Update: It's FROSTBITE! Was:Toe nearly ripped off--what should I do?


9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
Wilds of Montana
Long story short, I noticed one of my pullets in the corner of the pen. She wasn't eating, so I went and took a look. Seems she somehow cut open her middle toe and cut through the bone (wince). It looks nasty and I'm wondering if I can rehab that or if I should just put her down. There's bound to be infection.

What should I do to fix this?

I moved her to the "bunny prison" which has been made a chicken infirmary.
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can we have a picture, please? So many traumas are rehabilitatable...especially in chickens. I would clean her up really really well, put her on a clean, dry towel, and use idoine on the wound. If it is too bad, you may consider amputation...but I would wait a while for that...can you bandage it up at a natural angle?
Today I went to look over the pullet's feet and they looked awful. It took me close inspection to realize that the toes were DEAD.
She has frostibite.

She must've gotten frostbite during that really nasty cold snap, but none of the other chickens seem affected.
Still, I figure it's good to fix her problem,

I ended up amputating four toes
and cleaned up the legs with antiseptic and applied blue-kote to the stump. I'll be adding antibiotic to the sick pen's water again and already she's moving about and eating. She has one frostbitten toe that needs to come off, but there's enough live tissue to make the amputation potentially painful. I will take that toe off when I need to.

Has anyone had a chicken lose so many toes? Can she continue to live a good life?
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I have a RIR (named Stumpy) that apparently had a bad case of frostbite somewhere in her past. She was amongst my very first group of chickens that I bought (pig in a poke kind of deal). She looks bad, the ends of every toe are missing, and when the weather get really cold her legs get red and seem to be tender for her to walk on, but she does get around quite well and is an egg machine. I tried to get a good photo of her feet, but of course no one is cooperating (I just realized that there is a pretty good picture of her on my BYC page). I would say that at least half of each toe is missing, as well as a portion of her comb. I do feel a little sorry for her in the extreme cold, wish I could knit her some little chicken socks to keep her stumps warm, but she (and all the others) ALWAYS have the option of getting into the coop which stays above 30 degrees all the time. Also, the roosts are all 2 x 4's turned on the wide side so she can perch easily, as well as keep her feet covered. Other than that, she seems quite happy and healthy and is 2nd in the pecking order.
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