What the heck is wrong with their feet!?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FreeChicken!, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Title says it all: What the heck is wrong with their feet!? Almost every single one of my chickens has scabs all over their feet! I have no idea what caused this. At first, I thought that they had been walking around on sharp sticks and stones. But it's winter now and the chickens are all living in the coop until warm weather arrives. There is one little stick in the coop. But I know that one little stick couldn't have caused this. And there are more scabs than ever on the chickens' feet! Is it cannibalism? I read once that over-bored chickens will start eating eachother's feet (and their own). The scabs are only on the bottoms of their feet though...

    Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]

    If it is cannibalism, please tell me how to stop it! If it involves keeping the chickens apart from eachother or in the house, it won't work. My dad hates it when there's chickens in the house. Or even on the porch or in the outdoor storage rooms.

    PLEASE HELP!!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    It's not inflicted by the birds themselves. How do your birds have such clean feet? My birds feet are frankly disgusting and I wouldn't note any small dings in them unless the ding in question was causing the bird to limp. I am curious about how you keep your birds' feet so clean.
     
  3. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    I think perhaps you need to add more soft litter?

    I can see by the length of the nails they have some rough surfaces- do you use sand?
     
  4. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

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    You may have mites in your coop.
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    I've never seen a mite that only attacks the bottom of the feet. And the long nails tells me they are not scratching around much.

    I'd suggest a bedding issue. Is it clean, fresh and dry? To me it looks like damage caused by damp and/or dirty bedding, probably with a buildup of ammonia. Get right down to floor level and sniff. If you smell any ammonia at all the foot issue might be ammonia burns. If no ammonia, look for damp areas.

    Also, check the roost bar out carefully. It may be causing foot damage. I use a 2 x 4, flat wide side up and scraped clean daily.

    I really think you have a bedding problem though, best of luck getting it figured out! [​IMG]
     
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Yep, looks like a bedding issue. Especially if you have wet or dirty bedding, it does this. I can't think of anything else that would cause it.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I agree.
     
  8. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To CMV: Usually, my chickens' feet are not clean at all. This chicken, my Rhode Island Red, Daisy, had been brought inside and bathed not long ago. ^_^

    To ChooksChick: I don't use sand. I have dried leaves from early November that got stored up into bags for the chickens to rest on. Yes, they have a hard surface. They like to scatter the leaves, then sit in the food dish or on the floor.

    To Ranchhand: I guess it must be the bedding. I don't have a perch for my chickens, though I've been telling my dad to get one. But I'm sure that when he rebuilds the coop (which he's been saying he will since last spring) he will add a perch and everything we need.

    I hope spring comes early this year! My chickens need fresh air, exercise, and healed feet.

    Thanks for all your help! I'll ask my dad to buy softer bedding. I know that he won't buy any until we're out of leaves, though-- IF he buys more. He doesn't care for the chickens as much as I do. [​IMG]

    But thanks!
     
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    FreeChicken! :

    To CMV: Usually, my chickens' feet are not clean at all. This chicken, my Rhode Island Red, Daisy, had been brought inside and bathed not long ago. ^_^

    To ChooksChick: I don't use sand. I have dried leaves from early November that got stored up into bags for the chickens to rest on. Yes, they have a hard surface. They like to scatter the leaves, then sit in the food dish or on the floor.

    To Ranchhand: I guess it must be the bedding. I don't have a perch for my chickens, though I've been telling my dad to get one. But I'm sure that when he rebuilds the coop (which he's been saying he will since last spring) he will add a perch and everything we need.

    I hope spring comes early this year! My chickens need fresh air, exercise, and healed feet.

    Thanks for all your help! I'll ask my dad to buy softer bedding. I know that he won't buy any until we're out of leaves, though-- IF he buys more. He doesn't care for the chickens as much as I do. [​IMG]

    But thanks!

    Leaves are fantastic bedding!

    I think if you are certain to add some new leaves every few days so they aren't mucky, this is a great approach. You can allow them to be several inches deep and it isn't a problem.

    You really should find a way to give them a roost. If you have any cinder blocks, you can use a 2"x4" through the top holes, with a cinder block upright on each end. The flat, wide part is the perfect roost for a chicken as they can put their body on their feet to sleep, keeping them warm. They will love you for it.​
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you don't have any cinder blocks but have trees with downed limbs, you can fashion yourself a roost. But I would make it 4 inches in diameter or so to keep their feet warm. You can make the part that holds the limb up with a small pile of stacked firewood on each side. Cinder blocks are better of course.

    I have a roost in one of my runs right now made the way I described (for daytime use).

    They don't have to be way up in the air to roost at night- anything to get them out of their poo. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011

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