Aster update : spoke to the vet.....not looking good :(


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
Plymouth, Ma
I've had great advice from folks here about Aster, my hen who was attacked by a raccoon on Sunday night. Here's what we've done for her so far:

removed her from the flock
she's in the garage in a tall cardboard box with pine shavings
cleaned head wound (punctures, superficial scrapes) with hydrogen peroxide
"painted" on Blue-Kote per our Agway guy
offering water, rescue remedy, pedialyte, applesauce, wet mash - just about anything we think of
at least every 30 mins we go out and speak softly to her, offer her the pedialyte on a spoon (she backs away from spoon, and if i follow beak with spoon, she'll take a few sips, but she's barely, barely getting much, she's not eating at all, she doesn't appear to see the spoon coming either)

Any other ideas? Once you put on Blue-Kote, do you put on anything else? Someone here said NOT to put on Blue-Kote, but pack the puncture wounds with neosporin - but that was AFTER I put the Blue-Kote on! I'm thinking that putting on Neosporin at this point would not work cause the Blue-Kote is on her?

Or is time just going to give us our answer? I will say that she's the toughest hen we have, fiesty and the top of the pecking order. So maybe she has some fight in her.

Thanks so much for all the kind words and support.

Last edited:
I am not completely sure what you should do but may e someone more experienced will help you out. Chickens can surprise you though. Don't give up yet!
You can use either Blukote or Neosporin, or both in conjunction with each other. Puncture wounds are usually dirty and have the nasty, little habit of sealing over on top while maintaining a pocket deeper in. When this happens the wound can become infected or abscessed. Blukote tends to dry wounds out, which contributes to the overall healing, but it also can make punctures seal up too quickly, not letting the wound heal from the inside out. I would switch over to the Neosporin, packing it right into the wound. As the wound starts to heal, then I would switch over to the Blukote.

As far as the eating and drinking- keep her hydrated, but don't worry about her not eating for a couple days. She has undergone a very traumatic experience. My years with chickens has shown me that they can heal from some horribly devastating wounds as long as they survive the initial stress of the injury. Stress is often more deadly to chickens than the wounds themselves. You are doing all you can. The rest is up to her.

Keep us posted. Good luck.
That's great to hear! I with CMV and the others for keeping the wound dry and clean. Animal bites are very dirty. I would get her on an antibiotic asap. Just recently took Attila The Hen to the vet. The vet said bacterial joint and deep tissue infections need two weeks of antibiotics Tylan or Baytril to clear it out. They have to heal from the inside out. Just my two cents that cost more than two cents from the vet!
I hope she continues to be on the mend.
Well. Things aren't looking good for Aster.

The chicken vet called - she's a vet a few towns over who raises chickens for meat, eggs, showing, etc. She said that she'd want to see her drinking and eating by today. She also said that the chickens on her farm either get better without antibiotics or they don't get better. She said there are no definitive studies that show how long antibiotics stay in the body (for meat) and the eggs. She's firmly against antibiotics in the food chain. I didn't know this.

She DID say that chickens can recover from some very serious wounds, but deep puncture wounds can be very difficult. If she's exhibiting neurological issues (not eating and drinking), moving in a circle and seeming to be blind (plus, she's not pecking, or sitting) then that's sort of a deal breaker.

She said that you have to be careful if you have a chicken put to sleep - because the euthanasia drugs can be poisonous to predators. She said coyotes are very good at digging up buried chickens, and the drugs in the chicken will poison the coyote, and possible other wildlife, pets, etc that might find a half-eaten euthanized chicken.

Geez. Had no idea it would be so complicated. She's a farmer, and uses the hatchet method. Gulp. It's hard to think about that, but I really don't want her to suffer.

She suggested that if we're not seeing improvement by tomorrow, that the neurological damage would warrant culling her.

I really don't want her to suffer. And I know people cull their chickens all the time. I've never had to do it and am honestly not sure if I could. She gave me her email address and said if I get stuck, to email her.

So sad. Poor Aster.

Email her if you need to. I think her concerns for the local predators are a little over the top, but...

I, personally, use the rake method on culls I don't intend to eat. Place a heavy rake tines down on the ground with the chicken's head on one side of the tines and the body on the other. Step on the rake while simultaneously pulling on the bird's legs sharply. Don't be squeamish when you pull and it will be over before the Aster even knows anything is happening. It is quick, it is bloodless, she will barely feel it, and if you wear gloves you don't feel it, either.

I hope she rallies so that this whole discussion is a moot point.
I agree about the predator concerns being a little much. I do think you ought to email her and let her handle it if culling is necessary - there's nothing wrong with not being able to do it yourself - I know I can't! But hopefully she will be okay and you won't have to worry about this!
Ahhhhh, I'm sorry. X's three regarding the predator issue. There has been phenobaretol (sp?) found in Dog food. Go to the FDA website and key in phenobarb in dog food. It's right there in black and white.
I hope she turns around. I took one of my hens and had her euthanized at the vets from a dog attack a couple of years ago. I just couldn't do it myself. Buffy fed me with her wonderful eggs...kind of my way of saying I'm sorry and thank you all in the same breath. Buffy just went to sleep. It's what worked be for me at the time.
Every vet has their training and how they practice....I guarantee antibiotics would give her an edge. My Rooster, Frank, Suffered from the same Dog attack as Buffy. His dog bite wounds went over his back into his rib cage...he developed gangrene....if it hadn't been for the antibiotics he would have died.
All the best to you!
My husband is considering culling her tomorrow if she's not any better. And so far, she's not. Our vet (not the one who called, but the one who referred us to her) charges $98 to euthanize a dog or cat, and said that is what it would cost to euthanize her. That nudged my husband in the "i'll take care of it myself" direction, although i honestly don't know if he would be capable of it. i did email the chicken vet, and am hoping she replies with "bring her to me and i'll take care of it". we'll see. i just wish she'd get better and this discussion would be moot.

Praying hard tonight for Aster - we need a miraculous recovery!
Holy Chicken...I can't believe they would charge that for a little chicken....So sorry you've had to go through this. Poor Aster!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom