Jay Angler wrote:A few questions:
1. What are you using for bedding?
2. What are you disinfecting the totes with?
We have an ~7 ft square brooding room and I've started using coffee sacks over plastic sheeting as the bedding and I simply add a new layer each day. I've seen similar sores in older meat chickens if they were sitting in too much high nitrogen shit that it was "burning" the skin. Joel Salatin doesn't clean out his brooder, but just adds more bedding so long as he's got a healthy biome working, and he says the chicks end up healthier than if he were to clean it out. (deep mulch system) He has suitable raw materials and a much larger scale than we have.
To quote an Aussie site, "Bumblefoot is basically an infection caused by the staphylococcus bacteria which enters the chicken's system through a cut, scratch, injury or a chafed and irritated area on its foot. The infection creates an abscess full of pus. It affects all species of poultry and occurs worldwide."
This suggests that somehow the chick's feet are getting damaged, either before or after you get them. If it's before, then the hatchery is doing something wrong. If it's at your end, look for anything you might be doing different - a different brand of bedding for instance, sawdust that's sharp and chafing? Staph is everywhere - the question is how is it getting into the chick's feet. When we've done layer chicks which are smaller and grow slower, I'd actually use fabric as their bedding and wash it in plain water and sun dry it. Too much work for a larger group.
Timothy Markus wrote:I've had good success with this pelleted bedding: