How Do I Treat Multiple Feather Cysts?

BantamNest

Chirping
7 Years
May 19, 2013
23
1
79
My 2 and a half year old wild type Ameraucana is covered in several feather cysts. I believe it is due to genetic nutrient deficits. I can't find any source on how to treat them other them surgery, which is not an option because of the sheer number of cysts. Also they appear to be getting bigger. The largest one is on her chest and appears to be infected, though it has scabbed over. Is there any way to treat them and what would be the best antibiotic to use for the infection? I also have taken a lot of pictures if that would help.
 

Sunnyside Chick

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 19, 2014
19
14
99
I wish I could be helpful to you and your poor bird. I'm very interested in hearing what people have to say about this condition.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,704
51,449
1,302
southern Ohio
I have never treated that problem before. Could it be possible that she may have the skin type of Mareks disease? Do you know if she was vaccinated for Mareks? Have you added any new birds since just before she became ill? How is she acting? Is she getting around normally and eating well? Has she lost weight? I would try some vitamins with trace minerals, something like Poultry Nutri-drench or Poultry Cell 3 ml by mouth every day to see if it is a vitamin/mineral problem. Here is some info on Mareks: https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
 

BantamNest

Chirping
7 Years
May 19, 2013
23
1
79
We have been giving her nutri-drench. She has lost significant weight (severely underweight), and is acting really strange. She has never been a friendly bird and hates being held. Usually she is very vocal on this point, but now she's just very quiet and only struggles when I touch her somewhere that hurts. She has only been eating treats. There is a type of mareks that causes swollen feather follicles, but they're supposed to be pale not inflamed. I was doing research when I found the feather cysts, but I could only find cases on canaries and other small birds.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,704
51,449
1,302
southern Ohio
I'm sorry that she is not feeling well. If she dies or you decide to put her out of her misery, I would take or send her to the state vet for a necropsy and Mareks testing. I can send you a link for that if you wish.
 

QueenMisha

Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
6,022
965
316
Placerville, California, USA
In all honesty... I've never seen anything like this before. If you choose to treat, you might try a strong antibiotic - Baytril or Clavamox would be good choices. Better than the cheap stuff you can get at the store, Terramycin etc. You would also be wise to start tube-feeding - a bird will go downhill on a diet of all treats, but tube feeding a feed/water slurry 2x per day will keep them in good shape. There are many good tube feeding guides on this website which you can learn from.

My personal suggestion would be to cull. This doesn't look like anything normal at all and frankly given how sickly she is and how severe the condition appears to be, I wouldn't consider it worth it to keep her going. A firm grasp on the legs and a sharp twist and pull of the neck might be the best option at this point.
 

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