3 day old chick pecked on thigh severely by mother hen

Nina2015

In the Brooder
May 15, 2015
6
0
14
Hi everyone,

I joined because I have an immediate and emergency situation. One of our pullets decided to go broody and 3 weeks later she had two chicks. One is black like her, the other yellow with dark brown coming through underneath. All seemed to go well until day 3 (this morning) when we went to check on them. Mama hen was pecking at the yellow chick's thigh - so badly that it was bleeding, and possibly through to the bone. The chick was still rather sprightly, jumping around not using that damaged leg much.

We decided to separate the yellow chick from the mother. We've never done any of this before. Our set up currently is a large solid cardboard box, with newspaper, soft toilet paper as bedding. I have chick meal and water there (small amount of water so that the chick can't drown). We have this set up in our guest bathroom under the heat lamps of the IXL tastic (heating/fan/light combo).

I have bathed the chick in warm water and a touch of very mild soap to wash the crud/droppings off the wound. I then gently blow dried it back to dry. The chick was extremely cold, trembling a lot but seemed to stop when it was fully dry.

He/she has a good appetite and is drinking. But we are worried about the wound. Any suggestions about what else can be done to save this poor little darling. For instance, how warm does the room have to be? Do we have to provide a humidifier? Can a single chick survive on its own without company other than the two worried, humans?

Cheers,
Nina
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Welcome to BYC. If you can get to a feed or farm store, or even a Walmart, get a brooder lamp, preferably with a red bulb (most are 250 watts.) Put a thermometer under the warmest part of the brooder with the light at least 18 inches from the chick's head, with a cooler area to get to. I would put the other chick in with the hurt chick for company, especially since the brooder hurt the first one. Do not give the chick any more baths. Raise the brooder lamp as needed to maintain a temperature of 90-95 degrees the first week, and go down by 5 degrees weekly. Put some iodine on the wound, and watch to make sure the other chick doesn't peck at the wound.
 

brownduck0234

In the Brooder
May 3, 2015
20
1
24
You may consider putting some vet wrap on the leg so the chick doesn't get poop or anything else inside the wound. I would clean it regularly and keep a watch so it doesn't get infected.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
138,079
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Out to pasture
Rather than iodine that stains and burns, I would clean the wound with saline solution , then apply Neosporin (NO caine) . If the chick is lonely give it a mirror, so it thinks there is another chick with it. Also a small stuffed toy to cuddle with. The photo is a gorgeous little chick. Mama is on my black list - I wouldn't let her have any more chicks.

You could try putting the other chick in with the injured one but it might peck the wound. In that case you could fashion some kind of wire partition between them, so they can see each other with no harm caused. If you take the well chick out, I would not put back with mama, she may decide she doesn't like that one either.
 

Nina2015

In the Brooder
May 15, 2015
6
0
14
Hi there,

Thank you so much for your replies.

I don't have iodine or neosporin on hand atm - we're in Australia, not sure if neosporin exists here. But I will ask the pharmacist.

Tried removing the other chick from mama hen. She imploded like we've never seen - completely went off her rocker. Chasing and charging us and making very pained, stressed out sounds. We decided to leave them be because Mama hen very happily calmed down when they were reunited and let the chick huddle under her again. We'll keep a close eye on them due to advice of Drumstick Mama.

Don't have a small enough mirror for the box - but I can get one of those too while in town. I have small teddy bear and some small rubber ducks sitting in the box atm.

Thank you again. Will keep you posted. We hope she/he survives this ordeal.

Cheers,
Nina xx
 

Nina2015

In the Brooder
May 15, 2015
6
0
14
The wound has been cleaned and had dried up nicely. We have kept her at 32.5 Celcius - she has a very healthy appetite and thirst and sleeps well in 3 hour stints. Thank you for your help, very much appreciated. She's limping a bit, but was delighted when we brought the mirror into the box. She has been excitedly bouncing around and admiring her own cute reflection. Here's some pictures:


 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,312
50,931
1,302
southern Ohio
Hi there,

Thank you so much for your replies.

I don't have iodine or neosporin on hand atm - we're in Australia, not sure if neosporin exists here. But I will ask the pharmacist.

Tried removing the other chick from mama hen. She imploded like we've never seen - completely went off her rocker. Chasing and charging us and making very pained, stressed out sounds. We decided to leave them be because Mama hen very happily calmed down when they were reunited and let the chick huddle under her again. We'll keep a close eye on them due to advice of Drumstick Mama.

Don't have a small enough mirror for the box - but I can get one of those too while in town. I have small teddy bear and some small rubber ducks sitting in the box atm.

Thank you again. Will keep you posted. We hope she/he survives this ordeal.

Cheers,
Nina xx
All broody hens will go crazy when a chick is removed, especially an only chick. But for both chicks to bond with one another, and be a pair for the years to come, I would put the other chick with in the brooder with it. The easiet thing to do is to grab the boody hen and place her in a pen or cage until you remove the baby chick. Then let her out, and she will look for the baby awhile, but later she will go back to being herself. Only chicks, either raised by a broody, or in a brooder alone, tend to get picked on when combined into the flock, or when the broody leaves the chick after a few weeks. This is just my opinion from my experience, and everyone does things their own way.
 

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