Chicken Care

Bumblefoot
is a common infection for domesticated birds such as chickens
and ducks. Due to constant walking on hard, rough, or sharp surfaces, birds can
develop small wounds on the bottom of their feet.

Chicken with Bumblefoot

These wounds are very
susceptible to infection by Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria which can cause bumble
foot in domesticated birds such as Ducks and chicken. Treating bumble foot is
sometimes difficult. As this is a bacterial infection it can be treated by the
use of antibiotics. Treatment should be obtained quickly as this infection can
quickly cause further problems for the bird with extreme swelling sometimes
leading to surgery being the only treatment option.  (And we don’t want that do we? )The foot
should be disinfected and this can be through an antibacterial animal spray or
the use of a controlled iodine solution. Whilst the foot is healing the chicken
should be kept in a controlled area with clean soft bedding to avoid further
irritation on the foot. The infection usually clears up within 7 days. There
are home remedies that some people claim to help relieve the infection without
needing to have “vet treatment.” These include bathing the area and
disinfecting , then applying an ointment of
Calendula cream to the area morning and evening to cleanse the infection
and reduce the swelling allowing the area to naturally heal. Clean the foot
completely with warm salty water and look for the puss spot. Lance it with a
scalpel and squeeze out the puss if you are able or just tease out the head
with the scalpel point or cotton buds. Put some salt on it for a minute then
rinse off, dry well and then apply Germolene antiseptic cream 2 times a day on
a fabric plaster. Wrap the foot up as best you with more plaster strip (only
where the affected by the bumblefoot) cleaning the wound each time you redress
it as before. Make sure the bedding is clean where the bird is kept. You may
make the infection go but the swollen bit often stays for longer. Now to find
out how to avoid all of this Bumble junk! Step 1. When building your coop and
run make sure there are no sharp or jagged edges or flooring that your bird’s
feet could be damaged on. Step 2. The perches within the coop should be just
above the height of the pop-hole opening – ideally around 16 inches off the
ground. Step 3. The perch itself should be around 2-3 inches wide and 2-3
inches deep with the edges rounded off and smoothed so that nothing catches on
the chickens feet while they perch. Step 4. If you have bantams reduce the
perch size by half an inch as they have smaller feet and therefore smaller
grip. Step 5. You can add higher perches if you wish, but make sure the bird
can jump down easily by adding perhaps a lower perch to jump to or a lower
shelf before the floor height so that injuries aren’t caused. That should make your chicken, A happy Chicken!

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