Swollen feet and feather loss

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TMDavis, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. TMDavis

    TMDavis New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2015
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    Hello all,

    New to backyard chickens and starting off with an unfortunate post!

    Last week I looked on craigslist for chickens nearing laying age, I found a woman with four hens and went to her house to look at them. I ended up buying them out of pity, because she had them in terrible conditions. Tiny cage, corn only and no run. They are reported 8 months, and have never laid.

    I am feeding them Layena, Oyster shells and they've had a little beef liver. Moving their coop/run around the yard every two days for fresh grass. Constant fresh water with a little bit of apple cider vinegar mixed in. They've also had a little bit of yogurt.

    This chicken appeared healthy when I got her home, but today she didn't come down from the coop into the run until around 9 or 10 AM. Her feet are terribly swollen and she has lost the feathers on her underside (pictures above). I noticed feathers in the run yesterday, but chalked it up to pecking. After the photos I rinsed her feet in epsom salt water, and the dark matter which I believe is mud or poop, and her normal skin came off some. She did not have bumble foot when I got her.

    Another chicken was having trouble walking and standing still, and has a bald patch on her back, but has since improved and is walking fine. The two others are both bald near their vents.

    They mostly sleep crowded around the nest box, but have seen all of them on the roost at certain points.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. TMDavis

    TMDavis New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Also if it matters, she seemed to enjoy the warm water foot bath, didn't seem to be in pain from it.
     
  3. TMDavis

    TMDavis New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Any help?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Thank you for helping these poor chickens. The feet and feather loss look to be from lying in filthy conditions of droppings and damp litter, confined to a cage. They could have some staph infection in the feet or foot pad dermatitis. The epsom salt foot baths are very good. Other conditions that can cause swollen feet are gout and mycoplasma synovitis (MS.) MS is a respiratory disease that affects the joints, and is treated with Tylan 50 or chlortetracycline. Since you don't know exactly what it is yet, I would continue what you are doing to see if the swelling goes down. A vet visit might be good if you need to get one tested for MS. Vitamins in the food or water may also help.
     

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