Rooster with broken upper beak.. will he be ok? *Pictures* warning, its a bit graphic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bocktobery 10, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope someone can help me. My three year old Americana rooster broke his beak today. I'm not sure how, but I suspect it was because he got his beak stuck in some hardware cloth while trying to 'fight' with my other rooster who was in his cage at the time. They do this now and then, but I've never had any sort of problem like this with them until today. I suspect he got his beak stuck in it and then tried to pull it out and this occurred. A few years ago, I had one hen while in that cage (I might have written about it here) who also did the same thing and her upper beak was cracked, while this seems much more major.

    I brought him inside and put some neosporin on it and sought to see if I could put it back in the right position. He had been dripping blood for at least 10 minutes (that's from the time I saw he was hurt until the time the blood stopped.) but it wasn't a lot of blood. It was a slow drip. I was not able to reposition it at all as I could tell it was quite painful for him to have me touch it and also I think since the blood coagulated inside it was not possible. As you can see from the photos, his beak is quite maligned. My hen mentioned previously, who had her beak broke, healed very nicely without much intervention at all. (I did the same for her- neosporin on the crack in her beak.) But with this guy, I'm thinking about taking him to the vet tomorrow. He did exhibit interest in pointing out food to his hens, but I did not see him eat. It was almost roosting time when I spotted this and his crop was full so at least I'm happy he got his food for the day. I'm worried that he will not be able to eat tomorrow. He is a very healthy large rooster with a sweet disposition. I would really hate to loose him.

    So I ask, how serious is this? What should I be looking for? Do you think he will survive? Does his beak need to be reset? It just looks like there is another beak underneath the break, like there are layers of beak and this top layer started to 'shave' off. Luckily, the other girls are not picking on it. As I said the blood has coagulated, so at least he has stopped bleeding. Can you give me any advice?

    Here are some photos I took late this afternoon. I think you can see how lopsided it is.


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  2. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Poor fella. This break looks nearly identical to the one I experienced with my hen. See this old thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/556859/the-ongoing-story-of-kua-the-broken-beak-pullet

    Needless to say she is quite well today.

    But, I know not everyone can take their bird to the vet for a beak fix! Honestly, if it were to happen again, I think that the experience has prepared me well enough that I could treat again on my own, as long as I had a pain killer to administer (Metacam).

    Here is a great article about how to help a broken beak mend:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/01/repairing-chickens-broken-beak.html

    In short, do what you can to stabalize it. You will probably need to assist with feed for a while until it stops hurting; soft nutrient-dense foods such as cooked oatmeal (you can mix in some pellets or powdery feed), scrambled eggs, small amounts of sugar-free yogurt, banana, cooked squash, etc etc. You can grind your normal feed up and mix with warm water too, to make a paste-like consistency if he'll eat it. If you can, watch his weight, or at least check his crop daily to make sure he's eating well. Watch for signs of infection around the break site and as long as he is eating, he should recover just fine!
     
  3. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nambroth,

    Thanks for your reply and help. What a sweetheart of a hen you have and I'm glad she made it through ok. You sound a lot like me in what you did with her in your post.

    Unfortunately, today, "Big Red" is not doing so well. I found this morning that the other hens did pick on his wound a bit. The part of the beak that was broken and that extends out was pulled off of him and is gone now. Its kind of good that it was pulled off because I could see how it was going to be a problem. However, the main problem is that he can't/won't eat. I found him sitting near the feed trough just looking at it. His crop is empty. I can tell he is very hungry but the pain must make him think twice about trying. It does look like he is in pain. He is doing the tilt head thing which I've seen in all my dying hens before. (Not saying he is dying, but that its a sign a chicken is in pain) I brought him inside and started to try and feed him some yogurt and cream mash with oatmeal and rice. He doesn't at all eat the oatmeal/rice/cream mixture, but the yogurt he tries for, but only if I lift it up onto the good side of his beak. He has troubles trying to get it down, trying to swallow. Sometimes it comes back out and its been a real mess. (Nothing like the smell of cecal poo and yogurt. ugh.)

    I'm going to try and give him some baby aspirin (half tablet, I think is the right dose?) and then try some more with watered down yogurt with medicine dropper and maybe try some other mushy foods later once the aspirin has kicked in.

    Does anyone know how long a chicken can go without eating?
     
  4. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ...Oh and thanks too for the link.

    I actually had previously found that webpage, but because of how his beak is broken, I don't think I can follow the website's instructions. Because of the coagulated blood, there can't be a reset of the beak without getting it out, and frankly, I'm not sure how this large rooster will react if I try. I'm scared he will kick. (This guy is a BIG)

    So I think I'm just going to try and keep things clean, keep putting neosporin on it, feed him some baby aspirin every now and then and keep trying to get something into his stomach. I hope that it will heal up ok. I really don't have a choice because I called several vets in the area- 3 out of four said they won't treat him and one is booked until Thursday. So, I'm kind of out of luck.
     
  5. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Is he drinking at least? He might be dehydrated!

    My Kua also really hated to eat the first few days. I think the only reason I got her to eat was that she was on Metacam, which is a painkiller and noninflammatory medication that is safe for most animals. The beak is very sensitive when it is injured in this way... like someone ripping your fingernail off, but on your face! Ugh. I cannot blame him for not wanting food.

    If he is eating soft stuff like the yogurt, you can always puree some various foods for him, including his mash, etc... into a more liquid consistency. Until he feels better, nutrients are nutrients, be they liquid or solid!

    If all else fails, tube feeding is an option. It will cause him some temporary pain to open his beak, but it might be worth it to save him. If he isn't drinking by bed time I'd really suggest you try it if you have the items to do it. Or, at least try to get him to get some liquid down. Water, or water+electrolytes, whatever you prefer.

    No matter what, he might need to be a house chicken for a week or two.
     
  7. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is the rooster?
     
  8. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    I had a hen with this problem and in a short amount of time he will be back to normal .....

    You might want to do something about the piece sticking out so not to get it stuck on something .....
     
  9. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone!

    I just wanted to say that the rooster is fine! Well, that is , he seems like he is. I was not able to get him to a vet anywhere near by. My vet was out of town and all the others said they would not work on a chicken. So, it was up to nature and God and nature and God came through.

    He is eating now and back with the hens. The congealed blood in the wound seemed to help pull the beak back in position as it was healing. For about two days I was feeding him chunks of yogurt through the good side of his beak. He would eat like he was starving, then stop- I would suppose from the pain. So, because of this, I would have to feed him like every hour or so, but not at night of course. It also made it easier for him to eat grain and treats if it was in a deep container- that way, he could just kind of stuff his beak in it and get a whole bunch of food at ounce, rather than pick at it, that is, try to pick it up with the tip of his beak. I also put neosporin with pain reliever on the crack of his beak. I have no idea if this helped or not.

    By the third day, he seemed depressed being in a cage, away from his girls, being in such strange surroundings, so I put him back outside to liven him up. It worked. He got back to "work" (if you know what I mean) and from there he just sort of adapted. He went right back to grazing grass and eating grain, although tenderly at first.

    I'm still watching his beak and looking for any possible infection. It looks like he is going to make it ok. His top bill looks a bit shorter from the bottom bill, but I hope that in time this will correct itself. So far, it doesn't seem to be presenting a problem.

    I will post a picture update here soon- Just haven't had the free time or chance to do so yet.

    Thanks to everyone for your help and concern!
     
  10. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    That is great news! Thank you for helping him, I'm delighted that he is on the mend. [​IMG]
     

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