Very small chicks with bumblefoot


10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
Kingman Arizona
I had to leave my two week old bantam chicks with a sitter for a while because I had to leave town for a family emergency. I was checking them all this afternoon as I changed their bedding, and it seems that about half of them have developed bumblefoot. I am thinking the sitter did not change the bedding in the brooder enough as it gets wet and dirty pretty quick. They were not the most reliable pet sitter, but it was all I had on short notice. So, the question is, how should I treat such tiny babies? Their feet are so small that I am afraid of hurting them badly by trying to drain/clean away dead tissue on the infected areas, and it's not going to be feasible to bandage them. I am going to start changing their bedding twice a day to keep everything very, very clean while they heal, but what else do I do? I read somewhere that I can soak their feet with Epsom salt, and I can try that. What about hydrogen peroxide or something else antiseptic to wash the affected feet? I have a chlorhexidine rinse from my dentist for cleaning out where I had teeth pulled, might that be helpful to wash the feet? Should I put something on them like neosporin?

Shadowhills Farm

12 Years
Nov 14, 2009
DuPont, Washington
We just picked some chicks up at the feed store the other day. I flipped one over and noticed it has bumblefoot

What I did was take a small container, added iodine and epsom salts to warm water. Then soaked their feet for 5-10 minutes and gently pulled the crusty scabs off.... Seemed to do the trick as the chicks' feet are getting better.

Hope this helps a little


In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
someone will probably correct me, but "burns" on chickens feet from litter happens and heals easy. pics please, it may not be bumblefoot I have been in commercial houses where almost every two week old had burns, they put out a drying agent and all were better in days.
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rancher hicks

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 28, 2009
Syracuse, NY
Here's what the answer man had to say and why I subscribe to Back Yard Poultry magazine.

"this looks like yoiu hens have bumble foot. This is a bacterial disease, usually caused by Staphylocococcus organisms. Typically chickens get some sort of small injury (scratch,etc.) on the foot and then the bactierial gain entry. While it is bacterial it probably won't respond to dantibiotic treatemnt. Inside the se swollen areas, there is usually a cheesy core and this must be removed before it can heal It can seem kindof nasty, but ussually this requires lancing the area and removing that core. You can then treat it w/ some antiboitic salve, or some people will use hydrogen per9osxide or iodine. Then keep the hen in a relatively clean and dry environment until ti heals. Bumblefoot isin't harmful to you but its likely fairly painful for the chickne. I'll let you decifer my typing.

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