Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your bird and/or flock. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find me a Vet
Head injuries are fairly common in chickens, occurring in multiple presentations and severity, from mild to life-threatening. Head injuries may be outwardly apparent by the presence of hemorrhaging, loss of tissue, and in many incidences, complete exposure of the brain. In other cases, birds may not show any external evidence of a head injury, but will present with a wide range of temporary to permanent clinical signs of neurological impairment. The later case is most commonly seen in crested-head chicken breeds (such as the Silkie, Polish, Crevecoeur, etc.) that possess a vaulted skull (an open void or hole on the top portion of the skull). This makes these chicks, highly susceptible to brain trauma, as there is nothing more than skin and feathers protecting the brain tissue. Sometimes all it takes is one hard peck the head by a flock member or accidentally bumping their head in the right way. Any trauma to the brain can cause neurological signs and/or sudden death. As chicks grow, sometimes the voided area will eventually seal itself shut or at least reduce in size.