clogged nostrils

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by claudiabruckert, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. claudiabruckert

    claudiabruckert In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2014
    Is there anyone out there who has experience with clogged nostrils? What can I do?
    Do chickens clean their nostrils with their claws when they scratch themselves. My rooster's middle toes are bent outward. He can't use them for scratching.
    I'd very much appreciate some advice.
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Chickens will normally sneeze or shake their heads to unclog nostrils. There are a few reasons why a chicken would have clogged nostrils; the bird inhaled feed dust/small feed granules or dust/dirt from dust bathing, the bird has some type of respiratory disease, or possibly sinus canker. There might be other reasons but cant think of any right now.
    If it's not sinus canker, you can use an eyedropperful of warm water to loosen debris or crust, then gently use a toothpick to try and loosen or remove debris. Continue with warm water in eyedropper as necessary to loosen debris.
    If you decide to do this, tie his legs together with a shoestring to keep him from kicking (not too tight,) then snugly wrap a towel around him. Then get to work on his nostrils.
    1 person likes this.
  3. claudiabruckert

    claudiabruckert In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2014
    Thank you! That's great.
    Is there any risk of pushing debris up into the respiratory system?
    And what is sinus canker?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Songster

    May 9, 2013
    Yes,i do nose picking on my roosters,with them it is from shoving their head into fermented feed. I put my boys on a cat tree and go to work using a slightly damp q-tip and a bobby pin or my nails. My boys just sit there and let me clean their nares.
    1 person likes this.
  5. claudiabruckert

    claudiabruckert In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2014
    Tomorrow will be the day...
    **edited by Staff**
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2014
  6. claudiabruckert

    claudiabruckert In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2014
    I started by washing the nostrils with warm water and a cotton swab. I don't dare using a pick of any sort being afraid to push something in rather than getting it out. And I don't want to hurt the little guy (bantam). I will soak the nostrils every day for a few days and see what happens.
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Canker is usually found around or inside the beak and will have yellowish to gray patches, and may smell bad. Fish Zole (metronidazole, Flagyl) 250mg daily for 5 days is a standard treatment for canker. Canker around the nostrils can look identical to food stuck in the nostrils after it has built up over time. Stuck food can become like concrete, and picking it out can be quite a challenge. There have been numerous cases of this here in the archives of BYC. Here is a link about oral canker, and a picture of what appears to be nasal canker:

    possible nasal canker

    Possible blockage from food embedded in nostrils

    Oral Canker
    Oral Canker is a condition which can be found in a wide variety of birds and most commonly in pigeons.

    It is caused by a motile protozoal parasite called Trichomonas gallinae.
    This parasite can cause caseous lesions of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus and in certain circumstances, further down the digestive tract. These lesions can become extremely extensive.
    This causes the birds to stop eating and drinking, in severe cases the extensive nature of the lesions combined with not eating and drinking leads the chickens to die.


    Diagnosis is often based upon clinical signs but wet smears can be examined under the microscope to confirm clinical suspicions. Speak to your vet.

    The treatment traditionally involved the use of a drug called Dimetridazole, however, this drug is no longer available or licensed for use in the UK.
    The affected chicken in these photos was treated with Metronidazole, this is a UK licensed medication but is not used in poultry therefore it had to be prescribed under the rules of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate cascade. This also means that any eggs the chicken may lay during treatment and for a specified period after treatment would need to be discarded. Her eggs must never be sold for human consumption. The owner of the hen was extremely pleased with the outcome and has supplied us with plenty of photos to monitor the hen’s progress.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  8. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

    May 25, 2008
    When I see something stuck in one of my chickens' nostrils, I pick up a small/medium size feather from the ground & use the base of the follicle as a cleaning tool. The base of a feather makes a very gentle tool--smooth & not scratchy, but still small enough to fit. Easy to find one when you need one, too!

    I have cleaned a lot of chicken noses [​IMG]

    I try to clear out the nostril starting at the end toward the eyes & moving forward toward the beak, to avoid jamming something into the nostril. If something lodges temporarily during this process, I've been able to dislodge it alright with a little more gentle prodding.

    Be aware that there are one or two vertical dividers within the nostril area, so be sure to not push hard against those. Take a look inside the bird's opposite nostril to see how it's structured, before starting to work on the clogged nostril. You can also look in another bird's nose to orient yourself, but be aware that different birds can differ a fair amount in their noses' internal structures.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Crowing

    Jun 14, 2012
    Tasmania. Australia
    1 person likes this.

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