What is Bumblefoot?
Bumblefoot is a serious yet luckily rare illness that afflicts birds. It is a bacterial infection that, as the name suggests, affects the foot and causes it to become highly inflamed which may often lead to disfigurement of the chickens feet and toes as well as a high temperature. If left untreated it can kill your chickens. How can you spot bumblefoot? Well, it will present itself usually as a small red swelling on the base of the chickens foot and will lead to them limping or not resting on the infected foot. If left untreated the foot can often discharge puss. Bumblefoot can be caused by a chicken’s perch – if it is not smooth or straight enough it can lead to the chicken perching in an uncomfortable manner and also splinters or jagged parts can damage the foot. When building your coop and run make sure there are no sharp or jagged edges or flooring that your birds feet could be damaged on.
Luckily bumblefoot, being a bacterial infection, can be treated with antibiotics. It is best to take your chicken to the veterinarian where he can examine the case of bumblefoot and prescribe the right medicines. 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, but if concerned that it has not done, you should return to your vet.