When you see the scab do you always treat immediately?

Rocky Top Chick

10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
North Carolina
I have a couple of girls who have had the bumblefoot scab on their foot for a year. After operating on one before, I decided to wait and see if they became worse. So far nothing has changed. They get along just fine, no swelling or redness. Am I doing the correct thing? I do know that sometimes in humans when you cut open something it can cause worse problems.

I have treated what I thought was bumblefoot twice now... and both times I never found the cottage-cheese like core. I decided that until I see some sign of distress or swelling (I handle my girls daily and check their feet all the time)... I'm not gonna treat. I think they can get scratches just like we do... but that doesn't necessarily mean it will get infected every time.

I know I'm probably gonna get slammed by some on here that feel you need treat at the very first sign of a scab, but I think as long as you keep an eye on them... and use your head... you can get to it before it gets too bad. I did remove the scab on my partridge silkie, put neosporin on it for 2 days and within a week it was gone. No digging or cutting.

I'm watching my white silkie now... she has a very small scab on both feet.
I know exactly what you mean. I never found the infection on the one I operated on and believe me, I dug deep. After that I decided not to jump to conclusions and now am much more relaxed about diseases and everything else.
Dont feel bad, it's happened to me too. I've learned the hard way and did the surgeries and found nothing and the poor hens didnt have any symptoms neither.....redness, swelling, limping and so on. Alot of needless stress imposed on the hens. Buugette is correct, the only thing you can do is observe them. So far so good. No slamming from me on this one lol.
Thanks... very glad to know I'm not the only one. I love my girls and will do whatever is needed to keep them healthy... though I do have to remind myself not to look for issues where there are none. The amount of knowledge on this site is amazing, but sometimes it makes my head swim.

I'm glad BYC is here... I find this forum of people very comforting.

I'm with the rest of you on this one. Sometimes I think more damage is done by the invasive cutting than a simple scab, so I leave them alone unless swelling starts. I did treat one girl with antibiotics (no cutting) for a mild case a few months back, and it appeared to clear up. But I've noticed another scab on her recently. I'll take my chances this time, as I don't think it's great to keep giving her antibiotics either.
I've done it both ways, treated bumblefoot at the first sign of a scab and left it alone with no treatment at all. Both times the outcome was the same. It didn't improve anything, healing time, whatever, by treating it, so why put my hens through the stress.
Now I only treat if I see the hen develop a limp.
I'm glad someone brought this up. I have a 1.5 yr-old girl who developed a slightly swollen foot a few months ago. After reading about the surgeries, etc here, I began to prepare myself for doing some surgery. Then, one thing led to another, I ended up having some unexpected surgery myself, and we're a month later. (I'm fine now.) She's fine and eating and not limping or appearing ill.

Then she went broody. I decided to wait until I broke her broodiness to fix her foot, which was already much better. The scab was still there, but no other signs of pain/illness--no limping or swelling when she got off the nest full of nothing daily. Then I couldn't break her broodiness, so I gave her a couple of vaccinated day-olds with the old nocturnal switch-a-roo. She now caring for two 4 week old babes, eating fine, and just started to molt hard as of last week--the poor girl has no tail feathers and her neck is naked and fluff is showing on her wings. Her foot is no longer swollen, and she's caring for the babes despite likely feeling awful with half her feathers missing--she has always been quite cranky with molts in the past. I'm feeding her medicated chick feed with the babes (they're still separated from the 2 other layers), as well as supplementing with some wet fish-based cat food and occasional scraps as treats. I plan to put them all on grower in a few weeks when I reintegrate the flock soon with free choice oyster shell for the layers.

She's still got a scab on her foot, but given all she's been through, she's alert and really quite pleasant (unless you mess with the chicks too much). No limping, no droopiness, eating and pooping fine. I feel like the stress of surgery on top of recovering from broodiness and the hard molt may be just too much for her if she's not otherwise ill from a non-inflamed scab on her foot. She's a good mama, eating, pooping, and mothering without any issues. No lice or mites on anyone after daily inspections, and happy babies. You'd never guess that her foot had a scab on the bottom if you didn't know.

Perhaps it isn't always necessary to treat bumblefoot if it's not causing a problem? Do we know if this is ALWAYS a treatable issue? I'm thinking about the fish-med soaking treatment soon instead of surgery.
This is an amazingly timely issue for me. We found two scabs on our Buff Orpington's feet today. There really wasn't much swelling to speak of BUT there were red streaks running up her legs, which is what brought my attention to the issue in the first place.

We did the surgery a few weeks ago on one of our Frizzles and successfully removed the "kernel" with no other noticeable infection or yucky stuff around it.

Tonight, however, when we did the surgery on the first foot, we found nothing. And we dug and squeezed (and took frequent turns sitting to avoid passing out) but we found nothing in there. It was an awful hour-long ordeal for all of us. We wrapped her foot up with Neosporin liberally applied and put her in a nice quiet spot in a dog crate for the next few days.

I'm thinking we may just give her some antibiotics tomorrow and hope for the best. Any suggestions on antibiotic type and dosage or any different recommendations? We're not inclined to tinker with the other foot.

Poor Oprah.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom