QMy old Brahma cockerel has a swollen foot. It feels rather hot and someone said it might be bumblefoot and also that this is fatal – really? What can I do?
AVictoria says: I afraid you have been misled. The only occasion I can think of bumblefoot being ‘fatal’ is if it is left alone and not treated at all, the heavy bird cannot reach the food on only one good leg and can starve. Bumblefoot is caused initially by a bruise, usually from perches that are too high (30cm is fine for heavy birds), then the bacterium Staphlococcus gains entry and causes a large abscess which has solid pus – (chickens always have solid pus; cats have brown liquid stinky pus, rabbits have pus like white toothpaste) thus it is difficult to treat successfully as medication cannot get in to the abscess through its thick wall. The best treatment, especially in the early stages – as with all birds – is to use poultices, several times a day. This is effective but must be consistent and can take weeks to draw out all the pus.