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Could this be a hawk injury?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi chicken lovers! I am one year into being a chicken keeper. I raised the seven hen's I have from babies. We have a very secure coop, covered run and open run. We live on 2acres with woods behind us.
These girls have been free ranging for several hours a day since last summer. We had one scare where a red tail came close to the house and all of the hen's put up a racket, dove for cover and I scared it off. Haven't seen one since.
In the ensuing months the hen's have ranged farther from the house including closer to the woods where there is no cover for them. Yesterday they set up a racket and when we went out they were running up the hill for cover under the deck. I was missing two and finally found them under the deck. One was severely injured- all her tail feathers were gone and she has a big gash on her back as well as a small spot on her head. I found the site of the attack complete with a pile of feathers, but no indication of a ground attack.
Here's a picture:

I have been spraying the wound with vetricyn and keeping her in my studio in a portable pen. She seemed dazed last night, but this morning finally came off of her perch and ate and drank.
2 questions:
Do you think it was a hawk?
Am I treating this would appropriately?

Thanks so much for any input you can give. Am rethinking the free range- don't want to provide hawk meals, but the birds are so much more contented when they can get out.
post #2 of 3

It very well may have been a hawk.  You might want to apply some antibiotic ointment to the wounds and make sure that they do not become fly blown.  Chickens generally heal quite well from such injuries.  Good luck.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sourland View Post

It very well may have been a hawk.  You might want to apply some antibiotic ointment to the wounds and make sure that they do not become fly blown.  Chickens generally heal quite well from such injuries.  Good luck.

Thank you. The wound seems to be drying up at least. I have her in the garage away from the rest of the flock. Is it safe to put her back with them? What about dust bathing? Won't that be bad for the wound? I will put antibiotic ointment on it. Thanks so much for replying.
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