Archive | November, 2013

Bluey has Bumblefoot

17 Nov

Panic has struck me! How could I have not noticed? My poor little pekin, Bluey has suspected Bumblefoot!

This is something I have not come across yet whilst keeping hens.

Keep feet dry and clean!

Keep feet dry and clean!

 

Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection caused by the staphylococcus bacterium that is actually found normally on the skin. The bacteria can enter the skin of a hen if she wounds the pads of her feet such as jumping off high perches, rough splinted perches and some kinds of bedding particularly if damp. Bumblefoot may also be passed onto a chick through the egg.

Immediate attention is needed with this inflamed and painful bacterial infection. If left, the infection will spread and could possibly rupture through the top of a hens foot.  If you are able, you can start treatment at home straight away. You may however need antibiotics to get rid of the infection totally as it can easily come back if the core of the abscess is not completely removed.  You will need patience and determination!

The signs of Bumblefoot…

The black scab indicates Bumblefoot

The black scab indicates Bumblefoot

 

  • A hen may limp.
  • The foot may feel hot to touch and appear swollen.
  • An abscess with a black scab may appear on the pad of the foot.
  • The hen may appear sorry for herself and not move around much.

Treatment I have found helpful in FIGHTING Bumblefoot…

  • Where gloves to protect yourself! The bacteria can infect you if you have an open cut!
  • Soak the hens infected foot in hand hot water to which you have added some Epsom Salts. The Epsom Salts help to soften the scab and draw the pus to the surface.
Enjoying a foot spa!

Enjoying a foot spa!

 

  • Gently whilst talking to your hen and making sure she is not suffering any stress, rub the scab with your finger or thumb in circular movements.
  • Keep soaking her feet and replacing the water so it remains quite hot all the time.
  • This procedure took me 2 hours but eventually the scab softened and came away with some pus to leave a hole.
  • Ensure the hole is clean and dry. Spray with a small animal/poultry antiseptic to ensure the area is clean. I used Vetericyn Wound and Skin Care.
Wrapped in towels to dry those feathers!

Wrapped in towels to dry those feathers!

 

  • Apply a poultice. I used Animalintex Poultice which contains Boric Acid to help draw out any further infection. You can also use magnesium sulphate which you can get from the pharmacy.
  • Apply a pad of cotton wool on top of the poultice and wrap the hens foot in Vetrap to secure. DO NOT WRAP TIGHTLY. Just enough to keep the poultice in place and the foot clean. Do not use red vetrap! Hens are attracted to red and may pull off the bandaging!
Bandaging the feet using Vetwrap

Bandaging the feet using Vetwrap

 

  • Repeat this entire procedure every couple of days until the pad of the foot is healed and shows no signs of redness.
  • Check your other hens in the flock just in case you have others suffering from this infection.
  • You may have to carry this procedure out for 2 to 3 weeks so you need to be patient. If after this time, you still have a problem, go back to your vets as you may need a further course of antibiotics or the vet may suggest it may need lancing to get the last of the infection out.

Bluey is still receiving treatment for her Bumblefoot infection. One foot has healed over but the skin holds a pinkish tone which the vet recommended I keep an eye on. I do not really want to go down the route of it being lanced so I am trying to be really vigilant on applying a poultice and bandaging. She is quite happy in the run with the other hens and as you can see from the post “Bluey Knows her name“, she can run in her purple socks quite well!!

There is an excellent YouTube video on how to bandage a hens foot which can be a tricky thing to do! It really is easier if you have 2 of you but if not, try a towel over the hens head which can calm her. Check she can  breathe ok and talk calmly to her. Once you have mastered it once, it does get easier!

 

 

Broody in November??

10 Nov

The nights are drawing in…

Leaves are showing the golden shades of Autumn and dawn brings a chill to the air.

So I hear myself say…

“How is it I have 2 broody pekins in November?”

 

Dom Perignon who is only 8 months old has layed well this Summer. She is a light buff pekin quite champagne like in colour, daughter to Lemony Splicket and Zippy. She is already showing similarities to her mother. Dom even sounds like her mother. She has been broody now for a couple of weeks despite the weather turning quite cold!

Bluey, the sweet little splash pekin is also fancying her chances of a winter hatch. This is her 2nd time of broodiness this year but sadly again, there are no fertile eggs under her. Maybe next Spring will see her mothering her newly hatched chicks…

 

I am so wanting chicks for Christmas

I am so wanting chicks for Christmas