Opinions Needed - Bumblefoot Surgery?


Dec 27, 2016
Millers, MD
Hi, I'm looking for some advice/opinions on my rooster's bumblefoot. I've been fighting this for almost 2 months now. I've used lots of the common methods including epsom salt soaks, drawing salve, topical antibiotics in the abcess hole, and even baytril from my vet. Over the past weeks I've pulled off the scab and gotten a long kernel out, massaged a big kernel out of the top of the foot (between toes) and last week I pulled off a newly formed black scab with another plug attached. But his foot is still swollen and still producing lots of pus. This is what it looked like tonight:

I soaked, then massaged and even squeezed and still got pus. I decided to try cutting around the edges with a scalpel but my hands were shaking so badly I didn't cut very deeply at all.


What I'm wondering is - do you think this does require cutting, and if so, how deeply do I actually cut? I'll have my other half hold him this time if I do have to cut more. I've had chickens for a number of years but this is my first case of bumblefoot, and it's a bird that I'm very attached to. I'm honestly not sure that I know what I'm looking at or that I'm doing the right things. Oh, and he's still acting like himself, eating well, even running after his hens. Thanks for any advice!


Free Ranging
6 Years
Jan 2, 2016
Westminster sc
I agree if you don't get all the pus and infection out your not going to do him any good. Cut a 3/8" or 1/4" slit first, then clean and apply antibiotic ointment and bandage him with some gauze. Put him in a keep pen so he has less room and is less active. He will heal faster. Change bandage every day for first 4 or 5days and keep us updated

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
Caliente Nevada
Just a reminder chicken pus is so different if you’ve never delt with it. It’s hard like hard cheese so you want to remove “the core” it will be like a plug. It will leave a hole. Kinda like a huge white head would, make sense?
After it’s removed keep some triple antibiotic ointment on it and wrap it with vet wrap. Or a nonstick pad...cut small to fit under some nonstick wrap.


Dec 27, 2016
Millers, MD
Thanks, everyone, for your input! I would 100% prefer to leave this to my vet. I'm going to check in with him in the morning to see what he says. But he's usually swamped so I'm also going to prepare to have to do it myself. It sounds like there probably is more infection in his foot so regardless of who does it, someone needs to cut and clean out the foot the rest of the way. I'll let you know how it goes. This guy is a big, beautiful Swedish Flower Hen roo who is sweet as pie. The hens love him as much as I do!


May 28, 2017
Gotta say those are some of the BEST pictures anyone’s posted when they have a problem. Keep soaking and get it good and soft before you cut. You’re doing great. Keep us posted.
I agree, but I don't blame the people whose pictures aren't as great... chickens are hard to take pictures of in general especially when you have to hold them in a specific position!

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