My chickens toe is falling off....


6 Years
Jun 25, 2013

I rescued 3 Golden Comet's from a poultry farm a few months ago. The back toe on one of my hens appears to have a build up of food, mud or droppings on it so I tried soaking her foot in some water to soften it up so it would fall off. I soon noticed that her back toe is only connected by a thread. All of her other toes appear to be fine. Her legs and feet seem awfully dry & scaly as well. I clean their coop once a week and I rake away their droppings several times a day. Does anyone have any suggestions? What can I do for her dry, scaly feet/legs? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

It sounds like she has scaly leg mites, which would explain the dead toe because that can happen in extreme cases. They can even lose the whole foot! Luckily it's an easy cure. Just slather her legs up with Vaseline each day for a week or so, longer if necessary, and the mites with suffocate and die. You may want to do this for all the hens because leg mites are very easy to spread. You might also want to replace the roost, just in case. The toe there's really nothing you can do about. It's dead and eventually it will fall off, or if she doesn't appear to have any feeling in it you can speed up the process for her and cut the little bit still left.

Thank you so much for rescuing this poor hen and giving her a chance to lead the good life!
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Thank you so much for your reply! I will start doing this immediately! I love my girls and want them to be happy!
Hi Hatchaholic,

As you've suggested, I've completely hosed down their roost, changed the bedding, clipped off the toe and slathered up all their legs with vaseline. In one application, the dry, scaly build-up is falling off. The skin underneath is pink and slightly bleeding (nothing major at all); however, two of them appear to be in slight pain. I've applied more vaseline today. Do you have any other suggestions? I appreciate your help. I'm rather new at this and I'm learning along the way.

Yeah, the old, dried up scales will fall off during this. Sounds like it's working! The other thing I can recommend is using Ivomec on them. You can buy it at TSC under the name Eprinex. It's a cattle wormer, but it also works on chickens in the proper dosage. It'll worm them and kill the mites all in one. It's also nice because it's one of the safest wormers and doesn't have any egg withdrawal time. It's a little expensive though just to warn you.
Thank you, Hatchaholic!

The dry, scaly skin is still falling off. Their skin underneath appears to be very sensitive as they appear to be in pain. I feel so bad for them! Can I use neosporin or anything similar to that? I've also contacted TSC for the Eprinex. They have a 250ml for $39.99 which is not bad; however, they wouldn't offer any advice on how to use it being that it's for cattle. Can you let me know how it would be used and what the proper dosage would be?

Yep, the proper dosage is 1/2 cc for standard sized chickens, which is what you have. You use a syringe with no needle to put it on the back on their necks under the feathers. Do it the first time and then one more time ten days later. You can use neosporin on them; just be sure you get the kind without pain relief as the kind with pain relief is toxic to them.
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I wasn't able to purchase the Eprinex. There isn't a local TSC to where I live and when I attempted to purchase it online, they said that it can only be purchased in the store. I tried to purchase it elsewhere and they required a RX prescription.

Thanks, again, for your help. I'm going to purchase that now.

One of my chickens, not the one whose toe fell off, died today. They seemed to be doing well. I sure hope that I didn't do anything to make her die. So sad.

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