Bumblefoot (scientific name: ulcerative pododermatitis) is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation that usually affects rodents and domestic birds, such as quails and ducks. Nevertheless, it is most common in chickens.
It is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria that invade the system of a chicken through a small cut, wound, or scratch on its foot. If not properly treated, it can cause loss of a foot and even death.
Also known as plantar pododermatitis, this skin disease may initially be seen as a small pinkish or reddened area on the chicken’s foot. So if you noticed your chickens limping or difficult to land, it is very likely that they have acquired this infection.
The possible factors that can trigger bumblefoot are sudden impact after jumping from a high place, walking on feces, and fighting against another chicken.
Don’t worry; bumblefoot can still be treated. For mild cases, you can apply some essential oils to the wound and wrap the foot. In some cases, the scrab can be removed and taking antibiotics.
But in severe cases, the scrab will be removed via surgery. In the worst-case scenario, the infected foot will be amputated. This disease is not transmittable but the bacteria can be passed on through skin contact.
How to Treat and Prevent Bumblefoot in Chickens
Fortunately, prevention is pretty easy. First, you should not place perches in very high places. also, make sure it has no splinters or sharp edges. Ideally, the roost should be less than 18 inches tall from the coop floor. To avoid fighting, make sure chickens can move freely inside your coop.
Since obesity can also cause additional pressure on the feet, you should also practice a balanced diet. But more importantly, the environment should always be clean. This will reduce the presence of bacteria and sharp objects.
A chicken’s foot has 16 small bones and is always subject to pressure. So don’t be surprised if they have some feet issues. Therefore, checking them from time to time is still the best preventive measure.