Major Beak Injury - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by buffalofish, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. buffalofish

    buffalofish New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Hello all, any advice given the following situation would be appreciated.....

    I fell asleep early Friday night and forgot to lock the chickens in their coop. My wife and I were rudely awoken around 1:30 AM by the chickens screaming about a raider in the coop. After rushing out to try and stop some kind of attack in progress, we found 1 of our chickens missing - presumed to be a casualty of the attack.

    Imagine my suprise as the missing chicken came running out of the woods squaking like crazy this evening (Sunday).

    Here's the problem - her beak is gone! She has one other minor injury, but there is basically nothing left of the beak. I've separated her from the rest of the flock - is there anything else I should do other than hoping she makes it thru the night?

    Thanks
     
  2. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Oh, I am so sorry!
    I can't offer up any medical advice as I've not yet faced a situation like that. Hopefully someone will be along soon to help.

    The only thing I can think of is that she may have to be put down because chickens need their beak to eat. A chicken can be what is termed "debeaked". Usually done to prevent picking and fighting among birds. But debeaking only involves shortening the top beak a bit-they can still scoop food with the all important lower beak.


    The outcome looks grim for your bird-be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best!
     
  3. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    Hmm.. I agree that you'll need to handfeed her until you come up with a great plan.

    I know they use some sort of molding material to fix turtle shells, etc. I would think that would apply to beaks, too. A soul that brave should be given every opportunity!

    Hopefully the experts chime in soon and give some ideas.

    Best of luck. What a great girl!

    -Meghan
     
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
  5. buffalofish

    buffalofish New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions - I didn't take a pic as it's pretty nasty looking.

    It's hard to tell if she's getting any water yet - she's shown some interest, but I haven't seen her drink yet.

    Breathing sounds are pretty loud - as I think the nostrils are also gone.

    So far she seems "strong" - she even found her way into the old coop for the night. I'll have to see how she's doing in the AM.

    If all is well, I'll see what I might be able to do with the acrylic nail suggestion for an artificial one...
     
  6. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    any update on your girl?
     
  7. buffalofish

    buffalofish New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    She made it thru the night (and the day today (Monday)), my wife is offering her some water on the tongue thru an eye dropper and has ground up some feed and some treats to see if she'll take them.

    So far she's hanging in there - she seems happy to have company when my wife goes out and spends time with her - and she still seems to have more energy than I could possibly expect.

    I still fear the worst - as I can't imagine that she will be able to continue to get enough food / water to sustain.

    Thanks for all of your comments and concerns.
     
  8. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Can you make a wet mash of whatever she is used to eating and syringe it into her mouth (throat)? Just moisten it with water. You might try using water that has electrolytes as the moistening agent. I sure feel for you and your bird. You know there was this guy who had a headless chicken that lived for 18 months being hand fed. Don't have the link to that online article but it was very interesting. I hope things turn out well. [​IMG]
     
  9. buffalofish

    buffalofish New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Just wanted to give everyone a brief update:

    She's still doing well considering the extent of the injury - whe seemed to enjoy spending time with my wife in her protective pen today - coming out of the coop and "talking" as much as she could while enjoying a bit of a back scratch. She was always our friendliest hen and this injury doesn't seem to have changed that.

    Somehow she seems to be eating some food and drinking some water - we haven't seen her do it, but both are being used up to some extent.... We left some finely chopped fresh strawberries for her this AM and they were all but gone by the afternoon.

    If things go as planned, she's taking a trip to the local vet tomorrow for an "expert" opinion and possible antibiotic treatment.

    (PS - I've seen the article on the "headless" chicken which was sustained by food/water into the esophagus with a needle/dropper - not sure we want to go that direction!)
     
  10. buffalofish

    buffalofish New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Hello All,

    Just wanted to give you a final update.

    As I mentioned yesterday, my wife took her to the vet today - who was initially hopefull of a good outcome after some antibiotics - however (there's always a however) - after a detailed evaluation, he found her left eye was very infected, her tounge was getting stuck in the remains of the beak and that there was not enough beak remaining to attempt any kind of prosthesis, so the decision was made to end her suffering.

    She was a fighter to the end - it took two shots before she finally let go.

    Thanks again for all of your thoughts.
     

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