Originally Posted by FreeChicken!
I noticed one of my Brahma hens has stopped eating and drinking much in the past few days so I took a closer look and found that one side of her face has some strange swelling. The skin around the corner of her mouth up to part of the beak has become almost bubbly-looking lumps that are hard to the touch. The swelling is also inside her mouth, which must explain the lack of appetite. And while checking her out I couldn't help but notice that she has this nasty rotting smell about her.
I've never seen this condition on my chickens before, and it must not be contagious, because all of my other 20 chickens are fine. Still though, I'll keep an eye on them in case.
Anyone have some ideas as to what this is or what to do about it? She's losing a lot of weight, which makes me worry that she can't last long like this.
Right now I don't have access to a camera that's good enough for you to see the swelling, but I'll see if I can find one tomorrow.
I doubt that it is coryza, but it could be canker, also called trichamoniasis. It is contagious to other chickens. I hope that you can post a picture of her beak, inside and out to help us confirm this. What type of weather are you having--cold or hot? Sometimes wet fowl pox can look like canker, but it only occurs in hot weather from mosquito bites. The best treatment for canker is Fish Zole (metronidazole, Flagyl) available online. Dosage is 250 mg orally for 5 straight days. Acidified copper sulfate can be used in the water for 3 days a month to help prevent the other chickens from getting this. Also clean out waterers daily.
Canker is a condition mostly associated with pigeons and is caused by a tiny parasite called trichomonas. This parasite is often spread through contaminated drinking water. The parasite causes a ‘yellow button’ of pus to form in your bird’s mouth. This can stop your bird from eating normally leading to weight loss.
What to look for
- Weight loss
- Birds picking up food then dropping it
- A cheese-like plaque in your birds mouth (see photo)
- A reluctance to eat
Treating canker or suspected canker is a job for a vet who will likely prescribe an anti-parasitic medication.
Ensure that your birds' drinking water is changed daily. Try to keep the drinkers in the chicken house to discourage wild birds from sharing your birds’ water.