The other day one of my hens, a Russian Orloff (a very good cold hardy breed by the way) was limping a little bit and holding her foot up a lot. One of her toes (at the base of it) was swollen. She had a small black scab on the bottom of it. She must have cut it or gotten a splinter. This is a form of Bumblefoot.
Reasons for getting Bumblefoot are:
-a cut or other wound becoming infected
-repeatedly landing on hard ground from a perch that is high up
-rough, sharp,or plastic perches
-rough, wired, or hard ground
-wet, unclean perches or ground
-heavy birds are more susceptible
To prevent this you should:
-keep the perches in the coop low (I would say no more than a couple feet high if you're in a walk in coop)
-use a variety of natural branches, that are clean and smooth (so they don't get splinters)
-keep the ground of the coop well padded (with soft shavings, straw, hay, etc)
-provide good nutritional laying pellets
-regularly check on your chickens for any signs of odd behavior, illness, or wounds
To treat Bumblefoot:
I just did this by myself, so I wasn't able to take any pictures, which is what helps me understand things best. So here is the website that helped me:
And go to this website to see how to wrap the chicken's foot after the surgery:
After the surgery, I put her in a cage with cushy towels on the bottom for the night. The next day she seemed to be doing alright. Her wound was clean and I re-bandaged and wrapped it and let her out with the others. She was pecking at the bandage a little, so I am checking her frequently to make sure the wrap isn't coming off. If it is, then re-wrap it and maybe keep her in the cage a little longer. I recommend re-wrapping /bandaging the foot daily until the wound has created a nice scab to prevent bacteria going in the wound, then she should be alright without it. Always keep a close eye and check daily any sick chicken.
Also, Bumblefoot can happen to any animal with a padded foot (versus a hoof), so make sure the animals always have a well bedded place to rest if they are living on hard or rough ground/perch or a wired cage.