Limping Chicken

florence08June 10, 2008

I have one Brahma who is limping badly. On the pads of her feet are hard, black spots.

What is this and can I do anything to help?

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BumbleFoot-One persons suggestion for fixing

This is condition affects the pads of the feet. It is caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus, which is present wherever there are chickens. Most people notice swelling of the foot pad, and if you look at the pad and note a dark, blackish scab, it is bumblefoot. The swelling is due to abscess in the pad. Staph enters the foot through injury to the pad - either by bruising or breaks in the skin caused by sharp objects.

Avoiding Bumblefoot
Bumblefoot is difficult to cure. Make sure the roosts are rounded and not too high off the ground. Sand off any potential splinter areas. Ensure plenty of litter, 3-4 inches or more . Don't use wire bottom cages. Give vitamin supplements, especially Vitamin A.

Have on hand the following:

Betadine, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, sterile scalpel or 14g needle, coban, sterile 2x2 gauze pads, surgeon's gloves. Have ready a cage to put the chicken in when you're done. Make the litter deep, ensure food and water. I have used terramycin in the water for a week - follow the directions on the package.

The 'Operation'
If possible, have a helper. You can, however, do this yourself. Wear gloves - you don't want to get the staph on you!

Wash the leg and foot, scrub with Betadine until clean at least 30 seconds. If you can soak the foot until the scab is soft, do that and then pull off
the scab.

Lance the pad with the needle or scalpel and squeeze out the pus. I do this under running water. Yes, there will be bleeding. After the pus is out as much as you can get, dip the foot into peroxide solution. The blood will cause a foaming reaction. If there is a lot of bleeding, hold pressure with a sterile 2x2 until stopped or under control.

Apply Neosporin to the site, a sterile 2x2, add some more 2x2s for padding, then wrap the foot firmly with coban. Wrap so the toes and spur are exposed . Don't wrap so tight that you cut off circulation. You will want to start the wrap on the foot and work up to the leg. Coban sticks well to itself and the chicken generally won't be able to pull it off if you do a good job.

Place the chicken in the deep litter cage, and change the dressing in 2-3 days. I keep the chicken confined until I remove the dressing and until the pad is well healed so that it won't open up when back to free-ranging. So far I've never had to cull a chicken due to bumblefoot.

Here is a link that might be useful: info above from here

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 7:44PM
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Thank you so much. The link is especially helpful. This is my first time with chickens.
I assume that Betadine is an anticeptic and coban a tape.
Where do I find?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:05AM
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I find all I need at the feed store but I think you can find Betadine in a drug store. Good luck to you. I am new at this too and when people ask questions I use that as an opportunity to look things up to help them and learn for myself. The internet is such a wonderful journey

Here is a link that might be useful: My story

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:11AM
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