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When Bumblefoot Strikes

Author Photo
By Rachel Falco | Dec 21, 2015

What is it?

Bumblefoot is a staph bacterial infection which has penetrated, typically by a puncture wound or other significant injury, on your bird’s foot. It causes the foot to swell, typically creates a nasty-looking scab and can lead to paralysis or even death.

The Cause?

Staph bacteria penetrate the bird’s foot, typically from a puncture wound, while birds are in a dirty environment, in a coop, in pasture and are malnourished, old or young, or have a compromised immune system.


Provide a dry environment for perching, remove materials that can puncture their feet, provide excellent nutrition, do not overfeed, provide sprouted grains and seeds, allow your birds to graze in antibacterial herbaceous pastures, decrease winter stress with access to dry shelter and provide them with access to lots of sunlight.

The Cure?

Soak your bird’s foot in Epsom salt and warm water. Remove the scab(s) using tweezers and soak foot again as infection drains out of the wound. There are not as many nerves in poultry feet — especially duck or goose feet — as other animals. Apply Manuka honey on the drained open wound and wrap with gauze and vet wrap. Isolate your bird in a warm kennel with a soft bedding material such as wood shavings. In their waterer, add 15 drops of oregano essential oil and 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar per gallon.

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