Bumblefoot in Chickens - Causes and Treatment


Bumblefoot is the growth and accumulation of the hard tissues in the foot that gets swollen, is inflamed and may be painful to chickens. Vets and pharma research terminologies explain technical terms and causes better, but for most of us these will only be gobbledygook and so here is how laypeople will see it and prevent it.  

The symptoms 

An abscess forms in the sole of the feet of the chicken and often these are overlooked, as bumble foot in chicken looks very much like calluses. The foot of the chicken is swollen and often hard tissues build up. Then the chicken starts to limp, where in more serious cases there is blood in the footprints. Bumble foot in a chicken could deform the feet severely but when detected early treatments are easier.   

The Causes 

Perches -Bumble feet starts with a bruise in the feet that results later to small wounds that are infected. These are due to the habit of chickens to perch anywhere and everywhere that suits them. Perching in very narrow wires runs on floors made of wires and perching on narrow edges and sharp corners causes bumble feet. Another usual cause is jumping from too high perches and landing hard.  

Improper Nutrition -Bumble feet is also likely to occur when there is insufficient Vitamin A in the system. Seeds, a chicken favorite, are low in vitamin A. The vitamin promotes increased resistance to parasite infection aside from promoting digestion and appetite. An obvious sign that the chicken lacks vitamin A is when the plumage lacks the usual luster, is pale, and is rough. There is also the lack of color intensity and there is yellowish and scaly accumulation on the beak.   

Infections – The little wounds and lacerations on the soles of the feet, is a good breeding ground for parasites and bacteria that when left untreated will eat the bone, become acute and endanger the life of the chicken.   

Prevention 

Provide good perching areas inside the coop and replace the chicken run made of wires. Provide the perimeter where the chickens are kept with perches with varying circumferences.  

Chickens will eat just about anything and so they respond well with vitamin supplementation.

Provide food that is rich in Vitamin A. Carrots are a very good source that the chicken likes. Greens are also good sources of vitamins and so are pumpkins and potatoes. Throw in vegetable and fruit peels, as chicken loves this. It has been shown time and time again that once the vitamin deficiency is resolved, bumble feet heals.  

Treatments 

Antibiotics cure bumble foot. When the infection is not severe, the method is to clean the feet first in warm water for ten minutes before applying the ointment or the antibiotic. If the bumble feet is severe, soak the feet in warm water for ten minutes, use a sharp knife, remove the scabs working around it removing the scabs and puss until you are left with a clean hole, apply the ointment or the antibiotic, bandage the foot or use a vet wrap and repeat the process every day until the bumble foot is healed.

 


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