• Cassie Snyder, DVM

Preventing Bumblefoot

Updated: Feb 24


Bumblefoot (or pododermatitis) is a common illness that is seen in backyard poultry. This infection/inflammatory condition can sometimes be caused by changes in weight distribution due to an injury, obesity, or lack of exercise; but it can also be a result of an injury to the surface of the foot, inappropriate housing facilities/flooring, or lack of swimming facilities for ducks. It often starts as a small, sensitive area of swelling on the bottom of the foot, but

can progress to a more severe case involving the bone, which can be life threatening or cause permanent damage. Earlier stages can often be treated by soaking the foot, while severe cases often require surgery.



The following are a few ways to prevent bumblefoot in your flock:

  • Maintain a clean environment for your flock.

  • Provide a soft and even ground substrate. Sand is a good option. Wire flooring/cages are not an acceptable long-term housing environment.

  • Apply artificial turf to ramps and other areas in their pen to help clean the birds’ feet

  • Address lameness early on.

  • Encourage movement and exercise to promote blood flow. Provide a swimming option for ducks

  • Feed an appropriate diet and do not allow birds to become overweight.

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