Can Quails Get Bumblefoot? (Answered)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Bumblefoot is a prevalent ailment among domesticated poultry and waterfowl, including chickens, ducks, and quail.

Quails can develop microscopic wounds on the bottom of their feet as a result of repeated walking on hard, rough, or pointed surfaces. 

Bumblefoot is an unusually playful-sounding name for a deadly ailment that affects caged birds’ feet, joints, and bones worldwide.

It is also known as pod dermatitis.

It is an inflammatory ailment of the soles of the feet that, when treated promptly and vigorously, can be cleared without inflicting long-term or major damage to the bird.  

However, birds infected with severe and untreated bumblefoot can become systemically diseased in extreme situations, rendering their lives unsustainable.

In addition, these bacterial infections that started in the footpads can eventually kill the bird.

What is bumblefoot, and what are the symptoms?

Can Quails Get Bumblefoot

Ulcerative pododermatitis, commonly known as Bumblefoot, is a bacterial infection. 

And the inflammatory response that affects the feet of a variety of birds, rodents, and rabbits.

Bumblefoot is a staphylococcus infection that enters the bird’s system by an injury, cut, scratch, and irritated place on its foot. 

The infection results in the formation of a pus-filled abscess.

Unless you constantly check on your bird, the first clue that it may be suffering from a problem will be a chicken walking somewhat strangely or limp.

Additional symptoms include the following:

  • Scabs on the soles of the feet – black, round
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Skin thickening 
  • Lameness
  • Unwillingness to walk
  • Ulceration on the soles of the feet 

Here is an article I wrote on can quails get lice

How do I know if my quails have bumblefoot?

The most common way to know if your quail has bumblefoot is through limping and lameness.

Unfortunately, by that time, the infection had already been festering for some time.

When you examine the foot, you will notice redness, swelling, and either a callous-looking lesion, a lump between the toe, or a black scab on the footpad. 

You can arrange for a veterinarian to visit and examine your birds. Additionally, check all birds to determine whether this is an isolated incident.

How do you get rid of bumblefoot in quails?

Do not be frightened if you notice a primary stage of Bumblefoot infection on one or more of your quails.

The early stages of this contagion are treatable. First, simply soak the diseased foot in a basin of warm water and Epsom salts.

Next, take a piece of cloth and gently dry the whole foot.

Afterward, put honey on it, which functions as an antibiotic, antifungal and antiseptic, or non-toxic Nu-Stock or Vetericyn, then cover with gauze and use a vet wrap to tighten the bandage and deter nosy quail beaks. 

Additionally, you can provide some TLC by bringing the hen inside a crate for some egg-stra love and attention and monitoring the recovery process. 

However, if your bird does not get better after some days, you should contact your local veterinarian.

If the infection is advanced and a dark scab is visible, you can undertake surgery at home or consult a competent avian doctor.

Surgery is unquestionably a two-person job, and while it is not difficult, it might be intimidating for the average backyard quail rearer.

Surgery entails removing the scab and the underlying infectious core, which may or may not have hardened. 

Occasionally, this core is connected to the scab, making removal easier. After that, drain any pus and treat the wound as described previously.

If you decide to do the surgery yourself, you may Google the technique and obtain extensive details accompanied by photographs or videos.

The infection can move from the leg and into other tissues and bones if left untreated.

This will eventually result in permanent lameness or perhaps death.

While this infection is straightforward to identify, it can also be cured at home if identified early.

If you notice anything “just isn’t right” with your birds’ feet, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.

Will bumblefoot go away?

These infections do not resolve independently; instead, the sores develop into painful abscesses, which allow opportunistic microorganisms (often Staphylococcus aureus) to penetrate the weakening skin.

In time, the infection spreads to the joints and bones of the feet and legs, necrotizing the surrounding tissues.

As a result, ulcers on foot may develop, and the bird may grow increasingly lame.

Also check out this article I wrote on keeping quails and chickens together

How do I prevent my birds from getting bumblefoot?

As is often the case, prevention is preferable to cure, and there are three primary areas where you may assist in reducing the possibility of developing Bumblefoot.

The first is to ensure that there are enough perches and that they are of an appropriate size; this includes ensuring that they are not so small that the birds must curl their feet around them.

Also, ensure that the perches have rounded edges that do not dig into the bird’s feet, causing pressure sores and allowing bacteria to enter.

Another preventive method is to minimize wet litter or flooring and avoid allowing a build-up of mud where your birds will stand for an extended time.

Although, this depends on the weather. However, keeping the litter dry for the quail is quite beneficial.

When quails spend excessive time in wet, muddy circumstances, their feet become softer and more susceptible to sores, allowing bacteria to enter and cause Bumblefoot.

The preventive technique is to keep your birds’ feet free of wounds.

Therefore, ensure that no sensitive materials, such as nails or wire, are lying around and that your birds cannot become trapped anywhere, such as in damaged floorboards or fences.

If your birds do sustain a wound, prompt treatment, including wound cleansing using an antiseptic solution, bandaging, and keeping the foot dry, should help avoid the development of Bumblefoot.

Is bumblefoot common?

Yes. Bumblefoot is a common infection. It affects all types of domesticated poultry birds as well as rabbits.

What antibiotic treats bumblefoot?

To ensure compatibility, antibiotics should be chosen based on wound culture and antibiotic sensitivity data.

The most popular antibiotics are lincomycin, fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, and clindamycin.

In addition, Enrofloxacin and chloramphenicol are frequently recommended when osteomyelitis is present.

Is bumblefoot contagious to humans?

Not exactly. While people cannot contract bumblefoot directly, the most common organism that causes bumblefoot, Staphylococcus aureus, can infect humans.

Therefore this makes it essential to ensure your birds are adequately cared for. 

Even the healthy one can still serve as carriers to pathogens that make us sick, so ensure you wear gloves and thoroughly wash your hands when dealing with this case.

In addition, remember that humans are the greatest source of illness transmission via fomites, so ensure that you have separate clothing and footwear for working in your coop that does not go inside your house.

How do you treat bumblefoot naturally?

Bumblefoot can be treated naturally.

Numerous natural products include antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties comparable to, if not superior to, chemical counterparts. 

Colloidal silver, essential oils, and herbs are just a few examples.

1. Colloidal Silver Treatment for Bumblefoot (Cs)

Colloidal silver possesses antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.

It can be used both inside and externally to treat diseases and injuries.

Colloidal silver is created by suspending minute and submicroscopic silver particles in distilled water.

2. Treatment for Bumblefoot Using Essential Oils (Eo)

Take extreme caution when administering essential oils to livestock. A small amount goes a long way.

There are numerous essential oils available to treat bumblefoot naturally. 

Choose oils that are non-toxic to the species being treated.

Following that, seek out an oil renowned for its antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties.

For example, Oregano, Rosemary, Copaiba, Frankincense, Vetiver, Geranium, Helichrysum, Thyme, Myrrh, Lavender, Melaleuca, Patchouli, and Spikenard.

3. Herbal Treatment for Bumblefoot

Herbs have been used for a far longer period than one can fathom.

Herbal medicine’s natural therapeutic properties are exceptional, and we utilize them routinely to build a strong immune system and treat diseases.

For example, Oregano, thyme, astragalus, sage, and others

Along with herbs, fresh garlic helps enhance the immune system, while raw apple cider helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. 


Bumblefoot is not an infection to be taken lightly.

Any delay or ignorance can result in the permanent lameness of your bird or death.

So it is advisable to ask questions about things you do not understand or visit a vet for better clarification.

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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