I was giving "the girls" some watermelon rind for their afternoon snack the other day when I noticed two of them had what looked like giant blisters between their toes. I'd read about a condition called bumble foot on the Backyard Chickens forum at some point. When I got a chance to look it up later that afternoon, one of the posts had detailed instructions about how to treat it. With DIY surgery! What?!
According to this post, with pictures, all I needed to do was soak the foot in salt water, pull off the black "plug" and get the hard yellow stuff out, then pack it with Neosporin and bandage it up. Easy as chicken soup, right?
No, Marsala, we are not making chicken soup
I started with the Wyandote since she is a little older and more docile than the Australorp. I got everything I needed together and enlisted The Music Man to hold them while I "operated". He was too busy holding the chicken to take any pictures of that, but if you must see what it looks like, you can go here.
This is where years of working as a vet tech has paid off. I've watched countless surgery on cats and dogs and bandaged them up afterward. Surprisingly, the hen didn't squirm around too much. I'll spare you the details.
Next up was the younger, bigger Australorp, Eleanor. To add to the challenge, she has it on both feet. I think I got it all and The Music Man may have a new career as chicken vet tech.
She's a beautiful hen, though in this picture she looks a little bit like the Loch Ness Chicken.
I'm a little leery about putting them back in the run with the bandages but it's too hot to keep them in the dog crate, so I'll just have to keep an eye on them, and move the chicken ark more often.
In a little over a week, my sister, Vicki, will be taking care of things here while we go to Ireland. She's not crazy about chickens, especially their big, ugly feet.