Bumblefoot Plantar Abscess Staphyl ...

Bumblefoot Plantar Abscess Staphylococcus spp. in Laying Hens

Bumblefoot Plantar Abscess Staphylococcus spp. in Laying Hens

 Plantar abscess ("Bumblefoot") caused by Staphylococcus spp. is a common infection seen in mature chickens that leads to massive swelling of the foot, lameness and reluctance to walk. Some hens may show ruffled feathers. Culling (removing injured or non-productive birds) may affect somehow liveability. (1, 2)

Observed Clinical Signs Happenings

Visibly sick birds

  • Few visibly sick birds
  • Plantar abscess
  • Reluctance to walk
  • Low mobility

Body Parts (Neck wings breast abdomen shanks legs hocks feet joints vent skin)

  • Massive swelling of the foot

Lameness or unusual movement incoordination ataxia

  • Lameness in one or both legs
  • Reluctance to walk
  • Low mobility

Feathers abnormalities

  • Some birds may show ruffled feathers
  • Early clinical signs included ruffled feathers

Bumblefoot Plantar Abscess Staphylococcus spp. in Laying Hens DOES NOT exhibit or manifest any of the following clinical signs happenings:

  1. Egg drop
  2. Mortality above the standard
  3. Many visibly sick birds
  4. Flock behaviour activity change
  5. Droppings abnormalities
  6. Respiratory abnormalities
  7. Neurological Nervous
  8. Head, Comb, Wattles, Face, Nostrils, Sinuses, Mount, Beak, Earlobes, abnormalities (except eyes)
  9. Feed Consumption Changes
  10. Diet or Feed Changes (Recent Feed delivery, Recent formulation /diet, Other silo or improper storage, another feed brand)
  11. Shell quality defects
  12. Internal Egg defects
Causing Agents
Bacterial disease. Staphylococcosis plantar abscess. Staphylocccuss aureus, or Staphylocccuss spp. In most cases, this infection would involve damage to an environmental barrier, such as skin wound.
Affected Systems/Organs
Locomotor system
Mainly Affects
Therapy is palliative only
Suggested Actions
  • Can be confirmed with clinical signs and gross lesions
  • Can be dealt with in house

Impact on Egg quality


Impact on Liveability


Impact on Production


Overall Economic Impact


  1. Y.M. Saif. 2008. Disease of Poultry. 12th Edition. page 895
  2. David E. Swayne. 2013.  Diseases of Poultry 13th Edition. page 976
  3. Mark Pattison, Paul F. McMullin, Janet M. Bradbury. Dennis J. Alexander. 2008. Poultry Diseases. 6th Edition.
  4. Paul McMullin. 2004. A Pocket Guide to Poultry Health and Disease. First Edition. page 195
  5. Steven Leeson, John D. Summers. 2008. Commercial Poultry Nutrition. Third Edition.
  6. Donald D. Bell, Williams D. Weaver. 2009.  Commercial Chicken Meat and Egg Production. Fifth Edition.
  7. Gail Damerow 1994. The Chicken Health Handbook.

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