What’s wrong with my hens feet?!?!

Farm life101

Jan 9, 2018
so I posted a thread about her a couple of days ago because she had two big red bumps on her feet. So I put Polysporin on them and wrapped them and two days later she has red marks all over her feet/legs and still has those two big bumps. It’s not bumble foot I already checked for that but I have no clue what’s going on. She eats, drinks, and poops fine. She act normal but she doesn’t like when I touch the bumps on her feet. @azygous @Hen Pen Jem @happyhens1972 @speckledhen @casportpony
Here are some pictures she is wet because I soaked her because the were dirty


Any help will be wonderful


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I would guess we may be looking at the beginnings of a staph infection on her legs and feet. This bacteria is a very nasty actor, so you need to clobber it early on with a strong antibiotic. Neosporin may not be enough.

Do you have Vetericyn? How about Oxine? If you can get those two, you can soak her legs and feet in the Oxine every day, followed with the Vetericyn in between.

If that doesn't show improvement in a two or three days, I would put her on an oral antibiotic such as amoxicillin.

Meanwhile, you probably should scrub down all the perches and any surfaces in coop and run where the chickens climb on with Oxine or a good strong bleach solution.
Greetings Farm life101,

Here's a perfect example of the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Here is what I believe is going on with your hen.

Too much uric acid is being produced, but not eliminated from the body. Therefore, she has developed a mild case of gout.

There is another condition called Infectious Synovitis, caused by "Mycoplasma synoviae or MS) bacteria, that has similar symptoms. However, the swollen areas feel hot. The chicken will appear ill in behavior sitting a lot, ruffled feathers, sometimes bluish comb, or even slight rales. But, I am leaning towards gout, here is why.

This spot is what concerns me, possible urate crystals/puss causing inflammation. Of course, your eyes will see best, because you are there with the hen. I had to enlarge the photo to get a better look.
Possible gout -whats wrong with my hens feet-gout crystals close up.jpg

There are so many things that can cause gout.
Causes: feed/nutritional, vitamin A deficiency, protein exceeding 30%, chemicals, too much salt, viruses, previous diseases, low water intake, pesticides, high antibiotic use and anti-coccidials, even problems during the incubation period of the chick can cause gout in the future.

The fastest way to help your hen would be to take her to a veterinarian. The vet will be able to diagnose, and have medication for it. The vet can also, drain the urate crystals/puss material from the inflamed area, to provide her immediate relief. Some keepers have done this themselves, using a sterile needle to open the skin, then squeeze out the the puss.

But if you can't take her to a vet for whatever reason, then you can try to heal her at home, using gentle and natural therapies.

What to do?

  • Isolate her in a hospital crate or somewhere safe and out of drafts, so that you can monitor her. Provide good supportive care. Do this for a couple of days. You have to do this, because she will be eating and drinking a different diet than the rest of the flock, to flush her system.
  • Epsom salt soaks that you are providing for her feet, are also therapeutic by giving some pain relief.
  • Diet: fresh kale, and broccoli, shredded carrot, cooked sweet potatoe, toast with real butter, cooked egg. All these foods are high in vitamin A, which may help.
  • A lower protein feed is helpful.
  • Therapy: coconut water (known for healing gout) or Apple Cider Vinegar - in her waterer for half of the day, then switch to fresh water.
  • Monitor her water intake, she needs to drink water to eliminate the high levels, of uric acid.
  • If you don't see results from the coconut water or ACV, you may want to try some Milk Thistle. Milkthistle is an herb that helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys. I like to keep a bottle of "Lily of the Desert, Aloe Vera 80 Detoxifying Formula", it has Milk Thistle in it. The aloe vera is an immune system booster, as well as, the other herbs in it. One table spoon per gallon of water is all it takes. It can be used as a support when caring for sick chickens. The rest of the flock can also drink it, when you return your hen to the coop.

I can tell that you care very much about your flock. There is the possibility that this may be something that you will have to treat periodically throughout her life. Or, she may heal, and never have it again. Take time to do some research of your own, you may find other things that will also help.

Other members will advice as to what this is, please consider them, too.

I hope this was helpful, please post updates.

God's Blessings for good health, to you and your hen.
I thinks it’s gout because she keeps clicking very loud and her feet are larger then my other BO. I cannot take er to the vet because the only vet that will take in chickens charges 150.00 up front and I can’t afford that so I will try to treat it myself
It's a shame that some vets charge such excessive fees, and that some avian vets won't even look at a chicken (Which, the last time I checked, are birds, too!). :(

Do what you can for her, there is more research you can do on the internet. You can even look up discussion on gout here on BYC, to see how things went. Here is a link to a recent thread regarding gout, with pictures for comparison:

Most of my chicken health books, don't have treatments for gout. Only one of my books, from India, which uses Ayurvedic medicine, and one book written here in the U.S., "Chicken Health for Dummies", have treatments. Chicknen Health for Dummies, recommend ACV in the water (2 Tb. per gallon water) one day a week. For prevention: not letting water supply to run out, not using baking soda long term, and not feeding layer rations to growing chicks, not overusing antibiotics, as some, can cause kidney damage.

But, I know of chickens that have healed from gout with the care of their keepers, one from vet care! This is not a quick fix, most likely it will take a couple of weeks or even longer. I have seen worse symptoms of gout, so, either you caught it early, or, it is mild, or both.

The main thing is to be sure she is drinking plenty of water to flush the kidneys. It may be helpful to mark the waterer with lines, then, as the water level drops, you'll know she is drinking.

God Bless :)
I’m not sure if it’s gout now. She has little red dots going up her leg and that one big bump is still there she is still laying and act normal. Anything else I should do for her.
Well, here is the problem with internet doctoring...deciding on a diagnosis.

When you have a vet, they can pick up the animal look, feel, listen with a stethoscope, etc. The vet is not emotionally influenced either, so they can make an objective diagnosis, based on symptoms. They also have access to medications, that some keepers, like myself, do not.

With internet doctoring, you may have several different opinions, as to what is making the chicken sick. As a keeper, you are emotionally influenced, which can cause you to be indecisive.

It is difficult when infections occur under the skin, especially the chicken's legs.

The first thing you have to do is take a step back. Re-evaluate the symptoms and treatments you have been providing.
  • In the beginning, you decided to treat for ant bites.
  • I suggested gout, as a possible disorder, with treatment plan.
  • azygous, has suggested a possible staph infection, with a good treatment plan.
There is no reason, you can't provide treatment for all three possible disorders.

Get an eraser board, calendar or even a piece of paper, and lay out the treatments, medicines, foods, etc. that you are going to provide and administer. Make a grid of the days of the week, and record notes on progress.

Most importantly, remember you have to be consistent and give medicines time to work.

There have been times I have decided on a course of treatment for a sick chicken, after 3-4 days of no improvement, I have had to re-evaluate. Most times I can also treat with herbal remedies. But, if the hen's life is in danger, and she requires oral or injectable antibiotics, I have no choice but to see my vet. As these medications are no longer available to keepers in California.

It's good that your hen is eating and acting normally, this gives you time to figure things out.

Hang in there!

God Bless :)
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