Chicken attacked and has a big bite out of her tail. How can I help her?

NMHens

Hatching
Aug 15, 2020
3
1
5
We were woken up about an hour ago by very panicked chicken noises from the backyard. One of our four hens was injured and besides missing lots of tail feathers has a large wound (don’t know what attacked her but thinking maybe a cat).

I cleaned the injury site and used hydrogen peroxide and an antiseptic spray. She is currently separated from the others. What else do I need to do/look for to help her recover?

Thank you,
Stressed chicken mom
 

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Isaac 0

Waterfowl Fanatic
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
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Iowa
Sorry about your chicken.

Could you trim the surrounding feathers around the wound, and post another photo?

Hydrogen Peroxide generally isn't used with bird wounds due to its "destructive properties". I would instead gently flush the wound using either saline (homemade will work), or an antiseptic like chlorhexidine dilute, or betadine dilute. You can flush the area copiously using a dish soap bottle or a large syringe. Any large debris can be picked out with a pair of tweezers.

Once you are done with that, you can apply a generous coating of a triple antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or Prep H to the wound.

I'm assuming this is a bite wound, if yes, she'll likely need antibiotics.

Do you have any on hand from any past vet visits, if so, what, and how many do you have?

If you don't have any, you can get some penicillin G from a feed store and give her that IM. Penicillin isn't the best antibiotic since lots of bacteria have become resistant to it, but it'll likely be better than nothing.

Make sure she is in a warm, stressful free area, free from flies, with feed and water provided. I would not bandage the wound.

Here are some links,

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/durvet-chlorhexidine-solution-2-59297

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/durvet-penicillin-injectable-500cc
 

NMHens

Hatching
Aug 15, 2020
3
1
5
Thank you so much for your reply.

Chaco is currently sleeping safe and warm in the house. I didn’t want to wake her so I haven’t yet trimmed back the feathers to take another picture but when she is up I will. I think I saw the oil gland but I will look when I take another picture.

The wound was flushed and debris removed before I posted. I was incorrect my dad had taken out hydrogen peroxide but instead used Bactine (Benzalkonium Cl (0.13% w/w); Lidocaine HCl (2.5% w/w)) but we will get one of the two antiseptics listed when the feed store near me opens in an hour. We do have Neosporin but no antibiotics so I will pick up penicillin from the feed store as well. Fairly confident it was a bite.

Thank you again!
 

Isaac 0

Waterfowl Fanatic
Premium Feather Member
Jul 19, 2016
18,911
69,724
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Iowa
Thank you so much for your reply.

Chaco is currently sleeping safe and warm in the house. I didn’t want to wake her so I haven’t yet trimmed back the feathers to take another picture but when she is up I will. I think I saw the oil gland but I will look when I take another picture.

The wound was flushed and debris removed before I posted. I was incorrect my dad had taken out hydrogen peroxide but instead used Bactine (Benzalkonium Cl (0.13% w/w); Lidocaine HCl (2.5% w/w)) but we will get one of the two antiseptics listed when the feed store near me opens in an hour. We do have Neosporin but no antibiotics so I will pick up penicillin from the feed store as well. Fairly confident it was a bite.

Thank you again!
Should have added, to save you a trip, since the penicillin is given IM you'll need a few syringes, and 22 gauge needles.

How is she doing?
 

NMHens

Hatching
Aug 15, 2020
3
1
5
Did not know that about the lidocaine but will never do that again. We stopped at the local feed store and got the recommended products for wound care but ended up taking her to the vet to make sure she got the appropriate care.

They stitched up what they could of the wound and want to make sure it starts scabbing and doesn’t start showing signs of infection so they are monitoring her through Monday. Good news is nothing major internally was injured - oil gland and rectum are intact just the gaping wound on her back.

Image taken before the vet saw her.
 

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Vickischics

Songster
Premium Feather Member
May 6, 2020
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Space Coast of Florida
Did not know that about the lidocaine but will never do that again. We stopped at the local feed store and got the recommended products for wound care but ended up taking her to the vet to make sure she got the appropriate care.

They stitched up what they could of the wound and want to make sure it starts scabbing and doesn’t start showing signs of infection so they are monitoring her through Monday. Good news is nothing major internally was injured - oil gland and rectum are intact just the gaping wound on her back.

Image taken before the vet saw her.
THANK GOD your Chicken has a good human. Good for you. Yes, that puncture wound looks nasty. But, you learned about the Lidocaine. So, if you ever read about anyone using it, you can tell them and if you ever offer wound care advice, you can tell them. No Lidocaine and the reason.
Good for you and Good for your chicken..
 

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