Brahma hen with what appears to be a giant growth on head/back of neck area


Jul 19, 2015
I recently got two brahma hens from a fair, and I couldn't tell them apart except for that darker coloration on one of their faces. Now, one of them has a huge protrusion from the back of her head and at first I thought her feathers had gotten rumpled, but I'm fairly certain it's a growth at this point because it wiggles when runs. Haven't gotten to touch it yet but I have some pictures. One is of her next to the other one and the difference is obvious. What am I dealing with here? It seems like it would be squishy if I poked it. It was DEFINITELY not there when I got her and I've only had her for about two and a half weeks. She is acting normally otherwise.


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It looks swollen like it might be a ruptured air sac. There are many air sacs throughout the body, and a bump or injury could cause a leaking air sac under the skin. Keep a close eye on her for any signs of a respiratory infection, or any lethargy. If it seems to be increasing in size or bothering her, you could see a vet, or take an 18 gauge needle and insert it just under the skin to withdraw the air.
Can you look and see if there is an opening somewhere on it. Could be a warble.

I don't really live in an area that has botflies, but I'll check just in case. I'm in northern Maine where it's usually too cold for most common insect borne problems to be prominent
Thank you so so much for all the resources!! From fowl pox to coccidiosis, you've bailed me out quite a few times over the years. It definitely seems like a leaking air sac - I noticed her get pecked a couple times in that area when first being integrated so the diagnosis fits. I work at a vet's office so getting a sterile needle won't be an issue at all. The video is very helpful! :)
You’re welcome. Hopefully, that is all it is. Air from a leaking air sac can be reabsorbed by the body, so it might go away on it’s own in time. Let us know how she gets along.

Definitely not an air sac! I used a 25 gauge needle (didn't have an 18) to attempt to relieve the pressure and it was dark dark blood. Looked like older blood, it was almost black. I got two good syringe-fuls of it before I got nervous about it and stopped. Maybe when she got pecked a vessel broke under the skin? I figured if it was something important that was hemorrhaging she would have died or at least have been acting differently? Seems like just giant blood blister at the moment but I may take her into the vet clinic to be safe.
That sounds like a hematoma which is bloody fluid from a leaking capillary possibly from trauma to her head. Blood would take a long time to be reabsorbed and the swelling to go down. I remember seeing babies in the hospital who suffered those from traumatic births or the use of forceps during delivery years ago. I also had a dog who suffered an abdominal hematoma or seroma after spay surgery. If you see a vet, they would probably remove the old bloody fluid with a syringe. There still could be a leaking blood vessel in the scalp that they might need to cauterize if the bloody fluid comes back.

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