Help! Large Wounds/jaw fracture on chicken

Sheshe1010

In the Brooder
Jul 17, 2020
8
8
11
Well, I was away from my small flock for 2 weeks and had a pet sitter come feed them daily. When I returned, I noticed one hen’s beak looked slightly crooked and she was unable to close it flush. I brought her inside and noticed a little scab on the corner and a large lump inside the mouth on that side. So large I think it’s offsetting her jaw. I can feel it from the outside of her jaw and that side of her wattle is slightly swollen and hot. Initially she couldn’t eat but after cleaning the dirt and some puss from her mouth she gobbled down some eggs and wet cat food. She’s in obvious pain and eats in small spurts but eats none the less. She has lost so much weight. She was 8 pounds when I left and is 4 now. I thought this could be wet pox because she had fowl pox before I left. Long story short, she has been getting bullied by the “top dog”. I think she’s stressed. Anyway, over the next day I cleaned her mouth and fed her 3x per day, gave her amoxicillin and aspirin for pain and any secondary infection and then I turned her over and noticed a HUGE scabbed wound on her belly. I decided I better do a more thorough investigation and checked under the wings. One side has a decent scabbed laceration and the other has another HUGE scab only this one appear that her skin was actually sliced off and rolled up and healed/scabbed in a lump. Now I’m thinking maybe she was attacked by something while I was away? I did noticed once I allowed the girls out to free range there would NOT go back in their pen at night by themselves to roost (which they always do) and there are feathers in the coop but I had assumed they were molting. My question is, does this seem like a preditor attack or some sort of disease making her skin practically fall off? I have been giving amoxicillin but perhaps I should get tetracycline since it’s primary skin lesions? I have sured up the coop but should I keep her inside at night so she can heal in the warmth? We are in NC so it’s 30’s-40’s at night. She would prefer to be with her bully sisters and I don’t want to stress her more or make it more difficult on her by having to reintroduce her to the flock that’s already bullying her. Also- does anyone know how much aspirin I can give her daily and for how long. Now I’m thinking the jaw is fractured and that’s why she eats in short spurts and then stops.I fell bad because I have been opening it to clean thinking it was wet pox. It prob made the pain worse. Currently she sticking with her sisters but tucks her head under her wing throughout the day and just lays down. I think it’s due pain. And finally- what do I do about these scabs!? Leave them? They don’t seem infected but one has healed very weird. Pics attached.
 

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Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Can you get some pics of her beak inside and out? With her scabs, you can clean them with a little 1/2 strength Hibiclens (chlorhexidene,) spray them with Vetericyn or a similar hydrogel wound spray, clean with mild soap and water, and then apply plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment twice a day. Losing half her weight in such a short time sounds very bad.

I would get her drinking water and giving her some Poultry NutriDrench for a few days. Offer some wet chicken feed and some scrambled egg bits. Canned cat food and tuna in moderation are other good sources of protein. Is she able to walk around normally? It sounds like ahe may have a breast blister on her breastbone, which can be from lying on the floor in damp bedding. That happens to chickens who may have been injured, or those that cannot get up to a roost at night.
 

Sheshe1010

In the Brooder
Jul 17, 2020
8
8
11
Should I do the wound care even if the scabs are rock hard and intact? I’m almost worried about softening them because they seem like they have formed a thick barrier on her wounds. She does meander around the yard with the other hens. And she was up and walking about when I got home. I thought about the breast blister too from maybe being down after an attack. She must have been down for a few days at least. Judging by the state of healing this has to be a week old attack. I can’t even get a good photo of the way her skin under the wing looks like it was peeled back and then healed in this weird bump that is half scab and half living tissue it looks like it should be removed but I couldn’t do that to her it would hurt so bad and may kill her because I don’t know how I would sew it back up if I cut it off. I’m not sure how feathers will grow back on that situation. I cannot believe my pet sitter didn’t notice or say anything I’m pretty irritated about that.
I trapped two HUGE opossums last night who were sniffing around the coop. My neighbor has been feeding feral cats and I think it’s drawn opossums to the area. The cats do come in the yard but are afraid of the chickens and don’t bother them. If one was hungry enough maybe they would try to take down a chicken I dunno.
I’ll try to get a photo of the beak. The inside may be hard she won’t let me in there for too long but the lump inside is much smaller since I have been cleaning it with a Q-tip and giving amoxicillin. Her jaw is not realigning as that lump goes away though so that makes me think it is fractured and the lump was infection from her being grabbed by something. She can eat soft stuff but I think the jaw fatigues and then she turns and tucks her head like in the picture. Like she just can’t do it anymore. Ug I hate this for my chicken. She’s my favorite and my best layer of course. Until now she has never missed a day of laying since she started almost two years ago.
 

ladybrasa

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Jun 13, 2020
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Virginia, USA
I’m wondering, if the chooks are afraid to go into their pen, if they didn’t get closed up at dusk and a possum or other critter came in and injured her? I have a possum and skunks that go “foraging “ just after dark falls. Fortunately they didn’t cause harm and them getting into the coop has been taken care of. Apparently skunks and small possums can practically walk through 1” x 2” hole wire fencing ...
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
62,437
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southern Ohio
Can you try to take her to a vet? I would try to clean as many of her wounds as you can. It can be a chore to get enough food into her, but soft foods such as chicken feed mixed with water, canned cat food, baby food, and KayTee baby bird feed would be good.
 

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