Swollen Toes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Easter Chicks, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2015
    I'll post pictures later, but one of my ameraucana hens, Penny, recently started limping. I thought it was because she propelled herself through the snow and hit the stairs but then recently, her toes have gone a white colour and started swelling. I don't think it's bumblefoot; she doesn't have sores or anything, though I'll have to look into it more closely. If you have any idea of what this could be, it'd be very helpful. Like I said, I'll post photos as soon as possible. I lost one my boys last winter to an injured leg and I don't want to lose my precious girl this winter, too. She was just born this Spring.
    Also, I think they've all been molting.
     
  2. lovelyduckling

    lovelyduckling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It could be frostbite, although I've only seen pictures of frostbite in ducks and their feet/toes turned black. I assumed it was this because you said there was snow. She could have sprang something as well. Good luck!
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    A photo would be helpful. Without one, we can only be guessing.

    I guess your chicken has frostbite, though. Here is an article that helps you learn about and treat frostbite. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/12/frostbit-in-backyard-chickens-causes.html

    Frostbite on feet often occurs when the watering system permits water to drip onto feet as the chicken drinks. This needs to be corrected if it's happening.
     
  4. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, guys. Thank for for your input! I didn't think it was frostbite because I've never seen it on chickens' feet before, only wattles and comb. But, it has been an odd winter with it freezing, thawing, freezing, thawing. It's not unlikely that their feet were soaked and then froze. They have very mild frostbite on the combs, as well. Here are some photos.

    Here is my little Penny.
    [​IMG]

    These are her feet. Sorry, best photos I can take at the moment because by the time I get home from school, they're all going to sleep, haha.

    [​IMG]

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    This is the foot of another one of my hens. She seems to have a tiny bit of swelling on her left foot on the toe.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Poor babies. Those toes look painful. Are they limping when they walk? Have you corrected the dripping water situation? Usually, simply walking and digging in snow won't cause frostbite. It usually requires feet to get wet and then the water freezes, which freezes the wet tissue.

    Depending on the type of waterer you use, if you can minimize the size of the drinking basin so wattles do not dip into the water, wattles can be spared. If you use nipple waterers, by installing a drip pan under the nipples to catch drips before they drip onto the ground or onto chicken toes, feet can be spared. I screwed a plastic ice cube tray ten inches below the nipples on the water tank. I has completely solved the drip problem. Feet stay dry.

    Bag Balm smeared onto large combs when you anticipate single digit nights and days, combs can be spared. Also good air circulation in the coop at night is a must if you aren't to have dangerous levels of humidity which condenses on combs causing frostbite.
     
  6. Easter Chicks

    Easter Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know, poor thing. :( She started limping a couple weeks ago but her toes only started swelling this week. I think the main problem is that there was a bunch of snow and then it all melted, leaving a large puddle in the run. It's been humid out when it's warm because everything is meting and then it gets cold again. We use water nipples during the summer, but right now, we have an old feeder with a heater inside. It has a tube for the food and a trough all around and we've filled it with water. It's extremely difficult to keep water from freezing, haha. We used nipples last year and the waterer cracked. This is the best set up we've had so far where the water remains liquid. I wonder if that is the problem, or again, if it's the flooding, which is what I'm thinking. I'll have to look into it this weekend though. I've never heard of bag balm before, I'll have to look into it. It's negative double digits on the Celsius scale here most nights. Will this work for feet, too? We were thinking of putting Penny in the garage until her toes heal.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You do need to protect injured tissue from re-freezing. Once damaged, it's more prone to being frozen again. Bag Balm has lanolin in it which penetrates deep into tissue instead of simply coating the surface. Yes, it should work on feet, too. But it needs to be re-applied each day as long as the temps plunge below freezing.

    You can get Bag Balm at pharmacies and at feed stores. It works great on people. Solved the chapped, cracked winter skin on hands. Great stuff. Comes in an old fashioned looking green square tin.

    Any standing water is going to be a danger to chicken feet. Best to solve that issue before more feet get damaged. Chickens can easily lose their feet, yes both of them, to frost bite.
     

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