We have a few bantams that have very feathered feet – the Pekins and the Barba D’uccles. They look super-cute with their little trousers, but there is a downside to having feathered feet that we discovered a few weeks ago.
James noticed that they a couple of them seem to have great balls of mud encasing their feet and that they were having huge trouble walking.
Just before bed we captured a couple of them and I took a look. They had balls of mud under their feet the size of tennis balls. This was hard, compacted mud and must have been very painful and hard for them to move around as they were so heavy. Their little toes were imbedded in the mud.It must have built up gradually over the past few weeks or months, mud clinging to their feathers in this wet weather and then drying on. We have had them a couple of years but this is the first time I have seen it.
Gradually and gently I soaked their feet in warm water and tried to prize off the mud without hurting their toes. Finally I managed to free them. A few feathers came away, but there was no damage to their little feet.
We popped them in a box to let them dry off over night and then reintroduced them to the flock.