Because chickens typically live in outdoor environments on unstable terrain, they are susceptible to a number of foot-related health issues. Foot problems are some of the most common problems in chickens and they vary in severity. It is important to be able to identify any issues and treat them as soon as possible for the health and comfort of the chicken.
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If you notice that your chicken is walking with a limp or seems to walk as though something is under its foot, bumble foot may be the cause. If your chicken has bumble foot, you will find an abscess that looks similar to a callus, according to the website Avian Web. These are often caused by unstable surfaces.
Crooked toes are a common occurrence in chickens. Most often crooked toes will occur when a chicken hatches. This is usually because the chick did not use its feet enough during hatching so the muscles did not strengthen. It can also be caused by letting a new chick walk on a slippery surface. Often it can be fixed by taping the chicken's toes straight or by making a "shoe" out of pipe cleaners. If not corrected early on, crooked toes may be impossible to fix.
Straddle leg and crooked toes often go hand-in-hand, as one can cause the other. Straddle leg is caused by slippery surfaces or a chick being unable to walk normally due to crooked toe, among other reasons. A chicken with straddle leg will have its legs splayed out and often will have a curled foot.
Scaley Leg Mite
If you notice the scales of a chicken's feet are raised, it may be due to mites. Mites can sometimes crawl underneath the scales of chickens and push the scales upward. This causes extreme discomfort to the chicken and may prevent it from walking if left untreated long enough. Petroleum jelly spread on the chicken's feet and legs can suffocate the mites as well as soothe the foot.
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