Chicken with Possible Skin Cancer?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nakstk, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. nakstk

    nakstk Songster

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    This is Gretta my 5.5 week old EE. About 5 days ago I notice she was having a bad hair day. The feathers on her head were sticking up. So I looked and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Yesterday I seen that it looked like some of the feather had been pulled out of that same spot. Now today more feathers are missing and she has this brown spot on her head. It's not like an injury though. She is still gaining weight nearly an ounce since yesterday she is eating and drinking normally. Should I just keep an eye on it and see if it get bigger or goes away? If it gets bigger I know I should cull her so she doesn't suffer.
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  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

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    Hi nakstk,
    I can't see any sign of a tumour, but also the feather disappearance sounds more like pecking-related (or some other injury) than a cancer.
    Is it possible she stood up under the heat lamp and singed her head?
    Otherwise it may be something else, e.g. a rat biting her during the night. It doesn't look a great deal like a peck injury but still could be.
    Sorry I can't be of more help,
    Erica
     
  3. nakstk

    nakstk Songster

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    She is the Alpha chick and they have been in the garage since we brought them home. Heat lamp is about 2 feet above them and there is netting covering their brooder. There is no blood on it at all its just a dark brown spot with a light brown edge. I did take them outside the other day for about an hour and I was in the run taking pics the whole time. There was no was one of my older pullets go to her. You can see that spot looked odd then and that was only 4 days ago. I am not trying to difficult. I am just very worried about her. She was my surprise EE I thought I had gotten 3 Wellies. The mere thought of getting a blue or green egg has me so giddy.
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  4. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

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    Looks like she has been pecked and the head many times by either another chicken (or a rooster mating with her if you have a rooster).

    You need to put her in a cage out of the way of the other birds until the wound heals. This is because the other chickens will be attracted to the 'red' sore and keep pecking at it.

    Can you put her in a dog crate or cage in the run / coop. This is best as she can still see the other chickens and there won't be a problem when you let her back out. If you take her away then then will fight with the pecking order when you put her back in.

    You should gently clean the wound with some salty water and cotton wool. Then let nature do its job. You will be surprised how quickly birds wounds heal.

    Let us know what happens.
     
  5. nakstk

    nakstk Songster

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    She is only 5.5 weeks there is no roo and she is the one that does the pecking. It's not a wound its a brown spot I watch them for hours at a time and have not seen any pecking done to her. The chicks are still inside under a red light.

    Just went out and washed it with salt water and there was no blood on the Qtip it's still white. I will try using my macro lens and get a better close up of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  6. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Songster

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    For what it's worth, I think it looks like a skin cancer or perhaps some other type of abnormal skin growth. I wouldn't cull her now, maybe try a variety of salves and ointments to see if they help any... betadine will clear up any fungal infection, and neosporin (no painkiller) would get rid of any infection. You could also try Blu-Kote, it's good for just about any type of skin problem. It's quite possible that it's just some benign skin condition, and without a skin biopsy there's probably no way to know for sure. If it's a cancer you'll know it soon enough, as when it spreads (most likely into her brain or spinal column) the results would be unmistakeable. I've had animals with cancers before, I don't put them down unless/until their quality of life seems compromised. Just use your best nursing skills on her and hope for the best.
     
  7. nakstk

    nakstk Songster

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    I lost a dog just over a year ago to cancer and it was so hard. We sat down with her and told her we were taking her in in the morning to be put to sleep and end her pain and she gave a look and passed away within the hour. I know this is just a chicken. But it's still hard.
     
  8. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    That is so sad. I'm so sorry.
     
  9. Sgtfirstwife

    Sgtfirstwife Chirping

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    I have a chick with injury similar to yours. She is a polish with yellow feathers on head. I had her in brooder with chicks that are her own age, but the she started flying out of brooder box . So I put het in my older chicken box,that has a lid on it. This morning I found her with a wound just like yours. Took her to vet friend, she said it was a pecking feathers condition. I treated it with neurosporin and liquid bandage. Then I put her back into the baby brooder box. I will get a picture tomorrow if I can. Hope this helps.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    You said heat lamp. She looks fully feathered now. And just two feet above them? Not saying this is related to the heat lamp, but what wattage are you using and how cold is it still at night there?

    To me, it does look like something she's hurting that spot on, either being pecked or scraping the same spot over and over again on something, maybe pulling her head through some wire repeatedly.
     

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