Does Anyone Know What This Is?

I am posting this in hope one of you chicken people out there (you know who you are) can shed some light on this.

Amber, my Buff Orpington hen,  has been molting.  Other than being a bit less friendly than usual, and leaving feathers everywhere, she seems fine.  But a couple of days ago I noticed she had pink, reddish stripes up her legs and between her toes.  Neither Prudence or Beatrix have this.  It does not seem to be itchy or tender to the touch, but it is not usual.

IMG_3080I looked for pictures of something similar online and only found one.  That person was also puzzled and had asked for advise.  She wondered if it was mites (which I also wondered).  Someone suggested washing the feet and applying vaseline.  It wouldn’t do any harm and might help if it was mites.  There was no mention of the results.  So I have been doing that.  Amber doesn’t mind and is cooperative.

Still the redness persists….though it doesn’t seem to be getting any worse.

IMG_3082The back of her foot is red as well.

I have not separated her from the others (Prudence is very upset when her beloved Amber is not there) and so far their feet remain normal.

Any suggestions would be MOST welcome.  Thanks!


About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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10 Responses to Does Anyone Know What This Is?

  1. Carole says:

    It is mites, my rooster had them. Petroleum jelly covering the whole foot. This will smoother them. I did it at night.

  2. I have sent this to a friend of mine that has Orpingtons to see if she has seen it before.

  3. I would be most interested to hear what this could be. Do you have a local vet that you could put the question to?

  4. My chickens have had mites in the past and the effect on their feet is different (scales lifting and bulging) which doesn’t mean your problem isn’t mites. I treat mine by putting vegetable oil in a bowl and dunking the chicken’s feet in it. I hold their foot in and splash the oil all over everything (which makes it a 2 person job) and this does the trick. I repeat it weekly for a couple of weeks and the problem corrects itself. I suppose it’s similar to Vaseline but I find it easier to dunk knowing I’m coating all the mites rather than smearing and being afraid some of the mites hide. I use vegetable oil in my bee hives as well to kill little beetles in there (a trap they fall into when chased by bees). Veggie oil coats the bodies of the insects and since they breathe through holes in their bodies, they end up smothering. It is very effective.

    When I treat for mites I totally clean out the coop. Mites can, and do, live in every crevice. And I treat the feet of all my chooks at once for the same reason. No point in solving the problem in one place to have it pop up in another.

    Good luck with it.

    • pattigail says:

      Thanks Laura. I am treating all three hens now with the vaseline. Prudence was a bit pink this morning so I figured it was time to do all three. Amber does seem to be improving so that is good. I think you are right and I will have to clean the whole coop. Did you use anything special to clean it with? That will be my project for tomorrow I guess. 🙂

      • Nothing special. Soap, water, a scrub brush, lots of elbow grease and sunshine. I have only done this on sunny days as I want everything to dry well and I figure creepy crawlies hate the sunshine so might run away if I don’t get them with my scrub brush.

        I also throw away all the bedding and start over. We’re thinking it’s time to tackle this big job so my poor girls are laying in minimal bedding. I don’t want to add a bunch I just have to throw out. They don’t seem to mind though. Sometimes I wonder if a lot of the things I do for my chickens matters to them at all. The greedy little things really seem to just want treats and more treats 🙂

      • pattigail says:

        I know what you mean about treats…my little princesses are the same…they have no idea how spoiled they are. I was intending to do a thorough cleaning of Cluckinham Palace before winter anyway….mites…ewwww..YUCK!

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