Fowl Pox? Tumor? Growth appearing on side of head/beak

CatsandCrops

Songster
Apr 7, 2020
198
308
146
Cleveland, OH
We have been out of town on vacation since 7/9/21 (today is the 18th) - that morning I did my final checks of the chicken coops (two coops - one holding 7 hens, the one in question lives here, who are about 1 year and 5 months old. The other coop has 5 hens who were born in March) and everything was status quo. They are in a large secured run (roof included that provides shelter from rain) and do not free range. We close/open the coop doors daily (6a-7a and then 9p-10ish) They have two outdoor waterers. My father stayed at our house to care for the chickens/dog/cat. He filled waterers daily and their feeders inside the coop hold about 12 days worth of food. He said they were entertaining and would all come running in the evenings to him hoping for veggie scraps etc. It rained non stop while we were gone and our backyard is half woods, leading down into a river.

We got back last night and everyone seemed 100% normal when I went out to check on them/check for eggs/close them in the for night (we got back after dusk and it wasn't the best lighting). Today while refilling their feeders and tidying up the coop I noticed this large growth on the side of one of the hen's beaks. All of them had ran around like crazies to eat the meal worms I threw to distract while I filled the feeders. She came into the coop to lay when I was finishing up and that's when I noticed the growth/blister. I also gave them all weeds from the garden this morning and same thing - everyone ran around eating/pecking - so I don't think she's having issues eating/drinking.

I came inside to research and when I went back out to take a picture she was all cozy in the nesting box - very appalled I was bothering her to take a photos. Her comb appears to be normal/regular coloring. She does not have any issues in either eye. I thoroughly checked all the other hens and no one has any growths, bumps or odd coloring.

Could this be fowl pox? A tumor? A pecking wound that got infected? Etc? I'm angry at myself because I feel like I missed something before we left - it's hard to believe something so large could grow in a little over a week.
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Doesn't look like Fowl Pox to me.

Possibly from pecking/injury.
I would be inclined to remove the scab and see if there's pus that needs to be pressed out/removed. Clean it well with Chlorhexidine and pack with triple antibiotic ointment. Watch that the other hens don't pick at it.

You may want to get a family member to assist you in accessing the swelling before you do anything with it.
 

CatsandCrops

Songster
Apr 7, 2020
198
308
146
Cleveland, OH
Just an update! I waited for help/my husband to get home to check it after seeing the comment - it was rock hard and not moving at first. My husband (FF/EMT so I let him take the lead ahah) did a small prick with a needle to see if anything would come out; some yellow liquid/puss did come out at first.

After giving her a break for a second, he opened the hole a little bit more and squeezed hoping to release more of the puss. A LARGE mass of hard puss popped out in almost one complete piece. It smelled awful and I thought we were both going to throw up (again, he's been there done that so for him to get queasy is rare).

We rinsed the cavity left behind and applied antibiotics to it. After examining the mass to double check - we found what looked like a splinter in the middle. We're thinking she rubbed her head/beak against the coop or the ramp and got a splinter, which then got infected.

She didn't really fuss at all during the entire process with the exception of some kicking when he first applied pressure to remove the infection. We were a bit worried about the hole/"flaps" that were left behind but within 12ish hours they were laying flat and didn't appear to have any issues. A week later, you can only see the small hole/center that was left and the scab is about 95% gone.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 20, 2015
46,921
69,391
1,422
Southern N.C. Mountains
Just an update! I waited for help/my husband to get home to check it after seeing the comment - it was rock hard and not moving at first. My husband (FF/EMT so I let him take the lead ahah) did a small prick with a needle to see if anything would come out; some yellow liquid/puss did come out at first.

After giving her a break for a second, he opened the hole a little bit more and squeezed hoping to release more of the puss. A LARGE mass of hard puss popped out in almost one complete piece. It smelled awful and I thought we were both going to throw up (again, he's been there done that so for him to get queasy is rare).

We rinsed the cavity left behind and applied antibiotics to it. After examining the mass to double check - we found what looked like a splinter in the middle. We're thinking she rubbed her head/beak against the coop or the ramp and got a splinter, which then got infected.

She didn't really fuss at all during the entire process with the exception of some kicking when he first applied pressure to remove the infection. We were a bit worried about the hole/"flaps" that were left behind but within 12ish hours they were laying flat and didn't appear to have any issues. A week later, you can only see the small hole/center that was left and the scab is about 95% gone.
Thank you for the update!:)
I'm glad you were able to get that out.
Interesting you found a splinter in the middle nice job investigating!
 

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