Bumblefoot – Backyard Chickens’ Health and Care

Illnesses in chickens

What is Bumblefoot?

Bumblefoot, also known as plantar pododermatitis, is a common bacterial infection that affects the feet of chickens. Bumblefoot is a painful condition that can make it difficult for chickens to walk and can also cause other health problems if left untreated.

Bumblefoot Symptoms

The most common symptom of bumblefoot is swelling and redness on the bottom of the chicken’s foot. The affected area may also feel warm to the touch and may be painful when the chicken walks. Over time, a scab or abscess may form on the affected area. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the bones and joints of the foot, leading to more serious health issues.

Bumblefoot Causes

Bumblefoot is caused by a variety of bacteria that can enter the foot through small cuts or scrapes in the skin. Poor living conditions, such as dirty or wet bedding, can increase the likelihood of foot injuries and make chickens more susceptible to infection. Other factors that can contribute to bumblefoot include poor nutrition, obesity, and lack of exercise.

Bumblefoot Diagnosis

Diagnosing bumblefoot in chickens is relatively straightforward. A veterinarian can examine the chicken’s foot and look for signs of swelling, redness, and other symptoms. In some cases, a culture may be taken from the infected area to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection.

Bumblefoot Treatment

Treatment for bumblefoot typically involves cleaning the affected area and removing any scabs or abscesses that have formed. The chicken’s foot may be soaked in warm water to soften the scab or abscess, making it easier to remove. Once the area is clean, antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight the infection. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissue or bone.

Bumblefoot Prevention

Preventing bumblefoot in chickens involves maintaining good living conditions, such as keeping bedding clean and dry. Regular foot checks can also help detect any injuries or cuts that could lead to infection. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help keep chickens healthy and less susceptible to infection.


Bumblefoot is a common bacterial infection that affects the feet of chickens. The condition is caused by a variety of bacteria that can enter the foot through small cuts or injuries in the skin. If left untreated, bumblefoot can cause serious health problems for chickens. Preventing bumblefoot involves maintaining good living conditions and providing chickens with a balanced diet and regular exercise. If you suspect that your chicken has bumblefoot, seek veterinary care to prevent further complications.

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