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Broken beak or lower jaw injury

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by harv681, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. harv681

    harv681 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2007
    One of my barred rocks seems to have either a broken bottom beak or injury to her lower jaw. She attempts to eat but seem to have no strength in her mouth. On further inspection, her wattle has a small laceration. I wonder if something grabbed her! I tried to get her to eat some soft scrambled eggs and yogurt. She was very interested but could not pick anything up. I tried to hand feed her but she was resistant. Other than being unable to eat (her crop was soft and seemed empty) her behavior is as usual. I have her separated from the rest but do not know what else to do! Please advise ASAP!
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Could you post a pic?
    If you have any chick starter crumbles, you can add warm water to it until it is soupy and perhaps she can dip her beak in it, or you could take a syringe and give her some in her mouth.
     
  3. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    A broken beak, hmm...I don't know. Here are some threads I found that seem to involve a similar injury, in case you haven't seen them yet:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=113098

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=98575&p=2

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=91680

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=77836

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=82230

    The last one said that feeding food in a deeper dish would help, that way she can shovel the food into her mouth easier.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. harv681

    harv681 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2007
    Thank you both. I will try in the morning. This evening, I tried to get her to drink a little by putting some watery softened layer feed on her beak as she sat on her perch. She took a tiny bit but after about 5 minutes, she became frustrated and turned her back on me! She was warbling a bit and I am afraid she is in some degree of pain. My poor baby! I feel so bad for her! Some of the prior posts said the beak is very sensitive. I can imagine it is like having a broken tooth! I am planning a soft breakfast for her and will incorporate some of the ideas from the suggestions. Thanks again.
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    it does seem to sound like some kind of painful injury (otherwise she would just scoop and swallow if there were no pain) but unless you take her to a vet I would not be able to advise you how to proceed for that ... try yogurt and such just to see if she is able to scoop and swallow (you can also try some warm soupy cooked oatmeal tho make sure it is luke warm and not hot)> if so then try and get some baby parrot handfeeding formula and mix that with water to make a porridge for nutrition till the pain resides > dribble water with electrolytes in it regular along her beak to keep her from becoming dehydrated . If she is still unable to eat at the end of today then I suggest6 you try and find someone who can help you learn how to tube feed to get something into her... I will check back this evening and if this is the case I do have a few articles (illustrated) that I can post for you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Here is a quick illustration.....
    [​IMG]

    You have to be VERY careful not to insert the tube in the hole at the back of the tounge, this goes to the lungs. You need to pass the tube over this, and angle it to the side of the throat a little and then down. It should pass easily or it is not in correctly. Do Not Over Fill the crop or you will aspirate the bird!!! Keep your hand on crop and stop filling when it starts to get stiff or somewhat before then. Best wishes
     
  7. harv681

    harv681 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2007
    Thanks. I'm going to save the tube feeding information for when I am desperate. The thought of running a tube down the throat of a belligerent chicken frightens me. Collar the Barred Rock still seems unable to eat on her own, though, so my DH (who is not very fond of my hens in the first place) wrapped her in a towel and held her while I opened her beak and hand fed her a wet mash of softened layer pellets, ground flax seed, and scrambled egg. We proceeded this by syring-feeding her two baby aspirin disolved in three mls of water. I think I got her to eat about 1/4 cup of food and a bit of water. It was stressful for us all!! DH was rewarded for his efforts by being defecated on! Collar began to flap and squawk and I began to think that at least she had something in her and if I persisted the stress may make matters worse. She was on her perch by 5:15, a full 20 minutes before the others retired for the night. I had another look at her beak. The top part seems fine. The bottom part of the beak looks as though it may be cracked. She is otherwise acting normally. How long does a beak take to heal? How much water and nutrition does an 18 month old hen need?
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Dont give her so much aspirin all at once like that... safe is better than sorry and I personally would dissolve one pill into a quart of water and dribble a bit along her beak at regular intervanls during the day as it can be hard on them and should not be continued long term. (make up fresh daily) I do not have info for you on "how long" it will take for the pain to reside... hopefully it will resolve to a tolerable level soon (you will note when the pain resolves when she starts using her beak again).
    Here is some info on crop feeding for you:
    http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=emergencies&action=display&num=1175591788
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  9. harv681

    harv681 Out Of The Brooder

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    Collar the BR hen is on the mend but still needs assistance eating. It has been a labor-intensive process involving restraining her and practically force-feeding her by hand. Left to her own devices, she was unable to grasp anything at all. Whatever happened left her with a lower beak that is just slightly shorter than the top, just enough to prevent her from being able to pick up edibles before her sisters barged in like hogs. The wet mash we made up for her presented challenges of its own. She just was not able to eat without help. I had her inside this morning trying to get her to eat something--anything! I spied some left-over carbonara and thought, why not? Noodles look like worms, maybe if I dangle them in just the right way, she'd be able to get them down, and boy did she! She practically attacked them! It got me thinking of a way to get the nutritious wet mash into a noodle, and that was the lightbulb moment. I added some flour and a raw egg to the mash with a little water, put it into a pastry bag with a #6 tip and piped the mixture into a pot of hot water. It worked--they held their shape and came out looking like pale earthworms. She eats these on her own, although I have to supervise and run interference with the others. Funny thing, she eats better in the company of her flock. When I separate her, she loses interest quickly. DH says she likes the competition! At any rate, success!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Dip those "noodles" into layer mash (fine) or a very thin soupy parrot-handfeeding formula (you can get this at a pet store) so she gts the blanced nutritional recquirements.
     

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