hen with bad foot needs help

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I have a hen who started with a hard knot on the bottom of her foot and now it has spread to past her ankle. The top of the foot became swollen and looked like it was full of fluid then this went up her leg and is no longer soft and puffy like fluid but is hard. She will barely walk on it but otherwise seems to be in good health. This has progressed over about 2-3 months and no one else seems affected. She is in a large yard with about 30 other hens and the flooring it now just dirt no grass. Any ideas what it is or what to do?

-- kathy (davidwh6@juno.com), September 04, 2001


I can't say I've had this problem (yet) but I felt bad that no one with more experience had answered yet. It sounded like something I had read about called bumblefoot.

See: http://webusers.warwick.net/~u1015576/page5.html (treatment mentioned)

It appears that there is a question/answers about bumblefoot in the archives below (Chickens health)

From Farm Sanctuary: Bumblefoot - Bumblefoot is indicated by the presence of a scab on the feet of poultry. When the scab is removed there is usually a thick yellow pus present. The foot should be soaked in epsom salts and the infected area flushed with hydrogen peroxide. A product called Icthammol should be applied (to a clean, dry foot) and the affected foot wrapped. Icthammol wraps should be left on for 3-4 days - this will help to draw out any infection left in the foot. These wraps may need to be repeated for 3-4 weeks, and wraps should always be kept dry.

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), September 04, 2001.

We followed the previous advice and it worked. We had let it go much longer than we should have and instead of just lancing the infection, my husband had to carve out a ball of hard yellow stuff that had solidified. But once we got it out and could see good healthy tissue we peroxided it well and treated it every day until it had healed over. She is doing well and in fact we have a hard time picking her out from the rest. Thanks for the accurate advice.

-- kathy (davidwh6@juno.com), September 26, 2001.

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