Today I went down to the allotment and ended up staying to help Geoff and Cliff operate on two of Geoff’s chickens!
I got busy feeding and cleaning up after our girls and went round to talk to Geoff. He really does have a magic way with chickens – I found him sat in his coop with a chicken asleep on his lap. After we chatted for a while, we noticed that one of his gorgeous Rhode Island Reds had something wrong with her foot. We called Cliff over who had a look while Geoff held her still.
The base of her foot was quite swollen and underneath she had a black spot, a characteristic sign of bumblefoot. Fortunately, Cliff has found a way to treat it. He used a solution of warm water and Epsom salts in a bucket, placed the chicken into the water and leave her there to soak her feet for about 20 mins. In order to keep her in the bucket, we placed a lid over the top, with a gap so she could have a supply of fresh air.
After 20 minutes, we took her out and Geoff held her while Cliff attempted to remove the black core of the bumblefoot. The solution cleans their feet and allows clear access to the core. Cliff managed to get most of it out and then sprayed her foot with special antiseptic spray.
Then we went on to the second patient. Let it be noted that this patient wasn’t patient, and Geoff had a harder job keeping her still. Luckily, the core came out easily and in one piece so it was a quicker job. Antiseptic spray applied and she went off sporting hilariously purple feet.
Plan for treatment tomorrow is to give her another soak in the Epsom salts solution and applying more antiseptic spray to keep everything clean.