back wound-maggots- HELP

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Megs, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    one of my hens was attacked by a racoon two nights ago, the wound is on her back between her wings extending into her body cavity, i have been contenplating putting her down, it is quite severe. Maggots are now crawling in/out of the hole in her back (1/2"), i beleave maggots only eat dead flesh, so are they helping? or will they eat healthy flehs once the dead flesh is gone?? is this a sign that it is time to end her suffering? she has 4 chicks who have kept her attentive and alert through this ordeal, i almost put her down right when i found her as she was listless and wouldnt move, but as soon as i put her with the babies she perked right up and started clucking and walking around again and mothering them.

    any help appreciated, this is my favorite 4 year old hen, as much as id love to save her id rather her not suffer unneccisarily.
  2. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    well i cleaned the wound out with some peroxide (yes i know this is contravercial but i have nothing else on hand for this kind of thing) flushed out the maggots, picked them out with tweezers, the wound seems to be about 1.5" deep, i hope not deeper (it did not appear deeper but hard to tell). I know i missed a few, ill have a go at her late, she was such a doll, and started eating immediatly after i put her back in her cage (switched cages to a aquarium with a screen lid so no flies can get in, i also brought her and her chicks into my house, where there are no flies).

    anything else i can do?

    parts of the skin appear a bit green, which i know is not good [​IMG] if she goes downhill i will end her suffering quickly, but for now she appears content.
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Can you get her on some antiboitics? Just keep picking the maggots out of her as best you can...
    soak her in warm water in a tub.... totally submerging the wound....i think it will drown the maggots...maybe?
  4. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    canada sucks in regards to getting medications, i really dont think i can get any antibioducts over the counter (i was at the feed store the other day browsing their "medication" isle), and i can afford a vet bill for a chicken, plus we dont have any vets here that know anything about chickens, i had a sick chicken last year and i took it to the vet $75, and he had NO idea! he suggested euthanasia and an autopsy, which we did (another $75 for autopsy), which turned up nothing!

    i did hose the wound out after peroxide, and i will continue to check it and pick out any leftover maggots (euww, i really hate them). i also put some polysporin on it.
  5. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    The polysporin should help.. It doesnt have pain meds in it does it???? I would not use peroxide again though as it will stop the flesh from healing .. I say use a good liquid dish soap to bathe and cover with the polysporin... Also to kill the eggs you can get a Screworm Spray at the feed store that does really well... Good luck

    ETA: Maggots arent nearly as gross as we think they are they can actually help to heal thearea by eating the dead/infected skin.. Still I recomend you do get them off her...
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:Do a search on here for maggot wounds...some people have had this problem and saved their chickens.... maybe you can try what they did?
    Good luck... i would be freaking if my bird had maggots... ugh... [​IMG]
  7. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I found this on one of the ealier posts;

    Here is some excellent advise

    From the National Poultry News

    As poultry owners, we're very familiar with the
    proverbial "pecking order" and the fights that result
    from it. Too often those chicken wars, or others,
    will cause injuries in the flock - flesh wounds - and
    we're left to take care of our injured birds. Here
    are some hints that I hope will help you in the
    moments where you have a flock in need of nursing.

    Since many poultry wounds are caused by a peck, a
    spur, a claw, or something else dirty, germs often get
    deep into the wounds during the injury time. We try
    to get them all out during the cleansing of the wound,

    but sometimes we're just not as good at it as we'd
    like. The result is a weepy wound. But it's
    necessary for the healing of the wound that we
    do our best to prevent that situation.

    Iodine is great for initially cleansing most wounds
    because of its strong antibacterial benefits, but in
    the case of deeper wounds one has to be careful. A
    good habit is to cleanse the wound with hydrogen
    peroxide (which bubbles out bits that we can't see),
    then follow that with what I call "Iodine Tea".

    Iodine Tea, a solution used frequently at vet
    clinics to irrigate (wash out) wounds is just enough
    iodine mixed into warm water until it's a tea color.
    You then use that in a syringe without the needle to
    strongly squirt into the wound several times. That
    ensures that the iodine is getting deep into the wound
    to kill bacteria.

    After cleansing the wound thoroughly, it's best to dry
    it out so that the dressing you use next will adhere
    to the wound better.

    I recommend keeping a wound open and dry (especially
    in the summer time) so that the air can get down into
    it. Most of your bad wound bacteria are anaerobic (in
    other words, they hate air - love the lack of air)
    and they thrive in closed conditions.

    There's an old addage "dry wound-wet dressing, wet
    wound-dry dressing" that applies. Especially with
    chickens in the winter, one normally has
    to be wary of using wet ointments because the birds
    can chill easily.
    Small spots of it are certainly acceptable, however.
    Because of the nasty nature of chickens, most wounds
    are wet (weepy) so we do dry dressings like Furox
    spray (yellow powder, otherwise known as furoxazone)
    or blue lotions like Anti-Pick lotion, or other
    livestock lotions which dry to a blue film.

    Some people are concerned with the openness of a wound
    and consider stitching as an option. The problem with
    SOME stitching, however, is that it creates a pocket
    and closes the wound up from air.
    Because of that, it is always best to let a
    Veterinarian or someone experienced do that work.
    Often a vet will leave a drain tube in a deep
    wound so that the resulting pus has an outlet. In
    any case, stitched wounds require a very careful

    Often when skin dies, the resulting dead (necrotic)
    skin has to be abrided (cleaned off) because there's
    really no need for it and it begins to break down. It
    is also common for there to be infection inside the
    wound that isn't obvious from the outside. If that
    happens, you have a serious situation which can result
    in blood infection and death of the bird. So, you can
    see, that if you are dealing with an injury of that
    magnitute it would be best to get a vet or experienced
    stockman involved.

    When a wound is open, you have the chance to be able
    to examine it more easily and less chance of anaerobic
    infection. Actually, you would be surprised just how
    large a wound can heal with feathers and all!

    On a personal note, I once saved a hen from the jaws
    of a chow. She had a wound so deep on her back that
    you could see the entirety of one side of her spinal
    cord wrapping (I'll never forget the silver sheen).
    She was a lucky girl, but it was a large wound.

    When using wet ointments, flies found the wound and
    left their eggs deep deep in the ointment. When they
    hatched, I had a nasty surprise and an even nastier
    task. When the wound was recleaned, I took the old
    standard vet advice and used a dry would dressing
    instead, aerosol furox so that it would get deep into
    the wound, and from that point onwards
    the wound healed fantastically.

    This wound was a good 2 inches long, 1.5 inches wide,
    and at least an inch deep. The hen feathered up
    completely and led a very happy chow-free life til her
    last days here at the house. Chickens heal from wounds


    You can do the same with your injured chickens. It
    doesn't take a surgeon or a master-poultryman to take
    good care of a wound. It just takes a little
    understanding of how wounds work, a close watchful
    eye, and a willingness to take the bird to a vet if
    you intend to keep it and if the wound is more than
    you can handle easily.

    Hopefully with these tools, now, you'll be able to
    face a poultry wound with more confidence and more
    success. I wish you all the best with your flock.

    Nathalie Ross
    Houston, TX

    Glenda L Heywood Brookings SD
    [email protected]
  8. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    thx- ill check for the spray at the feed store, im heading there shortly.

    i just used regular polysporin. I didnt want to use preoxide at all but i thought it might kill the maggots i couldnt reach, and i rinsed the wound after to remove and excess. im hesitant to get her all wet (as in bathing her) for fear of weakening her, and getting any soap in the wound, i have not bathed her before either so it would probably stress her out.
  9. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
  10. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    thx for the links. So far she appears OK energy wise, not weak, but im hesitant to do anything to drastic, especially getting her wet as she could get chilled very easily.

    hopefully the feed store has something i can get, wound spray or even electrolite powder for her water would help.


    this was the wound yesterday, 12 hours after attack.

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by