poor listless cochin hens with oddly white, puffy feet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cochingirl, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. cochingirl

    cochingirl Hatching

    Aug 10, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Could anyone venture a guess as to what's wrong with two of my hens? I have a flock of 6 Cochins and 5 Ameraucanas. Everyone else seems fine but I noticed two of the Cochins were hesitant to exit the coop into the yard this morning and seemed to be very uncomfortable walking... they'd rather just sit on the ground in the shade than run around iwth the others. Also feet look very strange- normally are yellow and smooth, now are white, puffy, somewhat scaly. No marks on combs or faces, though.

    I put them back in the coop so they could be alone and rest. I did get them to eat a hard boiled egg and some watermelon- haven't seen them drink yet. Not interested in scratch or regular feed.

    I'm worried- these are family pets.

    Again, any suggestions? Could it be avian pox? We have a lot of mosquitos right now, plus doves, quail, finches at feeders in the same yard.
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA

    Scaly leg mites cause thickened & grayish material on the legs. It does not suddenly pop up though- they gradually get like that. The scales will look lifted up, there is material underneath them, and the scales get thickened.

    The birds will be painful and can limp in severe cases.

    If they have scaly leg mites, they may have other parasites, both inside and out that may explain the listlessness. Scaly leg mite is more of a cosmetic and chicken annoyance than a life threatening problem. Do you inspect them for lice/mites regularly? How are their feces/poop? Do they have full crops? Have they lost weight/have thin keels? Get to know what your birds feel & look like in health, so you will recognize subtle signs of illness before it gets bad. A chicken that does not want scratch is a sick chicken. Can you take either or both to a vet?

  3. cochingirl

    cochingirl Hatching

    Aug 10, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    I do inspect their feathers and have never seen mites or other parasites on them- don't see any now either. I hadn't noticed these birds being listless before today. Nothing wrong w/vent. I really hadn't noticed their legs but guess I wasn't looking closely at their legs- just feathers and combs, occasionally the vent.

    Birds have not lost weight. Poop appears normal.

    Right now I'm at work but when I get home will try looking more closely at their legs.

    Guess I'll try our cat's vet tomorrow- don't know if they do chickens. Nobody lists chickens.

    thanks for the post!
  4. There's a problem called "bumblefoot". Basically that involves swollen, painful feet (they are full of puss and/or tissues are full of fluid due to infection).

    It is caused when a splinter or sharp object hurts the feet, usually. Sometimes hopping off a tall roost can cause it in heavy breeds, I've heard.

    Bumblefoot requires vet care, I think. It would explain their not wanting to walk.

    The scaly leg mite might be possible since they are feather legged- you might have just missed it developing, since its harder to get a look at the legs and feet.

    I hope this helps. If you do a search about those two conditions it might help you figure out what is going on.

    Warm wishes,

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