What’s Bumble Foot?

Broiler birds are selectively bred to be very heavy, as this means more 'meat' to be sold. This weight can leave rescue chickens with some very sore feet...

Bumble foot is characterised by a pus-filled abscess that is covered by a black scab on the soft pads of a chicken’s foot. Symptoms include lameness, swelling, and a reluctance to walk, because of pain.

Many broiler chickens have to go on antibiotics to help their feet. Sometimes if the abscess is already quite large, it must be soaked in warm water, sterilised, and then the pus must be drained. This is of course painful if not done correctly with pain relief. Feet are then wrapped to protect from infection.

Broiler chickens are also kept on a strict diet to ensure they do not grow too large, as the extra weight they can build up due to selective breeding intensifies the risk of bumble foot.