Very worried - Chicken's feet and legs turned blue / grey - rhubarb poisoning or scaly leg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KayTee, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I'm worried about my 14 month old pullet - Blackie. She's always had normal pink legs and feet, but in the last few weeks I've noticed that they've started to turn a blue/grey colour - like the skin is dying or something. I picked her up this evening and felt her legs - they don't feel smooth and hard like they should, but sort of soft, puffy and rough.
    I thought one of my 4 month old rooster chicks had lice on his comb about 3 weeks ago, so I dusted them all, but other than that nothing has changed.
    The only thing that I have noticed is that all 5 of my girls and boys have started to eat the rhubarb leaves that grow at the bottom of the garden. I thought I had fenced them off, but obviously not enough. I know that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, but I don't understand why all of my chooks seem to enjoy eating it so much. (Don't worry - I'll be fencing it off completely tomorrow). Does anyone think that it could be the rhubarb be causing the problem, or is it more likely to be scaly leg mites? She seems to be walking normally for the moment, but I'm worried that it may turn into something bad.

    1st picture - 22nd April 2013
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    2nd picture - 19th July 2013
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    With scaly leg mites you see lifting of the scales. I have never seen the color change you are talking about with mild cases of the leg mites.
     
  3. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The scales feel rough, but her legs also feel a bit puffy and soft - not smooth and hard like normal. It's worrying me, because I don't want her to get ill or suffer in any way - she's the tamest of all my chooks - talks to me and my husband, and comes up to be fussed over whenever we go into the garden. [​IMG]
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/218/vitamin-e-deficiency

    Very strange...the first thing I thought of was the exudative diathesis in vitamin e deficiency (see bottom of page)...but of course you are not seeing neurological signs so I have no clue why that is.

    I hope you can find the cause.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  5. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update - her legs are pinker today (still not completely normal), but I got my BH to pick her up so I could examine the bottom of her feet, and I took photos. Am I suffering my first case of bumblefoot?

    Just to note - If it is bumblefoot then I'm not up for cutting out the scabs - if I can find Tricide neo powder I will use that, if not it looks like a trip to the vet.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, that looks like bumblefoot. If your hen isn't having trouble walking, it is not a bad case...yet. I've never had to treat bumblefoot myself, but I've heard about injecting the foot with Penicillin to kill the infection. Sometimes oral antibiotics work, too. And of course, you could certainly try that Tricide neo powder. I really don't think taking her to a vet would help, unless the vet actually treats chickens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    There are some other things you can try until you get Tricide Neo if that's what you want to use. Epsom salts in warm water soaks twice a day. One person I know online uses plain iodine dripped over a bit of sugar on a piece of gauze, and placed as a bandage on the foot with vet wrap--she says it really shrinks it.
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, Epsom salt soaking is often recommended. I would try that for a few days before resorting to Tricide Neo, Penicillin, or another antibiotic. Unless, of course, you feel differently.
     
  9. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the comments and advice. I appreciate that antibiotics shouldn't necessarily be the first resort, but looking back at photos of my girls I realised that this may have been going on for a good few weeks, and I was worried that any home remedy I might try could prove ineffective, just allowing the infection to develop even further, and cause her a lot of suffering. Tricide Neo isn't available over the counter in Europe, so this morning I called the vet (I live in a rural area and they're very used to dealing with poultry here), and she took a look at Blackie, and prescribed 6 antibiotic shots. She did the first one there and then - I've got the other 5 to do starting from tomorrow ( [​IMG] I've never given a chicken an injection before!)
    Although I don't feel great about resorting to antibiotics, I do feel better knowing that I'm using a treatment that is virtually guaranteed to work.
    I'll update next week when the antibiotics are finished.
     
  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck!
     

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