Weird growths on chickens face [pics] [UPDATES]

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lilyolks
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Weird growths on chickens face [pics] [UPDATES]

Post by lilyolks » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:28 pm

Any help would be appreciated. One odd bump appeared on one of my silkies face about a week and a half ago. At first, it was only one small bump on the left side. Two others appeared around 3 days ago, and they’ve only been growing bigger since. One on each side of her face on the bottom, and one on top of her beak. She doesn’t appear to be in pain when we touch them, and is still eating and running around normally. None of the other chickens we own have bumps on their face or are showing any symptoms. She’s a fairly young chicken who’s still growing more feathers, we’re unsure if maybe the feathers that are growing are getting infected, but she isn’t in pain... Please help, we’re very worried :(.
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Last edited by lilyolks on Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Marigold
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by Marigold » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi lilyolks, and welcome to the Forum. I'm sorry it's at such a worrying time.
When you say 'she's a fairly young chicken who is still growing feathers" how old is she, exactly? Do you mean she is going through her juvenile moult, which usually happens about 14 weeks old when the adult feathers grow in and the chick feathers are shed?
She's a pretty little bird and I can understand you are worried, though it's good that she doesn't appear to be in any pain. Do you know of an experienced poultry vet locally, in case you come to the conclusion that she needs to see one?
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lilyolks
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by lilyolks » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:35 pm

Marigold wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:24 pm
When you say 'she's a fairly young chicken who is still growing feathers" how old is she, exactly?
Hi Marigold. I’d say she’s around 3-4 months, though i’m not sure. We aren’t sure if she’s vaccinated or not and the exact age, as we bought her at a flea market :(. If guessing, Id say she’s definitely already gone through her juvenile molt. We’ve had her since July-ish, and she was already a bit older than a chick. But I’m not sure. She’s just now starting to stop “peeping” so much. :(
There is a poultry vet a few hours away, but it’s not a drive i’m particularly wanting to make if possible.
valeriebutterley
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by valeriebutterley » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:17 am

I have a gold Silkie, a mature one,

I think the bump above her beak is because she is a he and it is his comb starting to grow, which in a mature male Silkie is a large black blob on the face above the beak, might say unsightly blob.

No idea what the other growths are, but he looks a lovely calm, and very pretty bird.
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Marigold
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by Marigold » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:34 am

Could you explain a bit more about the 'flea market"? Was it a poultry auction? It's unlikely that the bird is vaccinated, as this usually only happens when a breeder has large batches of chicks for commercial rearing, because the vaccines are only sold in large batches to treat hundreds of birds, and chicks need several consecutive vaccinations for full protection against all the diseases. So this usually only happens to commercially-reared hybrids, for reasons of expense. Backyard breeders wanting to pass on a few surplus birds often use auctions or flea markets, but unfortunately the buyers have no way of finding out how the birds have been reared or what the health of the flock is like, and no comeback if things go wrong. The main problem about buying birds from unaccredited sources is that you may be importing Mareks disease, which silkies are particularly prone to, but luckily the symptoms your bird is showing aren't similar to that, and your other growers are healthy. Is it possible that there may be any more growths on other parts of his/her body, concealed by feathers? At this stage, maybe just keep a careful eye on him/her, and see how things develop.
I agree with Val that the bird may be a cockerel, and from my own experience of silkies it's difficult to tell the sexes until comparatively late in their development. The symmetrical bump on the beak might be comb, but I don't know what the other growths might be. Let's hope it's just a harmless anomaly. If they start to affect sight or ability to feed, or balance, or if s/he becomes off colour and evidently ill, you may need to cull the bird, or take her to the vet. I don't think that, at this stage, there's any use in isolating her. Potentially cancerous growths will only affect the one bird, and if any infection is possibly involved, the others will have been exposed to it anyway by now.
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chrismahon
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by chrismahon » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:07 am

Looking at photos of Silkie cockerels and it looks like the growths may be the start of the comb and wattles. They start growing as early as 4 weeks or as late as 20 weeks with other breeds, so they would be would be well developed at around 6 months. I think it's nothing to worry about at the moment if 'he' seems happy and healthy otherwise. The crowing may start at any moment?
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lilyolks
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by lilyolks » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:07 pm

Marigold wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:34 am
Could you explain a bit more about the 'flea market"? Was it a poultry auction? Is it possible that there may be any more growths on other parts of his/her body, concealed by feathers?
It was just a general flea market in Georgia. We assume (s)he hasn't been vaccinated, but we aren't entirely sure. I wasn't there when she was bought, another family member bought her and gave her to us.
I felt around and couldn't feel anything out of the usual on her body, the only thing that really concerns me about the growths on her face is that there appears to be a small hole or scab on one spot of the first/largest one on the left (pics below, sorry they're blurry). Lately she has been a little less 'spunky' than usual, shes usually pretty spicy and active (we call her Tweek because of it, lol :)), but since it isn't really a drastic change I just kinda figured it was her maturing more. Then again, I'm very new to owning chickens and that's why I'm here asking for help, and I do appreciate all of the advice everyone has given me so far. :) Thank you so much!
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lilyolks
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics]

Post by lilyolks » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:44 pm

Hello everyone, i have some (unfortunate?) updates... I woke up this morning to go check on everyone, especially Tweek, and have found her opening his/her mouth oddly this morning, and while i’m going to hopefully assume that’s just him trying to crow, he’s also bobbing his head super oddly. It’s subtle, but it’s like a constant tiny bob up and down instead of just holding his head steady like the rest of them. I’m sorry if this is some common thing, it just seems out of place and is really worrying me... He does seem a little lethargic as well. He’s laying down while the others are all standing. Again, i’m new to chickens and all of your help is deeply appreciated. If he’s sick, i’d do anything to save him as he’s extremely attached to me and I love him to death. Thank you so much.

EDIT:
here’s some videos of the symptoms
mouth: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zp9g71jasqbsg ... 7.mov?dl=0
head bobbing: https://www.dropbox.com/s/frqjl7mhrfpsh ... 8.mov?dl=0

EDIT 2:
I tried throwing some dried mealworms near her, which she loves to death, and she wouldn’t even get up to eat them. She lightly pecked at one but not hard enough to break or eat it. This is breaking my heart, I don’t know what to do to make her more comfortable or what she even has, but I’m going to take a shot and say she’s definitely sick. I just hope it isn’t terminal and that it’s something that can be cured, and praying it isn’t Mareks. But i dont know all of the symptoms, and almost everyone here is more educated than me, so if it sounds like it is to you, then please let me know. i just want to make her more comfortable, and I don’t know what’s best to do in this situation.
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Marigold
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics] [UPDATES]

Post by Marigold » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:19 pm

That doesn't sound too good, does it? When a previously active bird becomes lethargic, off her legs and off her food, she is usually quite seriously ill. I don't know about the head bobbing, but the beak gape seems to suggest there might be more tumours forming further down in the intestines. Mareks is a possibility, given her age, her breed, and the circumstances where she was bought, although the internal tumours which form in Mareks are usually unseen, found at autopsy in the liver or spleen. However, tumours forming on the surface of the skin, within feather follicles, are mentioned in this article on the Poultrykeeper main site;
https://poultrykeeper.com/nervous-syste ... -chickens/
so perhaps it might account for the growths on her face. If this is the case, as it says in the article, she is a risk to your other birds as the dust from the feather follicles will contain the very long-lived Mareks virus, which is contagious and lives as dust on the premises for a long time.
If she were mine, however fond of her I had become, and however hard the decision, I would cull her, in the interests of my other birds. Mareks is inevitably fatal, and sadly, only too common in small flocks, so although it's going to be very difficult for you to take her to the vet, he would in any case probably advise you that euthanasia is the kindest way to go for the bird herself.
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lilyolks
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Re: Weird growths on chickens face [pics] [UPDATES]

Post by lilyolks » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:23 pm

Marigold, do you think there is any chance of it being fowl pox, wet or dry? Is there any point in quarantining her now, as she's lived around the other birds this whole time? Only two of our five birds are definitely vaccinated, so I'm assuming if its Marek's then the other three will evidently become infected as well. How long or how many symptoms should I wait for to be sure that the only option is passing her on?
I would like to point out that as of my last reply, shes gotten up and is pecking around, though I can't tell how much shes eating or if shes just pecking. But she isn't just laying down, she is definitely moving.
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