Feather Footed Chickens: A Unique Addition to Your Flock

Feather footed chickens are a trendy choice for chicken enthusiasts looking to add some variety to their flock. With fully feathered legs and even giant bell bottoms, these chickens certainly make a fashion statement in the coop.

While the feathered feet may not offer any extra benefits besides their aesthetic appeal, there are a few unique challenges that come with keeping birds with feathered feet. Most of these challenges are environmental, but one stands out as a medical concern.

Fighting with Mud

One of the biggest challenges for chickens with feathered feet is mud. Living in the North East, where mud seems to be a constant presence, I’ve learned that feathered feet can be a messy affair. The issue arises in the nest box, where the chickens track mud and dirt from their feet onto the eggs.

To combat this, it’s essential to keep the coop floor covered in a thick layer of bedding such as wood shavings, straw, or dried leaves. This helps to minimize the amount of mud that sticks to their feet as they walk into the coop. Additionally, if possible, creating a longer distance between the coop door and the nest boxes can allow more time for the mud to dry or be absorbed by the bedding.

Foot Feather Problems

Feathered feet can also lead to another problem: ingrown feathers. While chickens can develop ingrown feathers anywhere on their bodies, I’ve found that feathered feet are particularly susceptible. The red and irritated patches on the outsides of their feet indicate areas where the feathers should be.

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To address this issue, soaking the feet in warm Epsom salt water and gently removing the casings that grow over the feathers can help. While some feathers may fall out on their own during this process, others may need to be carefully pulled out to avoid potential bleeding and further complications.

Types of Feather Footed Chickens

Now, let’s dive into some fascinating feather footed chicken breeds that I have in my flock. These three breeds cover a range of sizes, making them a great choice for anyone interested in keeping feather footed chickens.

Brahma Chickens

Brahmas are undoubtedly my favorite chickens. These giant, fluffy birds are known for their calm and friendly demeanor. Roosters can weigh up to 12 pounds, while hens reach around 9.5 pounds. Their large size makes them suitable for both egg production and meat purposes.

One notable trait of Brahma chickens is their ability to lay 150+ medium-large brown eggs each year. They also have a small pea comb, making them well-suited for colder climates. Despite their size, they are hardy birds that can withstand harsh winters.

Cochin Chickens

Similar to Brahma chickens, Cochins come in both standard and bantam sizes. They are also known for their docile temperament and broodiness. While slightly lighter than Brahmas, Cochins still make for substantial birds, with roosters weighing around 11 pounds and hens around 8.5 pounds.

One distinct visual characteristic of Cochins is their fully feathered legs, giving them a ball-like appearance. These chickens come in various colors, making for an eye-catching addition to any flock.

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Silkie Chickens

Silkies are the teddy bears of the chicken world. With their black skin, extra toes, and fur-like feathers, they have a unique and adorable appearance. While they may not be the best layers, these ornamental chickens make up for it with their cuteness.

Due to their small size, Silkies tend to stick close to home, making them a suitable choice for those who can’t free-range their birds. However, it’s important to note that they are more susceptible to wry-neck, a condition where chicks turn their heads to the side. Proper care and separation from larger chickens can help prevent this condition.

Discover the World of Feather Footed Chickens

Feather footed chickens bring a touch of elegance and charm to any flock. Whether you choose the majestic Brahma, the fluffy Cochin, or the lovable Silkie, these breeds offer unique characteristics and a delightful presence in the coop. To learn more about these breeds and other chicken-related topics, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Happy chicken keeping!