HELP! My Rooster lost his tongue!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Xcytble, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. Xcytble

    Xcytble New Egg

    Aug 15, 2010
    Bad news here.

    I caught my RIR Rooster just as he was about to finish swallowing a rather LONG piece of string (that I have NO idea how it got into their run though I try to be careful about these kinds of things).

    I moved so quick that he started to fight me, and while a good length of the string came out during the initial grab, it got stuck, and between him fighting back and me trying to get the rest out before he swallowed it all, Heaven forbid, the string came out all of a sudden... but so did his tongue!

    I am just SICK about this! I try SO hard to take such good care of our brood so I feel just AWFUL!

    He sat down for a moment and was very still as I was in shock, digging his tongue out from the wad of string, and after a minute or two, he got up again like nothing happened.

    I brought over his water dispenser to have him take a drink, and as he did, a little blood spilled out into the water. I coaxed him into having another drink, and there was no further blood spill.

    I was able to look into his beak, and sure enough, only the very back portion of his tongue remains and at the front of his beak were some tidbits of food that had yet to make it into his throat (because he didn't have a tongue to pass them along).

    I did feed him a small, green shoot which he ingested well enough, so I THINK he'll still be able to eat.

    Can ANYONE here let me know what to expect from him in the near future?

    He's four-months old and nearly full size, it seems.

    Again, I feel just AWFUL, so ANY guidance would be helpful.

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I havnt experienced anything like that, but it was just an unfortunate accident and dont beat yourself up over it. Chickens are resilient creatures and your rooster's tongue will heal and he should be able to eat. He will survive. Good luck.
  3. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Eastern MA
    I'm sorry to hear about your roo. I too think that once the trauma is over he should be able to adapt. I think that I might isolate him for a few days to ensure he is getting enough food and water while he is getting use to eating and drinking again. Good luck and keep us posted.
  4. Sandbellie

    Sandbellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I'm sorry to hear about this! But you Roo should be able to adapt fine. I would isolate him and make sure he eats and drinks enough, as dkosh said.
    And if it doesn't bother him, and he eats alright, then I think he will be just fine!

    Hope he's okay!
  5. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I had nearly the exact same thing happen to one of my roosters a couple of years ago. The only difference is he didn't swallow the string but instead managed to wrap it around the base of his tongue multiple times and cut off all circulation to it for an unknown length of time (at least several hours). By the time I found him it was swollen, dried, black, and dead. I had to amputate to get both the string and the dead part of his tongue off. He was left with a very small portion of tongue. He behaved just as you described after the surgery- sat there for a moment, then got up and went about his business as though nothing had happened. I fretted about whether to administer antibiotics or anything else but, on the advice of the knowledgeable folks on here, decided just to watch him and see whether he needed anything first instead of dosing for no reason. I didn't even isolate him because I figured that would be more traumatic than leaving him with his flock, especially since he was obviously eating and drinking. After it first happened I would catch him at least a couple of times a day to check his tongue and general condition (a procedure he did NOT agree with) but it healed completely without any intervention from me. He went on to live for another year or so before apparently breaking his neck competing in the indoor chicken olympics (where they occasionally fly around the coop and pen for no discernible reason).
  6. maizey

    maizey Chillin' With My Peeps

    have no experience in this matter but my first thought was to offer some soft foods for a few days.. its bound to be sore. Good luck and hope he recovers.. sorry it happend, I feel terrible when I trip over the dog and he yelps so I can imagine how much worse you feel [​IMG]
  7. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    Yeah, I was kind of thinking that the tongue was ready to come off already like lliegh said.
  8. Xcytble

    Xcytble New Egg

    Aug 15, 2010
    Wow... thanks LOADS everyone for the feedback!

    I don't feel SO bad right now... knowing that I didn't do anything fatal to him.

    Nonetheless, I've maimed him, and even though it was unintentional, it will leave its mark - on both of us.

    He's moving around, eating and drinking as if nothing at ALL happened. Whew!

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Indoor Chicken Olympics, lleighmay, one MORE thing to be aware of! [​IMG]

    Again, thanks SO much everyone!

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