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Bumblefoot is normally caused by a chicken jumping off a perch that is too high up or jumping off something and landing on something sharp on the ground. You will notice a round swelling on the underneath of the foot or sometimes between the toes, it has been described as looking like a corn or wart on the foot pad. If you see a swelling check the underneath over carefully and look for any sign of something having pierced the pad and try and remove it if possible. If there is a scab then some people have had success in piercing or removing the scab and removing the pus underneath.

This is a 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 atleast 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.
Been keeping an eye on the thread and see that things are still a bit iffy? If the hen is passive enuf or easy to handle, mix up some warm water, epson salts and hydrogen peroxide into some warm water. I would say a litre of warm water, 2 tbsp epson salts and about a cup of HP since it is so cheap...

Take the hens' foot and dip it into the warmish mixture, swish it around and try to keep the hens' foot in it for as long as possible, up to 5 minutes at least.If the hen is too skiddish soak a facecloth into the mixture and wrap it around the foot and hold onto her for a while. The epson salts will help clean out the infected area, HP will help draw out any puss. The overall warmth of the water mixture will soften things up.

After the soaking dry up the foot as best ya can. The drug stores have a product called liquid bandaid. Can you find the same there. Nice product. Holds great. Spray the foot with liquid bandaid and let the hen do her thing. Try this for a few days making sure you allow plenty of soaking time or wraping up of the foot.

I have used this on hens feet and a couple of geese as well. Positive results in the end. Good luck. I will keep the eyes on progress.


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