Care after attack from predator, ideas and honesty needed

gypsydoll96

In the Brooder
Apr 19, 2015
7
24
49
Rochester, NY
Something went after my girls early this morning. I was awoke from alarm cries from my flock and when I went out there there were feathers everywhere and the girls were all in the run. I searched and found our beautiful 10 month old Austrolorp was pulled though a hole and out of the enclosed run behind the coop. We must have scared off what ever was dragging her away. When I went to grab her she squawked frantically trying to get away, so at least she's not dead. I wrapped her in a blanket and placed her in a box in the kitchen to calm her down.
She has many feathers gone from her back and tail, some scratches along her shoulders and both eyes closed tight. There's no blood near her eyes, but she wont open them.
Its only been two hours, but she won't drink. Maybe still traumatized.
Any advice for emergency care?
Do I give her time and re-evaluate?
If she lost use of her eyes can a blind chicken live and do OK?
How do we judge if we should just "put her to sleep?"

We have a very small city flock of only three now as we lost two on the last month to a critter when someone forgot to close up the coop. We will be inspecting the coop today for holes and gaps. Thought it was a raccoon, but the hole today looks too small. Could a rat attack a chicken? (I hate them things)
 

Sneebsey

Songster
Apr 7, 2017
803
1,438
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Shropshire, UK
Maybe a stoat/weasel? They can fit through any hole a rat can, and are far more vicious.

Regarding the care for your girl, it sounds as though the wounds are mostly scratches; are they deep into the flesh? I'd be treating them with an antiseptic ointment, after cleaning with a good wound-wash (I use Hibiscrub but plain old saline will do in a pinch). I'm unsure why she won't open her eyes, but that could be shock. Keep her warm and quiet and hopefully she'll perk up; give her some high-protein treats such as mashed up boiled egg and maybe add poultry vitamins to her water.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
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Catalonia, Spain & UK
My Coop
My Coop
Something went after my girls early this morning. I was awoke from alarm cries from my flock and when I went out there there were feathers everywhere and the girls were all in the run. I searched and found our beautiful 10 month old Austrolorp was pulled though a hole and out of the enclosed run behind the coop. We must have scared off what ever was dragging her away. When I went to grab her she squawked frantically trying to get away, so at least she's not dead. I wrapped her in a blanket and placed her in a box in the kitchen to calm her down.
She has many feathers gone from her back and tail, some scratches along her shoulders and both eyes closed tight. There's no blood near her eyes, but she wont open them.
Its only been two hours, but she won't drink. Maybe still traumatized.
Any advice for emergency care?
Do I give her time and re-evaluate?
If she lost use of her eyes can a blind chicken live and do OK?
How do we judge if we should just "put her to sleep?"

We have a very small city flock of only three now as we lost two on the last month to a critter when someone forgot to close up the coop. We will be inspecting the coop today for holes and gaps. Thought it was a raccoon, but the hole today looks too small. Could a rat attack a chicken? (I hate them things)
Poor hen and poor you.
It's a shock for you both.
I assume it was a ground predator from your post. This could be good because there may be less chance of internal injuries. It's the injuries you can't see and shock that usually kill.
Not opening the eyes is usual for a chicken in shock.
Keep her warm, that's very important. See if you can get her to drink; water will do for now, but a vitamine supplement is better. You can use one for humans if necessary but if its a pill then crush it and give a quarter of the pill. Liquid is better. If she won't drink by the end of the day use a syringe and very gently squeeze some water into her beak a drop at a time. There is an article here on syringe feeding.

I get quite a few injured chickens. We have a lot of hawks here.
I have a rule (which I break from time to time) and that is if the chicken won't eat solid food after three days of intensive care then he/she is probably not going to make it.
Scratches shouldn't be a problem. If you have a mouthwash with Chlorehexidne in it it makes a good cleaning fluid for bathing wounds. Do not use hydrogen peroxide.
For a bit of moral support this thread may help
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/is-it-better-to-let-them-die.1268732/
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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Apr 3, 2011
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Keep her in a warm dim space with feed and water available until she recovers from shock. Then offer sips of water, bits of cooked egg when she is alert. Assess her wounds again to look for any hidden ones or puncture wounds. If she has internal injuries she might not make it, but I hope that you can save her.

I would suspect a raccoon or fox, and I would go out today and look for any possible holes that you can get repaired right away.
 

gypsydoll96

In the Brooder
Apr 19, 2015
7
24
49
Rochester, NY
Thank you, thank you, thank you all for such quick replies.
I feel better that my instinct to cuddle her up in a blanket was the right choice. I also let her be for a bit. She moves when I uncover her, but she is so weak.

We headed to the local drug store and bought pedialite, baby aspirin and baby vitamins. I did read that a quarter of an aspirin in 12 oz of water is OK for chickens. I found some first aid wash that has Chlorehexidnea and we use bag balm on ourselves for every wound to seal out germs and it works wonders. I'll use that later after she gets some strength back. I don't want to stress her too much right now.

I was able to get her to drink a diluted solution of water, pedialite and half baby vitamin ground up and dissolved in the water. Then I let her go back to rest.

We will give her a few days of tender loving care and see how she does.

Thank you for the encouragement and advice. Its great to have a support system here to get through these stressful situations.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
21,535
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Thank you, thank you, thank you all for such quick replies.
I feel better that my instinct to cuddle her up in a blanket was the right choice. I also let her be for a bit. She moves when I uncover her, but she is so weak.

We headed to the local drug store and bought pedialite, baby aspirin and baby vitamins. I did read that a quarter of an aspirin in 12 oz of water is OK for chickens. I found some first aid wash that has Chlorehexidnea and we use bag balm on ourselves for every wound to seal out germs and it works wonders. I'll use that later after she gets some strength back. I don't want to stress her too much right now.

I was able to get her to drink a diluted solution of water, pedialite and half baby vitamin ground up and dissolved in the water. Then I let her go back to rest.

We will give her a few days of tender loving care and see how she does.

Thank you for the encouragement and advice. Its great to have a support system here to get through these stressful situations.
Good job! Sounds like you've got it sorted. Be carefull with the asprin, it's not good for their kidneys. A couple of days should be okay.
I try and give my injured chickens a bit of yogurt.
If she is reluctant to eat solids tomorrow you could mash her normal food up and mix it with water or yogurt.
I hope she recovers.
BTW, fix the hole in the coop!:)
 

gypsydoll96

In the Brooder
Apr 19, 2015
7
24
49
Rochester, NY
BTW, fix the hole in the coop!:)
YEP!!!
My daughter runs the chicken flock at her school. The rest of the girls are going to "vacation" at school while we fix the coop, exterminate the rats and set traps for the murderous critter. We hosted the school flock for the summer months, so they are accustom to each other already.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
21,535
186,933
1,612
Catalonia, Spain & UK
My Coop
My Coop
YEP!!!
My daughter runs the chicken flock at her school. The rest of the girls are going to "vacation" at school while we fix the coop, exterminate the rats and set traps for the murderous critter. We hosted the school flock for the summer months, so they are accustom to each other already.
Just reading on the other thread.:)
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 18, 2018
4,161
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North Central Iowa
Thank goodness you got to her in time to save her. I chased off a mink last winter, but he killed three of four hens in the coop first. I waited in the dark and snow for him to return. He did, I gave chase with a three-tined cultivator, but he escaped through a hole in the back of the hay shed.

Honey, the lone survivor, underwent a complete personality change.

She had been the dominant hen, always taking the top roost and keeping the other girls in line. She tolerated me, only because I brought food. After the attack, she wanted to be my best friend.

She was a real loner for quite a while; she wanted nothing to do with the Iowa Blues I tried to house with her. She had grown up with the other three birds. But she now seems friendly with a pair of Salmon Favs.

The mink was trying to pull my Sicilian Buttercup though the run when I caught him. If your predator is a mink, those little weasels can get through all but the smallest hardware cloth.

I trapped a rat earlier this year that had taken up residence in a hollow tree near the coop. It hadn't attacked chickens, but I am pretty predator wary now.

Best wishes for your girl. It sounds like you are doing everything possible to help her.
 

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