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Injured Hen

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Help please.  I have a buff orp hen who was attacked today by a dog. I was able to get to her right away but the dog did get a good bite which caused a baseball sized half moon tear of her skin only on her right side and one small puncture wound in the tissue below the skin.  The skin was actually hanging down. I cleansed the wound with saline and trimmed the feathers back out of the way and coated the area with Neosporin, laid the skin back in place, covered with sterile gauze and wrapped her with co-ban wrap. She is now resting in the "hospital kennel" separated from the other girls. She seems in good spirits and is drinking.  Will the skin heal back to the other skin or will she grow new skin tissue?  I even wondered if I should put her down but since it was a flesh tear of just the skin I thought she might have a chance. Does anyone have any suggestions of what else I could do for her?   We don't have a aviary vet nearby.  Thank you.

post #2 of 8
Chickens can heal from some nasty stuff, I would check it daily, odds are the flap of skin may need trimming and the skin will scab up, so watch it and see how it goes, if it looks dead or blackened a sharp scissors will work, trim just enough to keep it from sticking down, you don't want an infection to get going under it, the part closest to healthy tissue should dry up and slough off. Otherwise I would just keep her separate but within sight of the others if possible and let her heal. Usually if the wound is too severe they will die from stress, I think your girl will be okay.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 8

Chickens can heal from some pretty horrific injuries.  From your description, I think she definitely can heal up. That's the good news.

 

Its a lot of work, that's the bad.

 

A few years ago I had a hen attacked by a hawk, and she had a very large gash about as big as my hand, and a bad puncture wound.  She recovered and is still with me.  After a few days, she returned to the flock and did just fine.

 

 And right now, I have a  hen, Goldie, who was attacked 7 days ago by a dog, has 3 very deep puncture wounds and two big gashes.  She is in a kennel in my bathroom.  I think it will be a few weeks before she can possibly return to the flock, but in a week I might be able to put her kennel out in the coop.

 

I used nustock (a sulphur and pine oil ointment) on both hens.

 

 Injured hens need quiet warm places - cover a box or kennel with towels or rugs. Make sue they are in the dark much of the time so they can heal up.  As they get more active you can increase the daylight time.  Obviously separate from the flock until recovery.

 

Monitor how much your hen drinks and eats, and provide electrolytes in the water.

 

Goldie drank a lot and ate ok the first couple of days, but not so much now.  I'm hand feeding her, and having trouble coaxing her to eat and drink.  Going through just about everything (tuna, canned cat food, hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, yogurt, cheese, noodles,  and really she is only eating apple).   I am going to try live meal worms and raw egg.  If I can' get her to eat enough with that, I am going to burrito wrap her in a towel, and smush a high protein feed/yogurt/electrolyte slurry on the side of her beak til she has had enough to eat.

 

You probably know that your other chickens will peck at any injuries, so if you think she is ready to go back out with the flock, spray her with the purple stuff to disguise her wound and watch closely.

 

Hope  you keep us posted on how she is doing!

Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply.  I worried about her all night and this morning when I checked her she had been up and moved around. I gave her some greens and she gobbled them down.  I also gave her some antibiotic in her water and she drank great.  Her wound looks good with no infection so far.  I made a trip to TSC for some supplies for her and when I got back she had removed the co-ban wrap and laid a egg!  I am just unsure about that large flap of skin. It is just shy of baseball size and if it isn't laying on the wound it hangs down. It hasn't dried up but it does seem like it has shrunk as it is smaller than the wound now. I gave her a Epsom soak this evening and she loved it. She was so relaxed she just laid on her side and let me bandage away. Wound looked better also.  I slathered the Neosporin on and re-bandaged her. At last check she was sleeping soundly. 

post #5 of 8
The skin flap should slowly die and shrivel and either fall off or shrink up, just like when we cut ourselves. Glad to hear she's feeling so good.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #6 of 8

I agree with oldhen, the skin flap will eventually fall off.  You do not need to keep the bandage on her, just keep the wound surface covered with the neosporin.  When you put her back outside, if her wound is still open, you can put a baby/toddler t shirt on her with holes cut out for the wings, and that works to keep the wound a little more protected from other hens and dirt.

 

If you try that, its a good idea to put the tshirt on at roost time, in low light, and get the lights off as quick as you can.  That way there is less chance to totally freak out.  Some hens don't seem to care, some get very bothered initially by a covering.

Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all!  Well this morning things still look good.  I fixed her a meal of her regular feed mixed with yogurt, garlic, egg, oats, sunflower seeds and the antibiotic and threw it all in the food processor. When I gave it to her she just looked at me like you want me to eat this?  haha    When I walked away I could hear her beak hitting the dish and she ate it all.  yea!   I guess she's a shy eater.  Her poo looks good and she is still drinking.  I think it will be awhile before she can go back to the coop but the t-shirt idea is great.  It will be a long healing process and I really appreciate everyone's input on this.  I had my doubts at first but felt I had to try to save her.   I couldn't have done this without my BYC friends helping. Thank you and I will keep you posted.

post #8 of 8

that's great news!  Really great that she is still eating and drinking.  Sounds like a great feed mix for her.

 

Goldie is on day 8 of recovery.  She is perking up and moving around more, but still refuses to eat just about everything.  THe only 2 things she will eat are raw apple (ate a half apple today) and live mealworms.  She ate enough mealworms to have more droppings, which is good.  I will put her out in the coop - inside a kennel so she see everyone but not get overactive and will be protected in case she has to reintegrate.  

Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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