Chicken Lump, Bump and Wart Questions

Chicken Lumps, Bumps, and Warts are often signs of disease. If your chicken got a disease, it is highly likely it can spread to the rest of the flock, so isolation is vital.


When noticing something unusual on a chicken, it’s a good idea to watch the behavior of the chicken.

Signs of unusual behavior are:

  • Not acting well

  • Weak

  • Poor appetite

  • Sitting in a corner, fluffed up

  • Not roosting with the rest of the flock

  • Shows difficulty walking

  • Eyes shut or partially shut

  • Unresponsive when you approach or handle it

    If you notice any of these signs you can assume there is something seriously wrong.

    You may notice these symptoms first and then find a lump during an exam. A chicken with a lump that is acting normally probably has no contagious disease.

    Any unusual chicken lump is cause for concern. There may have been an injury, but chickens can get cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. Swelling is usually caused by the immune system sending fluids to an injured area, especially if there is infection.

    Swelling in the legs or toes may be caused by a broken or fractured bone. When this happens, usually the chicken will limp, try not to walk much, or pull the injured leg up close to its body to keep it warm.

    Common Injuries and Questions

    Some of the most common injuries that may cause some kind of chicken lump come from failed predator attacks. The predator could have been a domesticated dog or cat, or a wild animal as small as a rat, or snake. Raccoons, possums, and skunks are the usual suspects, though foxes, coyotes, weasels, and hawks may go after chickens.

    Larger predators, such as wolves, bear, wild cats, and eagles, if in your area, may be a problem. It’s important to build your coop and chicken pen keeping all possible predators in mind, to prevent injury or loss. Against hungry carnivorous animals, chickens are defenseless, especially at night, when they can’t see. It’s a lucky chicken that escapes an attack.

    Wounds from known or unknown causes should be cleaned, dried and treated with topical antibiotic ointment. For deep infected wounds, oral or injected antibiotics may be needed. A seriously injured chicken may need veterinary care if it’s to be saved.

    One of the most common questions we receive about a chicken lump describes the crop of a chicken, located on their upper right side of the breast area at the bottom of their neck.

    Chickens large and small have a pouch where all solids and liquids they consume mix and pre-digest before moving on through their digestive system. If you don’t understand the crop and where it’s located, seeing a very full crop can be startling.

    Some chickens have larger appetites than others, so you may notice some chickens with unusually large crops, especially in the evening when they are loading up for a long night on the roost.

    If that crop becomes impacted with indigestible material or due to lack of fluids, gasses can build and inflate the crop around the base of the neck, and over the shoulder area.

    This would be a very noticeable chicken lump. Making sure plenty of fresh water is always available will prevent this from happening. Young chicks are more prone to over eating and not drinking enough, but generally sort themselves out, without needing special care.

    Chickens may get insect or spider bites, bee, wasp or hornet stings. There are viruses that cause noticeable lesions on non-feathered skin.

    We will help as much as possible here, but there is no comparison with the diagnostic abilities of an experienced poultry veterinarian that can see and test these problems.

    Some parasites may look like wart clusters, so gently scrubbing to find out the nature of an unusual lump, bump or wart, may help you diagnose the problem at home.



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