Very early this morning my husband heard our chickens and went out to check on them. A raccoon had gotten in the coop and attacked one. At first, my husband thought she was dead however when he returned with his shovel (for our children not to find her like that), he discovered that she was alive and had moved to a covered area underneath the coop. There was damage to her neck and many of her feathers were gone. Her breathing was slow and she wasn't moving much after that. We separated her from the rest of the chickens and made sure she had water prior to us leaving for work. My husband went home at lunch to check on her and she was "walking" around however he stated that she stumbled over a rock and she is still not holding her head up very easily. My father is checking on her in a couple of hours and I will be home shortly after that. There is no avian veterinarian within 100 miles of us. Just trying to figure out what is the best to do at this point. Any advise or help would be appreciated.
Raccoon Attached Chicken, Hard to hold Head Up and Walk- Euthanize or treat?
Welcome to BYC!
Do you have any photos?
Chickens can generally heal remarkably well.
If you haven't done so, flush her wounds with saline, diluted betadine or something similar.
After you have cleaned the wounds you can access her a bit better. You can apply plain neosporin or vetericyn spray to the wounds.
Keep her separated in a warm quiet place and see how she does. Sometimes it is wait and see.
Provide her with her regular poultry ration, you can give her some tuna or egg to help boost protein.
Some people also provide some vitamins/electrolytes in the water as well - especially if she seems to be lethargic or in shock.
I have been treating her wounds and adding electrolytes to her water. She has only eaten on her own once (Wednesday evening). I forced fed her a little last night and this morning and continue to giver her plenty of water. I have attached photos for your thoughts. The first photo is the wound that was under her wing. It is looking great. Photo#2: she keeps her head drooped and in this position when standing. Photo #3: wound to her neck. This is where her neck meets her body and she is bruised about 1-2 inches up her neck as well. We don't know if this is permanent damage or she is sore and her muscles need to heal. (I usually have this entire area bandaged). Photo #4. Another shot of her normal stance lately. She laid an egg and had a bowel movement the first 2 days however nothing in the last 24 hours. My husband and I are beginning to think that we are delaying the inevitable however we also don't want to give up pre-maturely either. Any help you may be able to offer would be appreciated. Thank you, in advance.
The wounds look pretty good in my opinion (you did a good job in treating them), but am wondering if the neck bones/spinal cord is damaged (crushed by the attack) since she is not able to hold her head up. You many want to offer some aspirin in her water to see if any pain relief helps with the neck. It may help you determine if she is just very sore-maybe muscle strain-or if it is more serious-nerve/spinal damage. This may at least give you direction in whatever decision you have to make. If you have an eye dropper or needle less syringe it helps to get some liquids into them.
Aspirin dosage according to what info I can find is 324 mg/gallon of drinking water or 81mg/quart of drinking water. I have found that something like Bayer "low dose" aspirin usually come in 81mg pill/tablet so it's easy to calculate the dosage.