Beak injury- rubbed or cut through on top (w/ picture)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RoxyBird, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. RoxyBird

    RoxyBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all! One of my EE's has a scrape-wound on the top of her beak. I have been watching it for a few days and it looks to be getting flatter/deeper... as if she is rubbing the top of her beak on something excessively. Or, it could be my imagination...

    It hasn't looked bloody, but I noticed a tiny bit of pink/possible dried blood today. I've spent quite a bit of time watching and have not caught her messing with it at all/rubbing it on anything, nor does it look infected. The nostrils are not affected and she is breathing normally and quietly (they are below/behind the wound). It *does* seem a bit sensitive/painful to her. I have cleaned it with a wet (clean water) q-tip to check on it a few times recently and she definitely flinches if the water is cold - whereas she does not flinch if I touch next to it on the hard part of her beak.

    She seems to be eating and drinking, and is definitely chicken-ing around as normal, otherwise... though possibly a bit more dopey and more docile than usual (like she doesn't have the energy to fight being handled- which is not her norm, but not horribly alarming).

    So a couple questions:

    1. Any other ideas? Anyone else seen beak grinding behavior in this location or do you think it's probably just a single injury and I'm concerned for no reason?

    2. How best to mend/protect it to prevent pain or deeper tissue injury? She's being a very good girl with the q-tip cleaning/examination every day or so, so I'm confident she'd be quiet for whatever beak application is recommended.



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  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    How strange. If she were rubbing it against something, I'd expect the front part of her comb to have some injury to it. I'd probably keep it clean as you are doing and just keep an eye on her.
     
  3. RoxyBird

    RoxyBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! Good point about the comb- no injury at all there. It looked like some soft-ish (white) tissue was exposed (on the injured site) yesterday, but it seems to be hardening up, from what I can tell. I couldn't find any pictures of anything similar for chickens or pet birds of any sort.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had chicks/juveniles rub against the wire trying to find a way out. They always get the skin right where the beak meets the comb. I don't see that on her, so I don't think it's from rubbing. Please keep me updated, now it has my curiosity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  5. RoxyBird

    RoxyBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the responses! Good to know about the rubbing- you're right, it would probably be difficult for her to be that precise/not get the comb too. It still looks similar, although the exposed tissue seems to be shrinking down (it's more recessed and darker, but it doesn't seem to be as sensitive for her now). I think maybe it's just hardening up/losing water. So, all good, I think?

    Their beaks grow out sort of like fingernails, don't they? Where the new material is only produced at the base? Will that hole eventually reach the tip? If so, I guess I better have some nail files handy to help clean up the edges.

    She also pecked at me once yesterday in the coop when I went to pick her up (rather than hovering around me and acting pouty/weak/helpless). So, the attitude is going back to normal. lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    How is the injury doing?
     
  7. RoxyBird

    RoxyBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She seems OK so far- thanks for asking! The tissue below seems to be drying further (sinking down a little), although maybe this has to do with the outer layer growing out/moving over it slightly. She doesn't seem to be having any pain- still laying about 4-5x a week, healthy weight, and strangely affectionate (for her). I need to take an updated pic and compare it to the original. I will try to post one tonight.

    I am a bit concerned about what will happen when it grows out towards the tip of her beak, since the hole seems to go through the entire hard/protective layer. I might put a thin dental patch on and superglue some thin gauze over it at that point to ensure it won't split as it grows out fully (have been trying to decide what materials would work best). It seems to be fine at this point though, so I don't want to mess with it yet.
     
  8. Hypertay

    Hypertay Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, how is your bird? I searched and found your thread because your picture could be my Maryanne! She's a BCM and she had this exact hole appear in her beak today. It was not there yesterday. I never heard any commotion in the backyard today and I was out there several times. It doesn't seem to cause her pain and her crop was nice and full as usual when she went to roost this evening. Kind of looks like she rubbed it on a small curved file. She is nervous and flighty but I will see if she will let me put some antibiotic ointment on it tomorrow.

    I hope it is just a rubbing issue. I can fix that easy enough, their day run is made of heavy duty plastic mesh and couldn't cause this, I don't think. It is the run under the coop that has 1/4" cage wire that she would have rubbed on. I'll have to check out the whole thing as soon as it's light.
     
  9. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm stumped. Certainly, there is a reason for this condition. Everyone cancelled out rubbing. Could it be nutritional? Maybe, something lacking which helps the beak tissue grow? Still, I'm stumped.
     
  10. Hypertay

    Hypertay Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe this is what it is, that the beak is soft in that spot and then the hen catches it on a sharp wire? But if it were nutritional wouldn't the whole flock or at least some of the other birds have it too? I only have 3 hens in that coop/run, my red sex links are in the tractor I just built and none of them are showing this. Food for the hens was Dumor layer feed until last week, I switched to Purina Flock Raiser since I will be mixing the 5 pullets, 1 cockerel and 3 hens together in a week or so. I mixed some oyster shell in the feed for now, and it is in a 10lb plastic hanging feeder. I'll be putting the oyster shell in a separate dish before I mix them of course. Do you think it is the feed? I am going to be watching them very closely today to see if the other hens develop this ugly hole.

    I was able to dab a little triple antibiotic ointment on Maryanne this morning. I don't think it will last long though.
     

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