Growth on side of hen's head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wisegirl99, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Wisegirl99

    Wisegirl99 Chirping

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    My hen was attacked by a hawk a few weeks ago. I have her currently separated from the rest of the girls. She seems like she is getting much better. She was separated from them
    for the first week while she was healing, then I put her with two of the hens that weren't bothering her. (I sprayed blu-kote on the back of her head) A few days ago I noticed that one of the hens was picking at her wound on the back of her head. So that's when we separated her. That's also the same time I noticed a hole in the back right side of her head. Her ear was damaged from the hawk attack. I think the hole might be part of her ear canal. Just today I noticed that she has a growth on the right side of her face, hopefully you can see it in this picture. It's also the same side where her ear got messed up from the hawk. (The purple on her face is from the blu-kote that's on the back of her head) She also has lice, (probably transferred from the hawk) They are crawling all over her head, tiny ones. she is able to groom herself, not completely correct though. I have given her a dust bath, because I've noticed that she won't take a dust bath on her own in the one that I've made. The dust bath has sand, DE, and wood ash. I've also sprinkled some DE on her head and tried to rub it in, but that is not helping with the lice. Does anyone have any idea what this growth / lump is on the back right side of her face? could it be from the lice? I'm also concerned that the lice are crawling in the ear hole that's on the right side of her head. Also, another new thing I noticed today is her wattle on the right side is shrunken, it's much smaller than the one on the left. Any help is appreciated!
     

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  2. ashlierami

    ashlierami Songster

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    Is this growth hard or squishy? Could it be pus filled? I'm not totally sure about that but for the lice I would recommend ivermectin pour on for cattle. I been using it for a year on my birds and haven't seen any lice or mites. It is controversial and up to you what to use but it's worked wonders for me.
     
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  3. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

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    :frowHi. I’m sorry your girl is having a hard time.
    That lump looks like a localized abscess to me, considering she recently had that injury just behind it’s location.

    Does it feel firm?
    I would want to lance that, to see if you can empty it.
    Remember chicken “pus” is often a firm waxy texture, not usually runny or gooey like an abscess in a mammal.

    I’m sorry to say that DE is not effective in killing an active case of external parasites.

    As the above poster mentioned, you can use ivermectin, but for ease of use and low cost I would recommend a horse fly or stable spray at your local feed store.
    The active ingredient is
    Permethrin 0.50%
    Spray lightly under each wing, around vent, on neck. For her head, I’d spray a cotton ball and dab her head so it doesn’t drip into her eyes.
    It works really well and costs no more than $10. Re-treat In a week.

    Clean coop and nesting boxes. Bag and dispose of old bedding. Spray the coop down, don’t forget the topside and underneath of the roost!
    Repeat in a week.

    Please keep us updated!
     
  4. Wisegirl99

    Wisegirl99 Chirping

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    Hi, thanks for your reply, yes the lump is firm. So does that mean there's puss in there?
     
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  5. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

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    A vet would be your best bet here.

    But if I didn’t have access to a vet:
    I would scrub the area with provodine, or soap and water (*in this particular circumstance- hibiclens is NOT recommended, because of the proximity to the birds ear. It is ototoxic.)

    I’d lance it, holding the lump firmly between two fingers and starting at the bottom of the lump, (so gravity can help it drain if need be). You can use the tip of a scalpel from the feed store or corner of a new razor blade, or xacto knife .

    If you can, I’d make the hole big enough so you can get a qtip into at some point.

    Then try to squeeze out what’s in there like a pimple.

    It may be a brownish tan hard “blob” and want to come out in one ball. If this it the case I’d suggest you make the opening big enough to allow that so you don’t have to break it up, potentially leaving some infectious matter behind.

    If it evacuates,
    Use a providine soaked qtip to clean out the pocket.

    Finish up with antibiotic ointment in the same manner. Either with a qtip or by filling the void with the antibiotic ointment.

    Clean and treat for a few days running.

    Oral antibiotics are ideal and recommended for after, if you have access to them.
     
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  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I would pick up and inspect your other chickens to look for lice as well. Lice eggs hatch every 10 days, so the permethrin will need to be used at least twice at 10 day intervals to get the newly hatched lice. The coop would require treatment as well with new bedding added after removal of the old.

    Let us know what the lancing of the possible abscess shows. Pictures can be helpful.
     
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  7. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

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    Adding here that I would definitely treat your birds (initial treatment) for the lice infestation BEFORE adressing the lump issue.
     
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  8. peeper89

    peeper89 Songster

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    that chicken look bad she need go to docotor!!!
     
  9. Wisegirl99

    Wisegirl99 Chirping

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    Any idea on why one of her wattles is shrunken?
     
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  10. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

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    When hens aren’t laying such as seasonally or during molt, their reproductive hormone levels are low and it’s not uncommon for their comb and wattles to get pale and shrink.

    Without seeing a forward facing picture of her, I can’t compare the two sides of her face, nor the size difference in the wattles.

    Other than being shrunken, does the skin of the wattle on the affected side look similar in texture as the other?

    The two pictures you did post, on the side with the lump, they portray her facial skin as having a purplish hue.

    Is that accurate?

    Is the other side of her face the same color?

    Could you post more pictures for us?

    It would be helpful.
     
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