WARNING GRAPHIC HELP chickens pecked this little hen!! - Page 2
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You can apply the A&D (original formula, not the white ointment) now, but get some Neosporin or similar. You want to use something with antibacterial properties in it. If you happen to have raw honey you could apply that. Personally, my choice is an antibacterial ointment. I wouldn't cover the wound at all. I'd just keep her in the house until it heals up.
You want to watch the area where the flesh has been torn. Some of the tissue might die if it doesn't have good blood flow. If you notice any going black that means that it is necrotic (dead) tissue and you will want to remove it. Trimming it away will help the wound heal faster. In the pic your hen's wound looks all pink so hopefully the remaining tissue has good blood supply and you don't have to be concerned. Just keep a watchful eye.
She's going to need to be kept from the flock for some time while it heals up. Even once it scabs over and begins to heal, they will pick it open again. Once it does heal up, and before her feathers come back in then you can think about crocheting a sweater for her. Some birds will pick at any exposed bare pink skin regardless if it is wounded or not. The last thing you want is for them to reinjure her so that's where your sweater or a chicken saddle would come into play. Saddles are used to cover the hen's back and protect their back and feathers from the roosters claws when mating. In her case it would cover and protect her bare spot until her feathers came back in.
With regards to your flock's protein level, it does sound like they could be protein deficient. Your layer feed is only 16% protein and the scratch and corn are probably only around 9% protein. The more they eat of the scratch and corn, the lower their overall protein intake gets. If you are feeding 1/2 pellets and 1/2 scratch-corn mixture then they are only getting 12.5% protein overall. Even if only a quarter of their ration is the scratch-corn mixture that means they are only getting 14.25% protein overall. A protein deficient diet can definitely contribute to feather picking and egg eating behavior. The easiest thing would be to look for an layer feed with a higher protein level. If you can't find one, then look for an "all-flock" or "multi-flock" formula. Those tend to be around 20% protein. Most don't have the calcium that layers need but, since you are offering oyster shell already, you should be fine. You might also look for a "game bird" or "show bird" formula. They tend to have much higher protein levels (24%), so you may opt to just supplement your 16% layer feed with them.
Edited by TalkALittle - 1/22/16 at 10:30am
I always forget to mention feeding eggs to provide protein or to entice a sick bird to eat. Maybe because subconsciously I can't bear the thought of parting with wonderful, home-grown eggs.
Chopped egg, canned tuna or salmon, liver, and hamburger are all good to increase the protein. Gamebird Starter 24% or FlockRaiser 20% feed can be good if you don't want to use the others. I have used a solid piece of polar fleece and cut slits for the wings to make a hen apron. Once her wound scabs over, I would put that on her, and give her supervised visitation inside the coop, so that they all remain familiar with her. Vetericyn Wound Spray is excellent to use for wound care.
Thank you all again for your wonderful advice and help. She seems to be in great spirits today, I cant keep her contained lol. Shes been wandering room to room checking things out! Now she believes its okay to rest on my countertop, and I will let her lol. I will keep you updated on her progress!
Hi folks!! Im back! Little hen is doing great, hopped on the couch with me today to take a nap. She is however now pecking herself and got herself bleeding. I tried to makeshift a cardboard ecollar, like the ones for dogs and cats, but she can still reach the area. Im guessing its healing and itchy to her. Im trying to kerp the area moist. Any ideas of how to keep her from pecking herself?
Well, now might be the time to start crocheting. Given that she's cannibalizing herself I'd cover the wound. If you do an internet search for images of "chicken saddle" you'll see lots of pics that will give you an idea of the shape that will cover her back and sides but still let her wings be free.
It's been 2 days since her injury and hopefully it's beginning to scab up. I would cut back on washing/rinsing the wound if you're still doing that. Washes can be limited to spot cleaning if she gets any debris in it. You can start to let it dry out a bit but still apply the antibacterial ointment. If you do make a little cover for her, make sure you don't fit it too tight. You don't want it to stick to the wound. If you have some non-stick gauze you might want to line the cover with it to prevent it from sticking.
Edited by TalkALittle - 1/23/16 at 7:24pm