big open wound on my chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tazwaz, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. tazwaz

    tazwaz In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here... 2 night agao something got into my coop--i left the door open. I had 5 hes 7 1 rooster. 1 hen is gone and another has a huge wound on it but was acting fine, eating, drinking and free ranging with the others. Last night I was able to get a better look--its really bad to me--completly open--she still seemed fine--I didnt know if I should put her down or just let her be. Well this a.m shes still looking good but I didnt want to just leave her be--I took her out and someone on another chicken post I'm on told me to peroxide it and put alot of neosprin--i did that & put her in a dog crate in my garage away from the others. i just read on another site NOT to put peroxide on it and start giving antibiotics,---WHAT should I do??? Any help or suggestions PLEASE..

  2. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    bumping this back up so you can get an answer quicker. wish i could help but i realy dont know.might try peter brown on join and ask him.
  3. Aun <HIS><

    Aun <HIS>< Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    New Hampshire
    The old school says to put peroxide on, and more recently they've found that it is too harsh on tissue to use full strength, and they say to dilute half with water. Full strength is harsh on tissue. I've done it both ways and have found that the effectiveness of full strength outweighs the tissue damage. That's just what I've seen.

    The main point is to thoroughly clean the wound, which can be done in a number of ways, whether peroxide, soap and water, bactine, or something else. And then keeping the wound moist is really important. Years ago, they said to keep a wound dry, and now in the past 7 to 10 years, they've found that wounds heal faster with less scarring when you keep it moist. So an ointment of some kind works best, whether you use bag balm (my favorite), or bacitracin, or vaseline, or something else.

    Now birds, generally, are very susceptible to bacterial infections, and the onset of those infections cause death pretty quickly. So usually an antibiotic is called for with any open wound. Some people are concerned about over using antibiotics and causing a super bug (bacteria) to develop. My personal opinion, with any open wound, is to always give antibiotics, because the chance of a bird dying to a bacterial infection is greater than creating a super bug, in my opinion.

    Terramycin is an antibiotic for birds and it works very effectively. I've also dosed down leftover pennicilin from my medicine cabinet, when I've been in a pinch, and added it to cheese or something else yummy. The Terramycin is specifically made for animals and fowl, I don't know much about it, but I use it unless I"m in a real bind and can't get the Terramycin. But it comes in such a big bag, I'd be surprised if you could run out after you buy it.

    It's a good idea to keep her separated for a while, but if the other hens aren't bothering her, it's ok to keep her with the flock. I've done it both ways, and reintegrating a bird into the flock is hell. So, if it is at all possible to keep her with the flock, with her wound covered with ointment and a guaze pad, that's what I'd do.

    I'm sure others will have more information to add too. Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong, and doing something is better than nothing. The worst injury I treated was a hen I had that had all of the flesh on her neck from the top of her head all the way down, her back and one wing totally gone, and I just knew she would die. Like you, I just left her to die in peace, in her own environment, and when she didn't, I brought her in and treated her, and she recovered just fine.

    I wish you the best with your girl.

  4. countryentertainment

    countryentertainment In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2007
    One of our pullets had a big chunk of skin ripped off the back of her neck and it was all open. We cleaned it and put neosporin on it and gave her antibiotics. We had her in a wire dog cage in the coolest spot in the house. She healed really well, not sure how long it took. When it was time for her to go back to the coop we took the cage and her out and put the cage were she would be so they all got use to her being there. It worked she hasn't had any trouble at all mixing in with the others. I was really surprised she grew new skin over the opening.

    Good luck,
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Chickens (generally) will heal really well from the most seemingly horrific injuries with a little bit of help from you ... > separate to a clean and dry environment until well healed (>so not out freeranging with the rest of the troop as they can start to peck at the injury and you will end up with a dead bird)...flush the wound daily with a sterile saline solution (boil 1/4 tsp of salt in one quart of water...<make fresh daily) and apply a triple antibiotic lotion to the wound and if you can a product called GRANULEX (here is one supplier but places offering horse care products also often carry this)

    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Chiming in on pain relief: This wound may hurt, especially since some infection may have set in so you might also give her aspirin water for a few days. According to the usual BYC advice given, this would be 5 regular (325mg) aspirins (NO SUBSTITUTES) crushed well and mixed in ONE GALLON of water. (likewise, 2.5 aspirins per half gallon if you want to mix up a smaller amount). If she is still drinking on her own, she'll get some relief. If she has stopped drinking, you may have to oh so carefully dribble very small amounts along her beak line so she swallows on her own but does not choke on the water. Pain relief can help keep spirits up (considering she obviously witnessed and experienced something awful) and keep a bird eating and drinking...........
    Hope she will get well. Takes time, but these are amazing beings in their healing ability as Diana notes....
  7. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Songster

    Dec 4, 2007
    can the moderators make a "sticky" about the asprin formulation? it's one of those things that comes up so often because their are so many painful injuries that occur all the time. it seems like a really good thing to have at one's fingertips!

    and to tazwaz, sorry about your little one. it is hard to know what to do when information is contradictive. hang in there. i'm glad your chicken has such a diligent chickenmom looking after her!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  8. Windy Acres

    Windy Acres Hatching

    Jan 17, 2008
    Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
    We have a hen who suffered same kind of injury. I separated her from the flock because they picked on her. She also has a broken leg and hops around. She is healing nicely and is laying eggs again after about a month. I tried putting her back with the other hens a couple of different times and they continue to pick on her. Will I ever be able to have her back with her flock? and how would I do this?
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If the wound hasn't closed, you ought to stitch it up to begin. If you don't know how, don't worry about doing it 'pretty'.

    For some reason, the wound sounds like a bite to me, which makes the risk of infection very high. I use red-coat (like purple-coat, but red, available at a feed store) for larger cuts, as it will help keep everything moist so the scabs don't start cracking too early.

    Also, you can clean the wound out with a 50/50 mixture of penecillin before closing it. Then, I would give 1 cc of penecillin in the thigh for 5 days.
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    At this point stitching probably would not work. That needs to be done when the wound is new.

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