Ear infection in a silkie roo.... anyone know what to do?


11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
New Durham NH
I have a young Male silkie that keeps getting ear problems. He is the only bird in my large flock to have this issue.

His ear canals fill up with the stinky cheese, and then scab over. I have to keep opening them up, and he hates it. as I imagine it hurts. I am careful not to push anything down into the ear, just pull the scab off, then it seems better for a while. Some times I see his eyes stick together, or be frothy, but I cant tell if that is seperate issue, or part of the same problem.

He is quarantined in my 'infirmary' but has been there all winter.

Any ideas what I can do to help him?

I had the same problem with my light brahma. She didn't mind me cleaning out here ear after a while. I used very warm water to break every thing up. I used tweezers to pull out the cheesie gunk. With the warm water it made it easy. I would take a syringe and squirt warm water in her ear and try to dry it with a Q-tip. Last but not least I would put oil in her ear. That would kill any mites or anything that could be the problem. She is doing a lot better now. I haven't had to work on her ear for over a month now. Seems the oil helped. I used baby oil. You could use mineral oil too. Whatever you can get in there.
I would give him some antibotic or can you take him to the vet? If its bacterial the antibotics will work if its yeast the antibotics will make it worse. Thats why I asked about the vet.
I don't know if this would work for you, but I would flush the ear with hydrogen peroxide. let that soak a bit and then flush the ear again with rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will dry the ear out, and kill any infection. Both the hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol are very inexpensive. I use a syringe that we bought at the feed store.
Does he possibly have ear mites?

My house chicken (that has been recovering indoors since before Christmas) had mites. The mites were congragating on her head and laying eggs near her eyes and ears. I bought ear mite medicine that was safe for kittens. Snowy has been bathed and the mite medicine applied to her ears and back of head several times now. Her ears look better and I no longer see the clumps of eggs (which looked sort of like ear wax).

The mite medicine is oily. Give it a try. Unless some else says don't. I'm not a chicken doctor yet, but at this rate I'll be an expert in no time.
Yes, I did forget to mention that I did use peroxide to flush out the ear after I used the warm water and cleaned everything out. Once I cleaned the peroxide up I flushed with water again. I got the ear dry as I could and used the oil. Something else that helped. I cut the feathers away from the ear. Made a big difference in cleaning and cleared up faster.
Thank you everyone for your good ideas, I may try the warm water. It is not mites, I have checked repeatedly, and use ivermectin pour on, I had actually hoped it was, cause that would be easy to get rid of!

I am not comfortable putting anything into the ear, he is not a house chicken, and would fight me, and I dont want to do damage. The thought of two abrasive chemicals like peroxide and alcohol makes me cringe..... but thank you for the suggestion. I had thought maybe mineral oil, but the canal is so blocked. Peroxide might loosen things up, but it might also force debris deeper, and if trapped expand and damage the ear drum...? I dont know enough to feel right about that....

The yeast thing is an interesting thought, but I dont know how to confirm it... the only vet around us that will even see birds, treats them as an exotic, and it is an 85.oo fee just to walk in the door, then tests etc. I had a 400.00 rooster last year, until the fox got him. So, the vet isnt really an option, so I am stuck, cause your right, thats why I havent given a broad spectrum antibiotic.... grrrr this is so frustrating.
Opal is better. We think that she had left over infection from when she had mites prior to us getting her. We bathed her every week with flea and tick shampoo, put peroxide on her head and ears and she is clean now. We are so happy since she is one of our favorites. She has gotten really friendly with our paint roo, Bunny.

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