Injury - Chick missing half of skull Need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DoodleRoo, May 17, 2017.

  1. DoodleRoo

    DoodleRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2017
    I hate that this has to be my first post here. I've been browsing here for some time and have found valuable advice on more than one occasion in these forums.

    On to the topic, I was closing my coop tonight when I noticed something wrong with one of my Ameraucana chicks. At first I thought a hen had plucked out all the feathers from her skull cap but, it was so much worse, her entire top part of her skull was missing, revealing the soft tissue underneath!

    This chick is kept in a side room inside the coop that is kept closed up (the chicks are hand raised and only about 7-8 weeks old) so I am at a loss as to how this injury occurred. Sometimes a grown hen or rooster will drop down into the chick's section from a rafter above, but I generally have to be the one to open the door and let them out and no adult chicken was trapped in there with them today. I also checked the coop for predators and haven't come up with any evidence of one yet, except for the injury of course.

    I love my chickens and want to give this little one a chance. She is in my house now, in a large dog crate. She's bright-eyed, alert and doing her 'where am I and where is everyone else?' chirping. After I brought her in I noticed she quickly began eating from her dish too. As for medical care, I've cleaned the top of her head carefully (this part made me so nervous, because her brain might be partially exposed) and put a large amount of antibiotic ointment on it.

    What I need to know is, what do you think could've caused this and, what else can I do to help her? We are not in a good financial situation at all atm so taking her to a vet is unfortunately not an option.

    Thank you so much for any help and advice!
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it possible for you to post a picture? I'm wondering if just the skin is missing? If so, she should be able to heal from that. If she's eating and alert, those are all great signs!
     
  3. sue25

    sue25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I can think of is either something may have fallen on her head or another chicken pecked her continually. I had a Cochin chick myself get out of it's pin and into the bigger chicken flock unfortunately the other chickens or one of them pecked her so much her skull was showing but not pecked through. I ended up having to cull her. I'm sorry you found your chick that way mine was about the same age when it happened.
     
  4. DoodleRoo

    DoodleRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2017
    I'm not certain it's just the skin that's missing as there is a hard white ring showing, especially on the left side of her scalp, that really looks like cut bone. I've attached some pictures. I'm very sorry for the poor quality but I'm terrible at taking in-focus pictures up close.

    HeadInjuryChicken.jpg
     
  5. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have any focused images of her? Is that white thing on her head hard? if so, it may just be exposing the bone, and not cut through the bone.Does she seem to be in any pain at all?
     
  6. cacknballs

    cacknballs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i find it hard to believe that the animal survived a head injury that was strong enough to remove the top of it's skull, unless maybe it was chewed off, but usually a chewer will go for eyes and soft tissue first.

    i'm guessing you're just looking at a flesh wound resulting from being pecked, but focused pictures would help. hold the camera back a ways and use the zoom to get closer.
     
    DoodleRoo likes this.
  7. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2
     
  8. DoodleRoo

    DoodleRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2017
    You're probably right. Her head is such a mess it was hard to discern how bad the injury was. Here are some more photos, still not perfect but I hope it helps in showing the damage. (She's currently alert and standing on her food tray. She didn't show any signs of being in pain except for when I put the medicine on earlier, which she did not like at all.)
     

    Attached Files:

  9. DoodleRoo

    DoodleRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2017
    I'm sorry about your chick. I really hope I don't have to cull her, but so far she seems to be acting normal (and perhaps I just freaked out too much as to the extent of the injury). It still looks pretty bad and mangled and I'm afraid if I try to clean it anymore than I have, to get a better look, I'll just hurt her more. So I'm just waiting to see how she does for now.
     
  10. cacknballs

    cacknballs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hopefully she makes a full recovery and lives a long, productive life for you.

    if she makes it i think you should name her bobby mcgee, in honor of this guy:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=robert+mcgee&t=ffsb&ia=web
     
    DoodleRoo likes this.

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