If you wondered why you hadn’t heard much from us during the winter, the chickens had a few issues that needed care and it really took a lot of time to resolve.
It started with the molting and then these blisters on the bottom of the feet of a number of the ladies. I had a vet come in who told me it was called Bumblefoot. It’s from pressure blisters on their feet that get infected! She said she believed the 2×4 boards we were using for roosts weren’t natural enough for their feet that like to curve around branches. It put pressure on their pads potentially causing the blister. It surprised me because I read online that 2X4 boards were good to use. I trust the vet though and when we changed the boards to branches things got better.
To cure the Bumblefoot we had to catch the chickens one at a time and soak their feet for 2 minutes in an antibiotic soak. If the sore is open we have to dry and wrap the foot with a little ointment. This goes on every 3 days until the spot heals. It takes awhile.Not how you want you spend your cold winter nights when you get home from work. With 27 chickens it takes a long time!
Soon after we got our rooster, Stewart, we noticed his feet were starting to look a little rough and he was walking gingerly. The scales on his feet looked lifted. Sending pictures to the vet she said it looked like mites. She said I may want to look deeper onto the skin to see if there were parasites and guess what…..there was! Looked like lice and mites! UGH! All the ladies were clean so my free rooster was the carrier.
Unfortunately that means we had to treat them all! 4 weeks of lice dust and completely cleaning out the coop 4 weekends in a row! And now we have 28 chickens. Dusting them all took too long. The good news is the hens were not laying eggs, or not many because they stopped during the molting season. Egg customers weren’t ordering anyway.
For the foot mites we are still treating Stewart for that. His legs are getting slathered with Vaseline every couple days to choke out any mites that are still under his scales.We won’t stop until his feet look normal again.
Craziness, but we have been lucky for so long, it was bound to happen.
Check out a good foot soak on the girls YouTube channel: