Hi all! Newbie here and desperately seeking advice re: what appears to be mild cases of bumblefoot in my flock of 5. I have of course gone through the bumblefoot threads and let me just say, it was terrifying! I need to know if I am handling this correctly because I don't know if I am equipped to perform the bumblefoot surgery!!! I apologize for the length of this! I have a small flock of 5 hens--3 English Orpingtons (2 are between 9 months - 1year old and 1 is approximately 2.5 years old) and 2 Ameraucanas (between 9 months - 1 year old). The Orpingtons are big girls--with the heaviest being 8.5 lbs and the lightest 7 lbs. The Ameraucanas are between 3-5 lbs. NO ONE has shown any signs of lameness or pain but ALL (with the exception of one who was already treated for bumblefoot) have black scabs on the bottoms of their feet. The way I discovered the bumblefoot was when the oldest, heaviest girl (Julia) was at the vet (egg yolk peritonitis is suspected, but after a Luprin shot, 3 weeks of antibiotics, and 2 weeks of MetaCam, she is laying regularly and seems back to normal, fingers crossed!) and I noticed a black scab on the sole of one foot when the tech was holding her for her shot. At the direction of the vet, I soaked Julia's foot multiple times (she was in and out of my basement "chicken hospital" for 3 weeks), washed her feet with dilute chlorhexidine solution, picked the black scab off, applied silvadene cream, and bandaged her foot. I went thru this process about 6 times. After about 2 weeks, I pulled off the scab again and there was healthy skin underneath. That was about a month ago and her feet are still scab free. Now...the other day I noticed one of the other girls has a black scab. I started looking at EVERYONE and found out that they ALL (except for Julia) have some degree of this condition, with the heavy girls being worse than the lighter ones. The obvious conclusion here is that something in their coop or run is causing this. However, I can't figure out WHAT. They have a brand new elevated coop that is 4x5 feet, bedded with about 4 inches of hemp bedding. I scoop the poop every morning and change the bedding once a month. Their roost is a 5 ft long flat board about 7 inches wide, approximately 23 inches from the floor of the coop. The nest boxes are 12 inches tall and under one side of the roost. In the morning, I hear most of them jumping directly from the roost to the floor with a thump, although some of the heavier ones use the nest box as a ladder when getting on the roost for bed. They have a ramp leading from the coop to the run and most of them do use the ramp but then jump to the ground from about 1.5 ft up. They have a secure run attached to the coop, 5ft x 12ft with a dirt floor. I use chopped straw in the run and scoop poop multiple times a day and change it all out about once a month or if it gets wet. The run has a roof over it and I use drop cloths on the walls of the run when needed as storm/rain protection, so the bedding stays reasonably dry. I let them out to free range about two hours every day. They love digging around bushes, trees, and in the compost pile. I have a bad hawk problem here so I have to be out there at all times with them. I'm constructing a temporary fence (since I'm in a rental situation here) that will enclose their coop/run and give them about 1250 sq ft of space with aviary netting over it, so they can get more time out of their run during the day. At night they are safely locked in their coop. Just today, after finding the black scabs, I took the other two Orpingtons, soaked their feet, used chlorhexidine, pulled the scabs off one of them (she seems to be the worst--I used an Exacto knife blade to excise one of the scabs and some hardened tissue), applied silvadene, and bandaged. I'll probably do the Ameraucanas tomorrow but I can tell by looking at the scabs, they can't be pulled off as they are just circular flat black patches. Ok, now here's a twist. I moved to a new state last fall and while I was moving the woman I bought my chickens from kept everyone for me because I didn't have a coop at my new place. Once I got here, it took the guy I hired forever to build it too. My girls were at this other place for 4 months. I was in Kentucky and they were in Virginia. They got a lot more freer range time there and I don't know what type of roost they were using or how high it was. Questions: Is it possible that this condition started while they were at my friend's place, due to a high roost or some other factor (I hate to speculate, but possibly less sanitary accommodations than what I provide here) and is just progressing very slowly? How quickly does bumblefoot normally progress? I have had them in their current set up for 3 months. Is there anything about my current set up that I need to change? I'm planning to make the nest boxes external, leaving more space in the coop, and I can re-do the roost and make it 18 inches from the floor. I also have some thick gym type mats that I was planning to put under the bedding but never got around to doing. I was also considering sand for the coop and run but haven't taken the plunge--we'll be moving when our new house is done in about 9 months and I don't want to deal with tons of sand in the back yard here when I move out. Do I need to take them to the vet for anything, or since I have the silvadene and chlorhexidine, try that first and see if there is any improvement? Again, no one is limping or showing signs of pain (although I know they can be stoic). They all run around the yard like crazy, scratch for bugs and worms, etc. Lastly, I did recently put them on a diet and cut back on the treats. I thought possibly obesity was a factor but the skinny girls have it too! They eat New Country Organic Layer feed, mealworms, fresh veggies and fruit, a handful of scratch (when it was colder), and whatever bugs and worms they find. Could any of this be a problem and causing the bumblefoot? Ok. Thanks for taking the time to read this! I would really appreciate any advice or maybe just reassurance that anyone is willing to provide. Who knew chickens could be so complicated?!?!