whats going on and how can I treat it?


7 Years
Sep 16, 2012
del valle, tx
All my quail have very scale-ly legs, some not bad at all the others the whole leg. Ive noticed a few are swollen too. I just noticed when I moved them into theirnew cages. I can see their feet and legs better. Sorry for the bad pictures, but here is the worst hen



thank yall for yalls help
were they on wire floors? looks like surface injury/bumblefoot? and the missing feathers can be lots of things from mites to lack of vitamins in the food. Maybe someone can help better.
This could be a couple of things....Definitely looks like bumblefoot from being on wire too long. Possibly dirty wire. So get them onto bedding now. They also may have leg scale mites. Rub some vaseline onto the scales on the top of the legs. Be gentle to not pull the scales up, but make sure to get it up into the scales to help suffocate the mites. Use the vaseline every day for a couple weeks. This with some bedding and you should see lots of improvement within one month. Good luck!
At first they were on plastic like flooring now they are on wire floring with a house they can get out of and off the flooring. Is this enough or do I have to bring her inside till she heals??
Yes, I would keep them off wire. Those feet look sore. Make sure the surface is not slippery.
I copied and pasted this from Poultry Podiatry.
Treat Bumblefoot Infection

Note: People who care for raptors (birds of prey) often call thick foot callouses "bumblefoot." Poultry keepers usually only call a foot problem "bumblefoot" if there is infection inside.
Possible Symptoms:
  • Foot pain, swelling, lameness, thick callous spot on skin, internal pus that looks "cheesy", internal lump ("bumble"), and sometimes red or darkened area, scabbing or crack in skin on feet.
  • Note: Gout symptoms can look a lot like Bumblefoot, so do research to be sure which problem your bird is having.
  • Usually caused by cut or bruise, often from landing too hard because of a too-high perch or rough or hard ground.
  • It can also be caused by chafing from perches that are too narrow, round and/or smooth for the bird's feet.
    • Note: Chickens are designed to mostly 'stand' on their feet rather than 'perch'--unlike lighter weight birds (such as sparrows) or long-winged birds (such as hawks) that more tightly grip and curl their feet around perches.
  • If there is also infection involved, it will likely be a staph (staphylococcus aureus) infection, though it may involve other bacteria or fungi. If the infection persists for an extended time, it can spread into other areas of the bird's body and may cause death.
  • Provide perches that are reasonably wide (minimum of 1 3/4" for bantams, 3 1/4" for large fowl), and, if possible, have texture (such as natural branches, or non-splintery boards you roughen up some).
    • It is good to slightly round the edges of rectangular or square cut boards. However, don't provide round ladder rungs or wood dowels for perches.
    • When using 2"x4" boards for perches for large chickens, turn so the 4" side is the top side.
  • To prevent large birds from bruising their feet, make sure there are no perches higher than ~3 1/2 feet from the ground and that landing area has soft, thick layer of bedding (pine shavings, play sand, etc.).
  • Keep coop and perches sanitary and dry. Scraping poop off of perches regularly. It may help to sprinkle them with Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth or spray them with disinfectant such as Oxine (but NOT bleach mixture--Bleach only disinfects on surface, but water mixed in with it penetrates to interior and may foster germs.)
  • Trim any excessively long toenails so your bird can use its feet correctly when landing, etc.
  • Every few months, check feet for callouses that may become problematic.
Treatment Options:
  • Trimming or Lancing / Surgery:
    • Soak & gently scrub feet in warm water before surgery. Mixing some Povidone Iodine (Betadine) in the soaking water will help prevent infection during surgery & might help clear existing infection. Or, you can use mild soap when scrubbing legs & rinse off afterwards. If just trimming skin & not doing surgery, soaking is more optional.
      • When using Povidone Iodine, it is usually recommended to dilute it with a good amount of water, so the mixture looks like weak tea. Otherwise, it is likely to be too harsh for skin.
    • Trim excess dead skin from the area. The safest method is generally working in from the edges of the callous. There is greater risk of accidentally cutting into live skin if you start trimming on the top surface of the callous and working your way down.
    • Do surgery, if you think that is a treatment you will also help. There are a few vets that can do Bumblefoot surgery, but most poultry owners who use surgery to treat Bumblefoot do it themselves. Instructions with photos home surgery are at https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/236649/bumblefoot-surgery-with-pics-and-how-toSee below for recommendations of additional surgery tools that may be helpful.
      • Opinions vary on whether surgery should be done, especially depending on the severity of infection & whether a hard "bumble" plug has formed at the center of the infection. Surgery may not be helpful in some cases. You might not want to lance minor infections. If you do lance, do your best to get the hard "bumble" lump out and scrape out all pus.
    • Apply a Triple Antibiotic Ointment (such as Neosporin-- without added "-caine" pain relief ingredients, which may be harmful to birds) before and/or after trimming to help soften skin and alleviate infection.
    • Check feet after a couple days to be sure healing is going well & nothing is lodged in hole.
    • Re-examine feet again at least every 1-3 weeks.
      • If excess skin has grown back on trimmed areas, repeat trimming and check for cause of problem (such as too high or narrow of a perch, etc. Be very cautious & conservative when re-trimming! On the surface, callous regrowth may look about as serious as the original callous, but upon examination is likely to be much less deep.
      • If you did surgery on an area, it may still need surgery again if not all infection was cleared out. It is not uncommon for more than one surgery to be needed to clear enough infection.
    • TOOLS:
      • For trimming callouses & cutting out internal bumble, you can use small wire cutter pliers &/or toenail scissors or cutters. An X-acto knife or scalpel is less precise & may take more time.
      • For incisions through external skin, use an X-acto knife, scalpel or razor blade. Use your fingertips to apply pressure on each side of a cut for a minute or two to help slow & clot bleeding if it is excessive.
      • For internal probing & scraping of pus: An X-acto knife, scalpel &/or toenail scissors are good.
        • An especially helpful tool is a 5-cc syringe with a 16 or 18 gauge needle attached. Fill the syringe from a cup of water mixed with a little well-diluted Povidone Iodine. Use the needle tip to probe and and scrape out pus. Periodically squirt a little liquid through the needle to clean out blood & debris from the wound. When needed, remove the needle from the syringe (to prevent wound germs from being put into the cup), and refill the syringe from the cup. It is helpful if you can do a final rinse with saline solution, too, to help restore natural body fluid conditions in the wound area when you are finished operating.
      • For maneuvering: A good pair of tweezers will help you effectively maneuver in tight spots while trimming, but be careful to not pull too hard on other attached skin. Tweezers may help you most quickly pull out any bumble lump, too.
  • Antibiotics: If there is much infection involved, consider giving Penicillin or another antibiotic. Penicillin injections have been shown to often be very helpful with Bumblefoot. (See "Treating with Penicillin" section.) Powdered forms of Penicillin in food or water are less difficult to administer but are more designed for digestive tract infections, and are not likely to be as effective for Bumblefoot as injections. Penicillin is better than a number of other antibiotics for Bumblefoot.
  • Soaking or Poultices: Soaking with warm water & Epsom salts may help draw out infection. Stand your bird in a very warm container of water 15 mins. per treatment.
  • Essential oils: An easy treatment with essential oils that was successful for one person's chickens is listed at https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/601735/is-this-bumblefoot/10#post_7963791
  • Wrap surgical wound: Use paper towels & sports tape or loosely applied vet-wrap to bandage a wound to help keep your bird's feet clean and cushioned while healing. You can also buy neoprene Chicken or Duck Shoes at www.etsy.com/shop/PartyFowl?section_id=12239516.
  • Maintain healing environment: When first healing, it may not be necessary but may be helpful to restrict bird to an area where it will walk around less and have no or low perches.
  • Problem may not be noticed until has been present for an extended time. Even with treatment, Bumblefoot can sometimes develop to be chronic. Unfortunately, if it includes infection, it can lead to death in prolonged or extreme cases. However, some treatment methods (especially antibiotics) have good success rates.

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