- Winter Heat Transference
- Hormone Surge
Scald is when the skin on the legs, and particularly the feet of your chickens, turns a very red raw colour and becomes painful for the chicken. This is a condition brought about purely through housing problems – wet bedding and flooring results in the ammonia in the droppings literally burning through the skin. If you have ever burnt your hand on the oven, scale this up to your whole foot and imagine walking on it – scald is excruciatingly painful and requires treatment! However, scald is also easily prevented by cleaning out the housing regularly, moving runs around, and providing plenty of space. Good ventilation is also essential because ammonia also gives off vapours that are toxic to the lungs, so can cause breathing difficulties.
Information from: www.darwinvets.com/poultry/common-chicken-problems-diseases
Signs include limping and holding feet up off of the ground. Can be very sensitive to the touch.
Winter Heat Transference
If winter is approaching the blood flow in a chickens feet will increase by 40% of its usual. Due to this increase in blood flow, the chickens inbuilt heat transfer of blood heat (that prevents large quantities of body heat to be lost through their feet), this increase of blood flow will often cause your chickens feet to go red/pink.
Information from: http://forum.thepoultrysite.com/discussion/14554/redirect/p1
Noticeable in some breeds and not others. The Naked breeds are the most common in this category.
Particularly noticeable in roosters as they come into sexual maturity.
Some Treatment Ideas
- Vitamin A may assist.
- Stand chicken in lukewarm water with iodine solution in it.
(Do not put wet chicken outside immediately after this treatment. Allow them to fully dry and recuperate indoors. Moisture will increase the chill)
- For Scald: Figure out where the chicken is getting into an ammonia or other problem area and mitigate the area or barricade it ASAP. Put down gravel, straw or wood shavings to help alleviate the wet muddy ground situation.
- Change the roosting rails to wood. Metal and wire conducts more cold to their feet.
Pink/red and normal looking feet are better than pink/red and swollen feet.
Investigate if there are signs of bumblefoot or mites first.
If you know of any more causes, please let us know in the comments below.