Middle Road Veterinary Hospital

Bumblefoot - Chickens







Bumblefoot, or plantar pododermatitis, is caused by introduction of staphylococcus bacteria and is found on the toes and pads of a chicken’s foot.  It is a pus-filled abscess that is covered by a black scab and where the animal demonstrates lameness, swelling, and the infected bird’s reluctance to walk.

The disease enters through breaks in the skin caused by:

  1. Splinters
  2. Sharp wire ends
  3. Jumping repeatedly from a perch (heavier breeds are at a higher risk doing this)
  4. Skin irritation caused by poor litter management

The best treatment is catching it early.

Once you find it, use the following treatment methods:

  1. Administer proper antibiotics for a specified amount of days, as prescribed and instructed by your veterinarian.
  2. Follow instructions given by your Veterinarian.
  3. Keep the bird separate from the time you find the disease and until treatment is complete and provide them with adequate bedding.

To prevent it happening in the future, please follow these tips;

  1. Keep infected bird separate and disinfect the area where your healthy flock is housed.
  2. Provide clean and proper bedding on a regular basis.
  3. Have your perches less than 18 inches from the floor.
  4. Eliminate all rough and sharp edges.
  5. While you are treating birds infected with Bumblefoot, remember to be careful and to make sure you are protecting yourself from the infection with gloves and proper disposal of materials so it does not pass on to you and others.