Hen with very swollen head...what to do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicky Joy, May 22, 2010.

  1. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    One of our black star hens has pretty serious swelling on the back of her head. It is almost the size of a golf ball and appears to be filled with fluid. I'm afraid of what will happen if it ruptures. Should I do anything for her?
     
  2. Is there any chance she was snakebit? Thats all I could think of, hopefully someone else will stop by with some other suggestions or thoughts. Good luck to you and your hen.
     
  3. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    I don't think she was bitten by a snake. Our chickens are kept in an enclosed coop and run. I also don't think there are any snakes around that would cause this sort of reaction. I was sort of wondering if it had anything to do with her being harrassed by the roosters too much.

    I just wish I knew if there were something I could do...
     
  4. NancyinAlaska

    NancyinAlaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same thing happen to one of my hens, it was from the roosters. Someone on BYC told me what to do. Chickens don't get abcesses like we do, it gets cheesy inside. What I was told to do is..... use a razor or scalpel to open the area up, and then scrape the matter out that's in there, I actually dug around and scraped against the inside of the skin with a dental pick. I know it sounds gross, but I did it and it cleared the problem up really fast. What came out looked like cooked egg yolk, was about the size of a quarter.

    [​IMG]

    This is a pic of what my hen looked like. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That looks very similar to my hen. I don't have a dental pick or anything like that. Would I have to make a bigger cut in order to get the stuff out?
     
  6. NancyinAlaska

    NancyinAlaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sliced and openning about an inch and I made a cut like an X, pulled the edges up with tweezers, and try to pull the stuff out, whatever you have to do, a rounded edge of a butter knife may work?????, another pair of tweezers????, but you've got to get that gunk out. If you can get ahold of the edge, you might be able to just pull the stuff out.
     
  7. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Would it be possible to squeeze it out of a cut like the one you described?
     
  8. NancyinAlaska

    NancyinAlaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It will not squeeze out, it's not an abcess like a pimple or a boil. It's like a piece of cheese that's stuck to flesh and the only way to get it out is to scrape it, and if you can grasp an edge, grab the edge with pliers or twezers and pull on it till it comes out. Whe I did my little girl I thought I was going to pull her brains out, but I didn't, and it worked.
     
  9. NancyinAlaska

    NancyinAlaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ruth
    Looking for greener pastures

    From: Woodville, MS
    Registered: 07/08/2007
    Posts: 3354
    PM
    View My BYC PageRe: Abcess....HELP!!I've treated that type of abcessed wound on many hens. I call them the "love bite" wounds. Make a small incision and dig out the "gunk". It will look like cooked egg yolk that has turned rubbery. Sometimes you can grab hold with a pair of tweezers and the whole hunk comes out as one piece. Then rinse out the wound, put some Neosporin in it, add a stitch or two to close (or superglue) and put her in a cage or kennel for a few days till the incision closes up. I've never treated with antibiotics and they always heal just fine.

    It is just as others have said, they get abcessed pus that turns to "gunk" that must be dug out. The good news is that it doesn't continue "leaking" so once it's dug out, it doesn't normally reoccur (at least that's been experience over the past two years and I've treated LOTS of chickens). Since I have over 200, and they all freerange, someone's always got a boo boo.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    This is an answer to my post that helped, the lady was great, I even looked her # up on her website and called her at home to discuss what I had to do.
     
  10. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Thanks for the very helpful advice! Hopefully I'll be able to get this done today. Poor girl! [​IMG]
     

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