Please help! Bloody torn/separated beak (pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by organicmama, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. organicmama

    organicmama In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Our five year old found two of the girls pecking at Violet's beak this morning, and what we saw has me pretty freaked out. [​IMG] I think the pictures speak for themselves. She is not actively bleeding, but the lower 2/3 of her beak is definitely separated from the top part. What should we do - try to reattach it, gently tear it off to regrow, leave it alone? DH thinks there is something under the torn part of her beak but he's not sure. Should we put some neosporin or anything else on it? Why does this stuff always happen on the days when the feed stores are closed??


    Here's her info from the form stickied at the top of the board:

    4 month old Welsummer, weight unknown but she seems average sized compared to the rest of the flock.
    Her behavior is subdued and she seems stressed about being separated from the others.
    We're not sure how it happened, but the others were pecking at her beak when DS discovered the injury.
    We're not sure if she is eating. She's pecking at the ground, but when offered her favorite treat (nasturtium), she pecked at it and then backed off with beak open and closed her eyes.
    Her poop appears fine.
    So far we have dabbed off some dried blood with a wet paper towel, but have not done anything else.
    If it would be relatively easy to treat her ourselves, we will do so but if not we can try to locate a vet for her.
    She lives in a Playhouse-style coop with a dirt floor, 1/2" hardware cloth all around, and pine shavings inside the coop area. She free ranges a lot but this happened before we let her out for the day and she was fine last night.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    That's not that bad but it sure hurts like mad. It would be like breaking off the tip of your finger nail. It's the same material. It doesn't look that deep so in a few months it should grow back just like new. Asprin as suggested, no subs, will help ease the pain. I would remove the part of the beak that is dangling (so it doesn't wiggle and hurt when she eats) and let her eat softened foods till it heals a bit. Keep the beak clean and it should be just fine.
  4. organicmama

    organicmama In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Thanks for the aspirin tip. I think we have the baby (81mg) dosage. Should we still do 5 of those, or use more? And for how many days?

    Quote:So when you say to remove the dangling part, do you mean to take off the whole upper layer across the width of her beak (as opposed to making a vertical cut on the dangling part and just taking the most detached part off)? Hope that makes sense. If so, I assume we should wait for the aspirin to kick in first?

    As far as keeping it clean should we use rubbing alcohol? And how long do we need to keep her segregated from the others for?
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I would think it would almost be the same as debeaking. It looks about like the same area they cut when debeaking chickens. It will definately heal. If the 'cuticle' is damaged/removed (the soft park in the beak that the hard part grows over) I don't think the hard part will grow back. It looks kinda like the hard part has just cracked and peeled a bit, so maybe the beak will grow back. I don't know, though....I'm not that experienced, just trying to help! Don't know about the baby asprin, maybe see how many mg of active ingredient are in the baby asprin as compared to the adult asprin and adjust that way.....
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Not sure about the aspirin or what the adult dosage is, but in my mind it was like 325? I'd under dose before I'd over dose. I'd just treat for a few days till the wound hardens up.

    As for keeping it clean, I wouldn't like rubbing alcohol under my nose and in my mouth so I'd avoid strong items that could potentially be toxic if swallowed. If you could just flush it with a saline solution and just keep her in a cage where she can't dig though the dirt, it should be fine. They are pretty hardy birds and less prone to infection like a skin wound would be.

    As for removal of the broken part, it's kind of a judgment call to how much if any is removed. If it's real loose and can get hooked on things, trimming it down so it can't get torn off further would be ideal.

    A quarantine for a few days should be fine till the wound heals up a bit. Just use your best judgment on how deep the wound is and how quickly she heals up. I don't think it will take that long.

    Unlike debeaking though, in this case, the tip of the bone in the beak wasn't cut off and cauterized by a hot iron.
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    I think you really need the advice of an expert vet over this. I would be very careful to get professional advice before attempting to fix her up.
  8. redkan

    redkan Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Central Maine
    Quote:I have a recent thread about a roo with fox wounds and some posted for me the number of milligrams of aspirin which you would be able to use to figure out how many childrens aspirin to you. Good luck, that looks ouchy.
  9. organicmama

    organicmama In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Update - We took her in to see a local chicken expert this evening. What we were seeing under the torn part is actually the roof of her mouth, so we were advised not to remove anything because that would leave her mouth unprotected. Her beak is also too hardened to flatten back down and super glue back into place, super glue ingredient concerns aside. So we have her in her own mini-pen with some aspirin water and a dish of cottage cheese. We hand fed and watered her a bit tonight and will do so again in the morning if she's not eating or drinking on her own. The lady we saw says she probably got her beak caught on something and panicked, tearing it as she pulled her head away. Poor baby! [​IMG]
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I'm wondering if your local vet would have some surgical adhesive? Very handy with lacerations and works sort of like Superglue. There is a weaker bonding, over-the-counter brand that you can get at any drug store, if the vet doesn't have any.

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