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#12032 - 12/17/06 01:03 PM Toes falling off (pics added!)
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I need a little bit of help on this one. I have a Light Brahma X Orpington cross...thing. I don't know if it's a male or a female. It has no wattles and barely has a comb...so I have no clue. He's almost 7 months ( I call it a he because it has the feathering of a male, but the voice and maturity rate of a female?) Anyway...the problem is, the males that I had placed "Frodo" with apparently abused him. I saw it wasn't moving around much, so I went and saved it. I picked the bird up and I bet you it weighed less than a pound. Poor thing. I noticed he also had trouble walking, and after a good look, noticed that his toes are cold to the touch, and turning purplish black. Not one of the other roosters or any other birds for that matter have ANY issues with their feet right now. I'm assuming Frodo used to sleep on the ground, where it would be warmer than on the fencing...where the other roosters slept.

Pretty soon, all that will be left are nubs on his legs. He's already lost all circulation to one of his toes, and it is hard as a rock. It's bulged at his "ankle." Is there anything I can do help him besides putting him down. He's awfully sweet...and for some reason, I feel there's a reason he's this way?

Thank you for any help. He is gaining weight, but if gangrene is running rampant in his feet, there's not much hope for him. Does anyone have any ideas what is going on with his feet? Why both feet? If you'd like, I could attempt to post pictures, but the dial-up connection really puts a damper on things!

Mikaela

Here are the pics that I just took:

This one looks like one of his feet have already lost the toes, but they haven't fallen off yet. They are just curled back under his foot. Keep in mind that Frodo CAN walk on this and actually gets around very well.

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#12033 - 12/18/06 08:28 PM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Fowl Lover Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 532
Loc: Nebraska
HMMM--well, if it's been cold perhaps he's not allowed to sleep where he can keep his feet warm and it is the cold. Perhaps it's a nutrition issue. I guess at this point the why isn't so much the question as "what to do?". If you really want to try to save him there are a few things you should do. Put him in a warm (not over heated) place with soft bedding. Those feet are awfully fragile right now. You can soak the feet in tepid/warm water. Test to be sure it's not hot. Maybe even add some epsom salts to that. Give him easy access to feed and water. I'd also get him some antibiotics. Probably a pennicillin injection followed by an oral antibiotic for a couple weeks. Keep something on the feet like bag balm or something to keep the skin in good shape as he heals. That's all that comes to my mind right now but I'll keep mulling it over, if I come up with something else I'll let you know.

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#12034 - 12/18/06 09:03 PM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1924
Loc: New Zealand
You could maybe treat his feet as you would for ulcers. If you have such a thing over there, use vaseline (may also be known as petroleum jelly) in 2-1 parts with cod liver oil. Bring it to the boil with small squares of gauze in it stirring ocaisionally. This sterilizes the gauze. Be warned it smells dammed horrible, so you might want to cook it outside in a "throwaway" pot or tin. Let is go cold and set. Wrap the gauze around the affected toes and put drawstring boots on his feet. tie knots he won't unpick. You may need to crank up the sewing machine and make some boots. Replace the gauze packing every second day, and don't leave them around to be eaten, chooks like cod liver oil.

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#12035 - 12/24/06 11:18 PM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I had him inside of the back bathroom and gave him daily soakings in the Epsom salts. Unfortunately, nothing happened. His feet have gotten harder and he's lost another toe. His other foot has started curling under, but he is walking better than he was? My parents wouldn't let me do the cod-liver oil treatment as we don't own any throw-away pots...my dad likes to keep EVERYTHING!

We thought he was going to die awhile back as he stopped eating for 2 days, then started right back up. I don't know what is wrong with this bird. I figured the bird would be alright if it was missing a couple of toes, but as of right now, his entire foot from the bottom part of the ankle down is getting ready to go. I mean, it's as though someone drew a line at the ankle joints and the bottom part of the line is where the foot is blue, then purple, then blackish/red and all scrunched up. I'm afraid that if the bird actually does lose both feet, we may have to put it down. It's not much of a life to sit in one spot all day long. Even though he doesn't seem to mind having to hobble to get around. He's also VERY good friends with my cat, so maybe he'll make a good friend for her??

Is there something else I can do to make him a little more comfortable? I moved him back out into the flock and he's back at the bottom of the pecking order, but he's better off than being the female in a group full of males! (I STILL can't tell if it's a male or a female!)

Mikaela

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#12036 - 12/26/06 05:50 PM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Gina Elmore Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 216
Loc: South Dakota
i had a chicken like this. his foot fell off and the vet diagnosed it as bumblefoot. He walked around just fine and he lived until i gave him away to a friend. id just let it live as it is with a friend that doesnt pick on it.
-GME

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#12037 - 12/26/06 09:42 PM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Chris Link Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Missouri
I would say he suffered sever frostbite on his feet.. Probibly from the poor condition you said he was in when you noticed him... Probibly be best to put him down cause the next hard cold snap i'd say he will perish unless you step in and save his life again.. Personally I don't want to be a slave to poor helpless chickens and if he were to somehow manage to survive would those weak genetics be something you would like to add to a flock? Next winter you could have a whole house full of birds cause they can't make it outside... Not every egg that hatches is going to grow into a productive bird some are weak and will die natures way of culling the weak if you cheat it you will pay for it down the road... Chris
_________________________
Chris
http://groups.msn.com/linksoegb

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#12038 - 12/27/06 01:46 AM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1924
Loc: New Zealand
Sounds like he has a dry form of gangrene in which case it will keep on creeping and you will not be able to save his life. May have started from any one of a number of things. Frostbite, poor circulation, heart defect, spiderbite.....
Oh and you can use either an empty fruit can or similar in place of the "throwawaypot" but a good stainless steel pot will scour out successfully with some elbow grease on that cod liver oil recipe!

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#12039 - 12/27/06 06:08 AM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
T. Adkerson Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 895
Loc: Missouri
The feet on your chickens should be cold. It is not unusual for the feet to be in 37 to 40 degrees F when the temperature is O F. Looks like that bird had poor circulation to his feet. Birds have a counter current system called the rete mirabile that works to conserve heat. Evidently your birds system did not work properly or there was vascular damage in the feet.

Tim

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#12040 - 12/29/06 09:30 AM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I have an oddball idea of what may have happened. Since he was the low man on the totem pole in the rooster/meat pen, when there was a HUGE snow here, maybe he wasn't allowed to get anywhere else but the snowed on ground?? Could that have caused this? It's just so odd because none of my other birds have this problem. They had all the same feed. I guess I'm going to assume that because he was forced by the top birds in the pen to stay on the ground (where the snow was) and the top birds also kept him away from the feed, that it was a melting pot for trouble.

As for being a slave Chris_link, I've done MUCH worse than go and pick a bird up and put it in the coop every night. When I was a kid, I fed a full-grown bird through a tube. I didn't know that it was Marek's at the time...I was young! I slaved over that bird for 2 years. I loved her though. Frodo, if a male, will probably never breed and I'm okay with that. He seems content to be let out every so often to forage (under supervision) and to sleep. If it's a hen and does eventually lay an egg, it's alright. I'm only using the Minorca eggs (they're the only ones in the pen that lay white eggs! lol!) for hatching. So no problems with mixed up brown-eggers except for the ones I'm purposely mixing!

Foehn, this "creeping" gangrene would move up the leg, or would it just contaminate his blood system and eventually kill him due to infection? Would I be able to see the gangrene on the outside of the leg? He is gaining weight and the line at the ankle has not gotten any wider and hasn't started moving up the leg. Should I be watching for signs of green/black/purple moving up the leg?

Thanks for all the help guys! He seems to be doing fine other than getting bullied around a little bit. They don't bother him NEARLY as much as the roosters did! He even has a small friend that's about 3 months old now!

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#12041 - 12/29/06 11:58 AM Re: Toes falling off (pics added!)
Anonymous
Unregistered


The parts that are hard and black are already dead and cannot be revived. There is no circulation and no hope they'll "come back." They'll likely fall off on their own, but do keep an eye out for the gangrene spreading further up the leg. If need be, you can TIGHTLY tie off the stump- although personally I'd rather just put the poor thing down than let it go to that extreme. I'd suggest giving it a dose of twin-pen (procaine penicillin "G") to help arrest infection, along with boosted vitamins in the water & clean, dry living quarters until things heal up.

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