Hen's Face Swollen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eli, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Eli

    Eli New Egg

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    We have Red Jungle Fowl. One hen is sitting (eggs began hatching last night) and her face is VERY swollen. We are very attentive and know our flock well (lap-pet chickens) but didn't notice anything until suddenly this last saturday. Her whole face is swollen and covered with soft bumps and her comb is swollen very thick. She is in the same chicken house as the rest of the flock but is the only one with this symptom. She's acting normal (for her) but her face looks horrible and is itching (she had created some small sores from scratching it). Our first thought was 'mosquitos' so we remove the water from the chicken house before the mosquitos begin coming out for the night, and place it outside. We shoo any mosquitos out of the crate she's nesting in and have tried spraying an herbal oil based repellant. The swelling hasn't gone down as I would expect it to after keeping new mosqitos out for several days.

    Could she be having a bad allergic reaction to mosquitos?

    Any ideas on another potential cause or remedy?
     
  2. Bantammad

    Bantammad Out Of The Brooder

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  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2007
  4. Eli

    Eli New Egg

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    Thank you for your imput. The bumps are drying, scabbing and the scabs are flaking off a bit. It still looks horrible but is not as red and sore looking. With chicks to care for she's more distracted than while sitting and is not scratching as much.

    The description of dry pox seems to fit and it sounds like this is just something that may have to run it's course if it remains in the mosquitos for up to two months. I don't suppose moving her would help any given that. One rooster (we have as many roosters as hens) has a single swolen bump (like a bite) on his comb but I'll keep a look out for more.

    The hen is feeling fine and I currently have a lone guinea keet that I'm incubating against my own body today until I can put it under her tonight and hope for a successful adoption. (When she and her siblings were two weeks old, we slipped 14 new guinea keets under her mama so she was raised with them. It was hilarious to watch those huge guineas loving on their tiny little mama, whom they out grew in no time! These gals are fantastic mothers.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  5. Eli

    Eli New Egg

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    Then again, I searched for pictures and they do not look quite like what I'm seeing, though I suppose it will manifest slightly differantly on differant species and under differant conditions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    your added description of the bumps drying and flaking would indeed indicate pox...treat the lesions with iodine / betadine....
     
  7. Eli

    Eli New Egg

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    We are seeing a few bumps pop up on a couple roosters and another young hen. Unfortunately we seem to have a bigger problem now.

    We are having chickens and guinea pigs (housed in the same yard) suddenly dropping dead. We've lost chicks, a hen and 2 cavys. It happens within a couple hours of sunset--everyone is just fine, then suddenly something is wrong and I have a dying animal in my hands that appears to be suffering with muscle spasms and throwing it's head back. In just 10 or 15 minutes, start to finish, the animal is dead. The process/symptoms is the same for bird as for cavy and it seems, to me, to be a toxin. We do things naturally and organically and can certainly rule out pesticides/herbicides or feed issues. I am suspecting deadly spiders but we are sending a guinea pig that died in my hands last night to the university for testing.

    This really concerns me because we are not used to losing animals (or even having sick animals) and can't bear for this to continue. Also we have other animals nearby and we actually sleep only about 50' away from the chicken's pen! I'm afraid to let my daughter play in that yard and we moved the guinea pigs to our yard. I kicked the chickens out of their yard (some prefer to stay and some prefer to head out) and will continue to do so during the day (so they will only roost there) until we can take care of things.
     
  8. newchickowner

    newchickowner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh! Sorry to hear of this, I sure hope you can figure it all out!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    you really should not mess around with guessing on this...glad to hear you sent the cavy for necropsy but think you should do same with birds...
     
  10. Eli

    Eli New Egg

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    It has struck again! Last night, despite having moved the cavys to a differant yard the previous night when we lost one, I sat with another of our boys dying in my hands!

    As for the chickens, we didn't actually find the body for one of the chicks. The mamas are always sooo attentive and protective that I can't imagine her just "losing" a chick and they were in the yard so protected from predators, except for snakes (we have probably let too much brush grow up--the chickens like it but it's got to go now). We've never actually lost a chick like that before so I figure she met the same fate as her brother a few days later (but don't have proof).

    The hen that died was a young one from very early this spring. Her mama (the same one with the swollen face that is now mourning the loss of this clutch) taught her brood to roost in the garden shed instead of the chicken shed and we've been unsucessful at undoing that. Every night we move them to the chicken shed, and, on "that fateful night", all was well BUT about 15 minutes later we peeked in on them and one of the "Garden Shed 5" was on the floor dead and stiff. She had been perfectly fine when my husband placed her on the roost. The only thing we could think of was spider bite but we were unable to locate any known poisionous spiders in the sheds.

    On saturday night, the last of Mama's 3 chicks died in my hands. The body was mostly limp yet he was conscious and aware of his surroundings. He had occasional spasms involving stiff limb extension, throwing the head back, and opening the mouth. It looked aweful. Not thinking at the time that there was any relation between the chick's death and anything else that was going on, we burried him.

    At that poing we had only lost one young guinea pig and he was a new one obtained just 6 days before he died. From all appearances he was perfectly healthy but my 6 year old daughter found him dead one moring. He had no marks on him that would indicate a cause of death but we figured it must have been something internal (a weak organ?) that wasn't right. Since he wasn't bred from our line, we couldn't be sure of his parentage or history.

    After having had a chick die in my hands sat night, I was astonished that one of our healthy guinea pigs was in my hands tuesday night dying and experiencing the same symptoms as the chick. That's when we began to wonder if the previous cavy's death, the chick disappearance, and the hen falling dead off the roost were really related and began calling around and seeking help. Then last night (wed.) it was the same thing all over again.

    Cukoo Bird (my daughter named the guinea pig) has been sent off for necropsy and I hope we're able to get results FAST--I don't want to do this again and dread sundown tonight, which seems to be when all of this starts.

    I will look into the possibility of ordering spider anit-venom today and will also, hopefully, be able to dig up some more possible clues online today. That we lost another cavy tha same way in spite of moving them really leaves me at a loss for an explanation. So far, our female colony is okay and I hope it stays that way.

    P.S. Mama hen wasn't interested in the weak exhausted guinea keet we tried to give her. However, the night her last chick died we gave him to her while she was still awake and she willingly tucked him under her for the night. He was dead the next morning though (he was suffering severe exhaustion, probably the only survivor of 30 that his mama ran ragged) but I'm quite pleased that, given his condition, I was able to keep him alive for as long as I did. The hen has been mourning and has gone back to mothering her grown chicks again. We thought about getting her some chicks from the feed store but I'm glad we didn't--unfortunately I don't think it's a good time for chicks right now!
     

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