Ear Canals

Posted by: Bushman

Ear Canals - 03/30/13 06:34 AM

I recently saw a rooster with swollen ears, and upon closer examination both ear canals were totally clogged with a yellowish, cheesey exudate. Other than some obvious discomfort, the bird seemed to be eating and drinking well, no nasal discharge or eye swelling, and no other apparent symptoms. Can an ear mite cause this? If not, what is the cause?
Posted by: Wieslaw

Re: Ear Canals - 03/30/13 09:50 AM

Yes, but in the case of ear mites the bird would shake his head rather often trying to get rid of them. If it is ear mites, then you shoud be able to see them, they are normally tiny but they are huge under a magnifying glass.
Posted by: OmegaBlueFarms

Re: Ear Canals - 01/18/15 06:30 PM

Bushman, did you ever get to the bottom of this? I've seen the same thing a few times now. No indication it's mites.
Posted by: Bushman

Re: Ear Canals - 01/24/15 04:34 PM

Never did, but I culled the bird and have not seen it since, so it is apparently not very contagious. I think it was some type of bacterial or fungal infection, but may never know.
Posted by: OmegaBlueFarms

Re: Ear Canals - 01/25/15 07:55 AM

I've seen it a few times now, mostly in birds that are 2 or over. Concurrently, I've also observed yeast infections around the vents from time to time in the older birds. I don't use antibiotics which is usually cited as the cause of yeast infections.

I agree with your assumption that it is not infectious. Every case has been isolated and never shown a tendency to spread. Like you, I tend to cull the affected birds but curious about cause.

I've been leaning to the cause being either the birds being overweight or something being wrong with the feed. I've been wondering if my feed might be too rich in some amino acids.
Posted by: Berend

Re: Ear Canals - 01/25/15 12:55 PM

Is it the same what you see on the picture, it fits the description.

Posted by: OmegaBlueFarms

Re: Ear Canals - 01/26/15 07:05 AM

close, but in my case, the the ear completely fills in with a cheesy substance that is more cream in colour. Same stuff I've cleaned out of bumblefoot.

I your case, the inner part sorta looks the same, but the outer part is much more yellow/orange in colour.
Posted by: Berend

Re: Ear Canals - 01/29/15 02:15 AM

He is 1 year old and more cheesy substance will come when he gets older, the yellow/orange is i.m.o. dried residue.
Posted by: Bushman

Re: Ear Canals - 02/01/15 03:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Berend
He is 1 year old and more cheesy substance will come when he gets older, the yellow/orange is i.m.o. dried residue.


Do you know the cause?
Posted by: Berend

Re: Ear Canals - 02/04/15 02:16 PM

Unknown, a veterinarian advised in similar cases treatment wit antibiotics because of a infection.
Posted by: Uno

Re: Ear Canals - 03/10/15 12:12 AM

Omega, not every yeast infection is caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics can indeed cause an imbalance that sets up the situation for a yeast infection. But yeast infections also occur for other reasons. So it is perfectly reasonable to expect that your chickens are capable of having a yeast infection, even though you don't use antibiotics.

My first reaction is that at some point the bird had a sinus/nasal infection and this is the last bit of evidence, crud coming out the ears. I don't know if a chicken's head is built the same way ours are, but a sinus infection in a human can indeed lead to ear discharge.

I have never seen anything like this in my birds. But if I did my first reaction would be to dribble some peroxide in the ear to see if it would bubble out the goo. Then, if I thought it was infection, I'd glob some antibiotic ointment into the ear OR if I thought it was a yeast infection I'd use some lady meds on it, like Monistat, and glob some of that into the ears.

The only way to find out what it is is to see what cures it. I mean, if you're going to cull the bird anyway, may as well do some deductive experimenting, providing you are not causing pain and the bird is not suffering.