Mysterious Beak Growth

Eggna

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5 Years
Sep 9, 2014
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I have a 1 1/2 year old Ancona hen. She has developed this strange growth on her beak. The mass is firm and 1/2 is solid and 1/2 is bristled like a brush. She also has black scabs? on her comb and appears dehydrated. She is separated from the flock now after being harassed by the other girls. Yesterday she drank a lot of water and ate a large amount of food. Today she is weak, lethargic, pale and one eye is a different color than the other. Blindness? I am sure this is terminal at this point, but would like to know what this is! Any advice would be appreciated. Google has let me down as I can find nothing about it. Thank you!

 

Eggcessive

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Welcome to BYC. The beak growth could be a tumor or possibly a virus. The marks on the comb may be blood or peck marks, but it is hard to see that well. It doesn't look like fowl pox, but pox can look different in many cases. The eye kind of looks blind in the picture just because it looks dilated and has the reflection of the flash. Blindness is fairly common in chickens, along with cataracts, from diseases, infections, or injuries. Mareks disease can cause blindness, and a gray looking eye, and it can cause tumors all over the body. Mareks disease has 4 types, and each chicken can have 1 or more types. Do you know if she had a mareks vaccine? Here are some links to read about eye disorders, and Mareks disease:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps031
http://www.joneshamiltonag.com/jh/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/PLT_Poultry-Eye-Disorders.pdf
http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
 

Eggna

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 9, 2014
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7
Thank you for your advice! I checked her mouth last night and she does have a small lesion on the inside of her beak. Her tongue is clear though. The sores on her comb are small and round. Not peck marks. She was vaccinated for Marek's disease so that's not it. After looking into Avian Pox that sounds quite likely now. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much in the way of treatment for her. Just apple cider vinegar in water to help break up the mucus in her throat. This morning she is still cooing to me but very weak. Anymore ideas?
 

Nambroth

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Apr 7, 2011
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Is the lesion inside her upper mandible symmetrical? Is it red, or oozing, or pussy? Chickens have a natural cleft inside their mouths-- make sure you are not confusing this for an actual lesion.
Here is the inside of a healthy chicken's mouth:


As you can see, there is naturally a ridged slot in the upper mandible.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that Marek's vaccination is not a guarantee. It is only an "immune boost" so that if exposed, a chicken is less likely to die from Marek's disease. Vaccinated chickens will still get Marek's disease if exposed to it (and with any hope the immune boost will protect them), and of those, some may develop symptoms.

It might be pox, it might be a tumor, it might be a walled-off infection or growth. If you can, check her over carefully by parting her feathers and looking at her skin for other growths, especially near her preen gland.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
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Jan 27, 2014
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Is the lesion inside her upper mandible symmetrical? Is it red, or oozing, or pussy? Chickens have a natural cleft inside their mouths-- make sure you are not confusing this for an actual lesion.
Here is the inside of a healthy chicken's mouth:


As you can see, there is naturally a ridged slot in the upper mandible.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that Marek's vaccination is not a guarantee. It is only an "immune boost" so that if exposed, a chicken is less likely to die from Marek's disease. Vaccinated chickens will still get Marek's disease if exposed to it (and with any hope the immune boost will protect them), and of those, some may develop symptoms.

It might be pox, it might be a tumor, it might be a walled-off infection or growth. If you can, check her over carefully by parting her feathers and looking at her skin for other growths, especially near her preen gland.
I'm so glad you posted that series of pics!! I never knew what the inside of a chicken's mouth looked like...wow! The bottom left pic...it almost looks like they have teeny teeth built in to the top of their mouths....how cool to actually see it....thanks, I learned something new today!
frow.gif
 

casportpony

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I have a 1 1/2 year old Ancona hen. She has developed this strange growth on her beak. The mass is firm and 1/2 is solid and 1/2 is bristled like a brush. She also has black scabs? on her comb and appears dehydrated. She is separated from the flock now after being harassed by the other girls. Yesterday she drank a lot of water and ate a large amount of food. Today she is weak, lethargic, pale and one eye is a different color than the other. Blindness? I am sure this is terminal at this point, but would like to know what this is! Any advice would be appreciated. Google has let me down as I can find nothing about it. Thank you!

This hen looks like she *might* have cutaneous and ocular Marek's. Was she vaccinated?

-Kathy
 

Nambroth

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Apr 7, 2011
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Here is a better photo of a healthy upper palette. I labeled my photo since the interior of bird mouths can look very alien indeed.
The papillae run down the edges of the slit as well, but are less obvious in this photo. Though they look tooth-like, they are actually a sensory organ for the bird.
 

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