2-week old chick with blister on head?

JenJuhasz

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
11
0
30
Hi fellow flockers -

A local preschool hatched a collection of eggs as a part of their school curriculum (super fun for the kids); when the chicks are about a month old or school lets out, they pass along the chickens to my little farm.

One of the chicks has developed what appears to be a cyst or blister on its head.

The school says - the chick is the biggest of the bunch; is eating and drinking as normal; poops are normal and activity is normal. I haven't seen anything quite like this yet and I haven't seen it in person, but from what I can tell, this sounds like either it got pecked on the head and it's turned into a blister or cyst; or it has an ingrown feather (do they get those?).

For now the bird is separated from the group, but the school doesn't have multiple incubators or heat lamps and there's some concern about letting it get too cold.

What do you all think it is and how would you treat it?

Thanks!!

Jen
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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34,227
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It's impossible for me to see what that bump could be. You don't even know and you're looking at it in real time.

To know how to treat it, you will need to find out what it is. To do that you need some supplies.

Betadine.
A needle.
Soap and water.

Wash your hands very thoroughly. Sterilize a sewing needle (flame or boiling water.) Paint the bump and area around it with Betadine.

Lance the bump by sliding the needle in at its base. Withdraw needle. Exert slight pressure on the bump until fluid emerges.

If the fluid is clear, it's a cyst. If the fluid is yellow or cloudy, it's infected. If it's blood, it's a hematoma from an injury.

You only need to treat if the fluid is cloudy, indicating an infection. The other two will take care of themselves. You can enlarge the needle hole and expel as much pus as possible, paint again with Betadine, and then put antibiotic ointment on it. Keep clean with soap and water and ointment each day until healed.
 

JenJuhasz

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
11
0
30
Hi there - so an update - the 6 chicks the school hatched for me are now here. The one with the cyst or blister on its head still has it, the school drained it once using the instructions provided here (thank you!) and the fluid was clear, but it did refill. I can attest that the chick acts perfectly normal in every other way - these six are nice and active, they eat well drink well, and have obviously been well cared for. Can't decide if I should just continue watching and waiting or try and drain it again and see what happens. Ideas?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,746
34,227
1,122
Colorado Rockies
I wouldn't bother draining it further. Cysts are harmless. Even some tumors are harmless. I have a nine-year old hen who has had a slow-growing tumor over one eye for the past five years and it hasn't affected her life beyond making her eye water sometimes.

Glad to hear the chick is doing okay, and the "blister" wasn't an infection. Keep an eye on the chick to be sure the others don't peck at it. That would be the only concern. If that does happen, get some Blue-kote (Gentian violet) and paint the cyst. It disguises wounds so chickens ignore them.
 

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