My chicken's foot is swollen and has a bubble on it

Marcie

Hatching
11 Years
Jul 4, 2008
4
0
7
I just found three of my white laying hens either have a bottom of their foot swollen or one has a bubble on the top. Wondered since I let them out each day if they got a sticker in their foot? Should I pop that bubble and iodine on it? Not sure what to do?
 

Jenski

Songster
11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
2,177
18
181
Middle Tennessee
Where are they perching? Does the perch or roost have sharp edges or anything else that might cut or bruise their feet?

Are you able to check the bottom of the foot? Is there a plug of goop, or even an open sore/wound under there?

Can you post a pic?
 

Paula Bard

Hatching
11 Years
Dec 30, 2008
1
0
6
Morrison, CO
We have a chicken with a similar problem. She has a swollen foot and a large bubble or abscess on top of her foot between her toes. I brought her in several days ago and soaked her foot in warm water with epsom salts, picked off all the dirt, etc. Didn't seem to make much difference. Wondered if we should keep soaking it, and separate her so it doesn't pop open and risk the other hens going after her before we can catch it? Should we try to open the abscess and keep iodine on it? Can I bandage it if it opens and keep her separate in a dog carrier in the house for a few days. She is our oldest chicken, probably about 4.
Thanks for any thoughts!!!
 

mypicklebird

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
1,234
15
151
Sonoma Co, CA
Quote:the description fits with 'bumble foot' which is a bacterial infection of the foot, typically from injury. With 3 affected birds, you need to carefully examine their perches, coop area and range area for sharp objects that could be poking them.

For the affected birds- do a site search for 'bumble foot' home treatments are well described. If you are not a 'do it your selfer'- (you do need to be aggressive about treating- simple soaking/picking/squeezing will not help much), then bring them to a vet that will see birds. If you leave it alone, the infection will be a continued source of pain and stress, and eventually may kill them. Antibiotics- appropriate systemic are generally needed (ie not tetracycline) , though sometimes you can get away with packing & wrapping the cleaned wound and keeping them in clean hay until healed. Systemic antibiotic use in layers brings up the off label issue, which is another topic, but one you should think about nonetheless.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,648
12,160
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
the description fits with 'bumble foot' which is a bacterial infection of the foot, typically from injury. With 3 affected birds, you need to carefully examine their perches, coop area and range area for sharp objects that could be poking them.

All true. The problem is that if your birds freerange over acreage, you cannot sanitize and sand that. Bumblefoot can go systemic if the infection isn't contained, but it will most likely return. The search feature is great for finding how to deal with it. I'd write it out, but my carpal tunnel is bad today.​
 

mypicklebird

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
1,234
15
151
Sonoma Co, CA
Quote:All true. The problem is that if your birds freerange over acreage, you cannot sanitize and sand that. Bumblefoot can go systemic if the infection isn't contained, but it will most likely return. The search feature is great for finding how to deal with it. I'd write it out, but my carpal tunnel is bad today.

I would clarify- I am not implying to sanitize and sand, but walk around and look for likely culprits. We have 40+ birds free ranging on 2 acres around a barn, including a big wood pile & concrete pile- we have our fair share of tapeworms, roundworms, lice and hawk & dog attacks- but no bumble foot. What we do not have is pokey perches, nails in the woodpile, rusty car parts sticking out of the ground ect.

Common culprits for bumble foot are nails or sharp object on perches or coop ladders. Sharp objects under where chickens jump down off of high places. Chickens playing on junk piles ect. Check the spots they spend time in and under where they jump down. Pick up nails, barbed wire on the ground, change perches if not appropriate, pad under the perches, lower them if you have heavy birds and they land hard. ect
Fill in low spots in the chicken yard if there is much mud and standing water.


Chicken feet are pretty tough- as well as very flexible- they can handle rough surfaces, but they can be punctured with sharp objects as well as get damaged by consistent pressure from a semi sharp object such as the edge of a too small square perch. Even a round perch that is too small can predispose them to bumble foot. Caged parrot type birds can get bumble foot too- from perches that are the wrong size for their feet.

2x4s make great perches for chickens, flat side to the chicken foot, with the edges sanded down.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,648
12,160
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
I understood what you were saying, picklebird. I just meant that if they freerange over wooded areas, they will get bumblefoot again, even if it clears up completely.

Yes, always make sure that the coop and pens are safe, soft and smooth on the surfaces. I do this frequently, re-sand the roosts, etc. And if they would stay in the pens, they probably wouldnt get it. My problem where I live is that the previous owners had numerous small burn piles. After six years of picking up glass, nails and bullet casings, every storm brings more broken glass to the surface. It's neverending!
 

bigcomb

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 19, 2010
6
0
7
nova scotia
use a one inch pipe and cover it with foam insulation used to insulate water pipes. its nice and soft on their feet. it makes a great perch
 
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KLASSIKARS

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 14, 2014
1
1
6
This is pretty common, the "bubble can split open and become quite painful... No need to rush off to the vet for expensive treatment. Simply make application of Iodine or Merthiolate at least twice a day for the affected bird. Will clear up with this treatment in a hurry. You don't need to apply a bandage, just swab it on good and heavy.

A bird with a split open foot ball, you might want to keep confined in a box or cage until you see improvement.

I received this advice over 50 years ago from the company vet at Superior Mills here in Oklahoma City and it works every time. It seems I have seen this more in heavy birds, and roosters that like to get up on a high place to crow then jump down, than anywhere else over the years. And have seen it even less in birds that are not confined to fenced in coops or runs.

Keeping perches clean would be a plus, and frequent cleaning of pens and litter is always necessary. We always used sawdust in our coops to help absorb manure.
 

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