Repairing beak injury?

skye930

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2020
4
1
11
My 17-week old Orpingtons got rowdy in their range the other day and somehow this one's beak got injured. She was bleeding so I separated her and worked to clean her up, but now could use some input. The picture here isn't super clear, but the edge of her beak there near her face is pulled back. It looks sorta like a jagged fingernail, hanging against her face, with a visible top beak beneath (as in, the whole mandible isn't coming off, just this hard top). The bleeding has stopped and she's able to eat and drink and has been pecking, so I've been following the rule of thumb I use on when to take my kids to the doctor - if you're behaving normally, you're fine. But unlike with my kids, I don't really know what's normal here. My question is, do I (or a vet) need to do anything to repair this or should it heal on its own? Advice is very much appreciated.
Chick beak.jpg
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,965
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Atlanta GA
I personally dont take chickens to the vet. I dont take my dogs or cats to the vet unless they specifically need drugs, imaging or bloodwork. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Is it at risk of snagging on things and causing farther harm?
 

The Gardening Chick

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
11
23
23
Southern New England
This happened to one of my girls over the summer. By the time I purchased Vetericyn plus, the loose piece of beak had already fallen off. I used both Vetericyn plus and original Neosporin, not at the same time though. If she seems to be in any discomfort, I would also suggest adding a small amount of water to a separate plate/ bowl of solid food for 2 or 3 days and offer this as you are able to, throughout the day. Just discard any uneaten moistened feed after each "meal" to prevent microbes from growing.

5 months later, my chicken's beak is still noticeably different than the other chickens but she is doing great and very near to the top of the pecking order.

Good luck and I hope that your girl heals up soon!
 

skye930

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2020
4
1
11
This happened to one of my girls over the summer. By the time I purchased Vetericyn plus, the loose piece of beak had already fallen off. I used both Vetericyn plus and original Neosporin, not at the same time though. If she seems to be in any discomfort, I would also suggest adding a small amount of water to a separate plate/ bowl of solid food for 2 or 3 days and offer this as you are able to, throughout the day. Just discard any uneaten moistened feed after each "meal" to prevent microbes from growing.

5 months later, my chicken's beak is still noticeably different than the other chickens but she is doing great and very near to the top of the pecking order.

Good luck and I hope that your girl heals up soon!
Thanks for the help! Sounds like I'm on the right track. Just out of curiosity, did you keep your hen separate from the others for a while? I'm worried about the beak snagging on something, but more likely the other hens pecking at it...but she is not loving isolation.
 

skye930

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2020
4
1
11
I personally dont take chickens to the vet. I dont take my dogs or cats to the vet unless they specifically need drugs, imaging or bloodwork. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Is it at risk of snagging on things and causing farther harm?
Yeah, I was concerned more about the snagging risk. I felt a little nuts thinking vet, but for all I've been studying up on possible illnesses, my chicken health book did not prepare me for a broken beak!
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,965
556
Atlanta GA
Yeah, I was concerned more about the snagging risk. I felt a little nuts thinking vet, but for all I've been studying up on possible illnesses, my chicken health book did not prepare me for a broken beak!
I would consider gently trimming or filing down the jagged bit.
 

The Gardening Chick

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
11
23
23
Southern New England
Thanks for the help! Sounds like I'm on the right track. Just out of curiosity, did you keep your hen separate from the others for a while? I'm worried about the beak snagging on something, but more likely the other hens pecking at it...but she is not loving isolation.
You're absolutely doing the right things!

I initially planned to keep her separate but she was not happy about it either. As long as she has a place to escape to, if needed, and they generally get along pretty well, I would put her back out tonight. I would assume that she would be fine overnight anyway and just keep an eye on her when you can over the next few days. I brought mine in to clean her up and feed her separately though for a few days, just to make sure that she ate enough and to assess her condition (and maybe slip her a few extra treats :D.)
 

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