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Author Topic: Cockerel's feet don't look right  (Read 1279 times)


  • Joined May 2013
Cockerel's feet don't look right
« on: April 07, 2023, 05:57:10 pm »
My two year old cockerel's feet look rather large and swollen.  It is possible that this is normal for cockerels but he is the first one I have had that has made it past one year old!  The others have attacked me and promptly been dispatched.  He may be in some discomfort as he does lie down when the rest of the flock are pecking around.  He is still treading the hens, eating and crowing. 

I wondered if it is bumblefoot but both feet seem to be affected.  Any ideas and advice on treatment would be appreciated.  He is not a pet as such and whilst we can get close to him with no problem he won't be picked up.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Cockerel's feet don't look right
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2023, 06:41:21 pm »
That's a very serious condition which must be agonisingly painful. I would suspect bumble foot which will need antibiotics, or it could simply be swelling from injury. But the important thing is how did he get it? Repeated impact from height onto a hard surface would be my guess. How high is the perch and what does he land on? Max height a foot with soft bedding is required. For our biggest cock we had the perch set at 6" with a cushion floor of wood shavings under a feed bag and made special steps so he could walk down from the coop, rather than jump.

He needs to stay on the ground and perhaps it will clear up? May need Metacam (anti inflammatory) and antibiotics?

An aggressive cockerel can be an injured one- is that why they pecked you?


  • Joined May 2013
Re: Cockerel's feet don't look right
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2023, 07:08:53 pm »
He likes to fly onto the hen house, crow and then jump down onto the ground so I expect that is how it happened.  So it looks like a trip to the vets will be required.


  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Cockerel's feet don't look right
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2023, 08:03:51 pm »
It isn't bumble foot, which is a hard swelling on the sole of the foot, most characteristically marked by a black spot (but not always) and can be caused as Chris says by repeatedly jumping down from a height . It may be a vascular condition that could be helped with painkillers (metacam) but medication may take a while to help. He also looks like he has a degree of scaly leg mite infection on his left leg (on the right as you look at the photo) so it might be worth slathering his legs in sudocreme to smother the mites. You will need to treat the hens too.

If he is treading and crowing and generally active then I would just see how he goes with treatment with aforementioned medication but if he starts to get miserable then it would be kinder to despatch him.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Cockerel's feet don't look right
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2023, 08:00:32 am »
I think scales leg mite, possibly plus another infection/cause, could just be mites. I think there are many barrier type treatments, but a few drops of ivermectin kills all the mites. I used to buy topical drops for racing pigeons, but others put the drug in food or water. You will need to catch him and have a really good look at him and repeat treatments as necessary. See what else might be going on with this bird and a good look your other hens.

You say he’s laying down, this may or may not be typical. Is he lame? As Richmond says, if he starts going downhill I would be inclined to dispatch to save further distress. Maybe you can get an experienced bird keeping neighbour to have a look over your flock to see if they can advise you if there’s anything else going on with them? especially to see if any of the hens have scaley leg mite too.

Turns out there’s a more detailed answer here.


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Cockerel's feet don't look right
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2023, 02:20:35 pm »
My first thought was scaly leg before I read your post, still do, but I think bumble foot is a lump underneath.  maybe if he is jumping down from a height he may have hurt the equivalent of our ankle? (not up on bird anatomy :) ).
Go in at night to catch him when they are sleepy, if he is difficult to catch I would keep himin a smaller cage until he has been treated, may also give his foot/'ankle' a rest as well.
Hope he comes right for you. :fc:


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