting weight on that foot (although not "acting sick," she's hopping around eating and etc.), then one marans is missing both back toes, and the other marans seems to have intact feet but is limping.

they do not look red or raw, but are more black-looking and clearly uncomfortable -- almost like frostbite, but there's no possibility of that (i'm in northern CA and our only below-freezing temps were way back in december). the five of them all get along great, so i can't imagine anyone's ganging up on each other -- and the pen they live in is made entirely of hardware cloth, with an enclosed henhouse, and no sign of any predators breaking in, nor droppings from rodents or etc. they roost up near the top of their pen, and i can't see how anything could reach them there if it wasn't already IN the pen? and the pen is one of several that are all attached as one structure, and no chickens in any of the other pens seem to be having any trouble.

this is so disturbing -- I can't imagine what's causing it, and I don't know what to do for the birds -- i don't have an empty pen to move them to, nor am I sure how to treat their feet, or just leave them alone & hope they heal? argh, hate feeling so helpless/clueless!

thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,840
41,233
1,202
southern Ohio
Frostbite or rats biting them are the thoughts I had. Could you post some close-up pictures? Are you positive they couldn't have gotten toes wet before a brief freeze at night?
 

lawatt

Songster
7 Years
Jul 7, 2012
2,345
95
206
sonoma county
Frostbite or rats biting them are the thoughts I had. Could you post some close-up pictures? Are you positive they couldn't have gotten toes wet before a brief freeze at night?
like i said, it hasn't been anywhere near freezing in months, and they're only three months old -- no way it's frostbite, that's just what it looks like.

rodents do seem to be the most likely culprit, but i can't see any sign of them, nor any way in -- although i will keep looking. i've moved the five to a different pen for the night, at least, and sprayed their poor feet with Vetericyn -- i've bothered them so much now, don't want to bother them further by taking photos, but will try tomorrow morning.
 
Top Bottom