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Chicken attacked by hawk - badly wounded

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by newbie coops, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. newbie coops

    newbie coops In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    We have a hen that we think was most likely attacked by a hawk. Her tail was almost completely severed at the base and she has a severe puncture wound under her left wing that we didn't even discover until we brought her inside to flush out the wound. We aren't practiced in chicken medicine and don't have the $$ to have her treated by the vet so we consulted forums and advice from a local poultry grain store. We didn't stitch the tail wound or dress the puncture wound, kept it open with her wing covering it after it was cleaned with hot soapy water and we applied peroxide and then neosporin/bacitracin. The tail wound we cleaned well with hot soapy water and then flushed with peroxide. Applied neosporin/bacitracin to that and put her in a large cage lined with newspaper and a soft towel and have been keeping her inside in one of the bathrooms. A day later we applied more peroxide and bacitracin/neosporin to the tail wound. It looked like it was starting to heal well, but I've since discovered she's been picking at it especially one side, where it looks like it's opening and perhaps becoming infected. She's also not eating very much at all and I can't get her to drink water. The first few days she was eating a little yogurt and her regular mash and she drank a little water but it's been a week now and her water intake has dropped to nearly none and food intake the same. She also has developed diarrhea. I put some iodine on the tail wound and tried to keep it bandaged but she pecks it off and it's not in a position to really stay well adhered. Her vent area is right in the thick of things as well.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do at this point? Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. tammye

    tammye Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    I would only use a diluted peroxide solution to flush out the wound, straight peroxide can harm tissues and use a warm water rinse, not hot(sorry not trying to tell you are wrong, your not, but we don't want to damage the tissues) as far as the picking goes could you get ahold of some pinless peepers, they may help prevent her from being able to pick at the wounds, they insert into their nostriles and they can not see what they are going after, thus helps prevent picking. Chickens can recover from quite a bit, so hopefully she will do well. she may need some antibiotics at this point if infection is setting in. will she eat a favorite treat, like fresh corn, my girls will do anything for corn and try some electrolyte solution in her water, you could dip a small piece of bread into the water and see if she will eat it, that way she gets food and some water. I sure hope she pulls through. good luck
  3. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I had a chicken with similar injuries. I took her to the vet and had her stapled up. I realize that's not an option for everyone. I wanted to show you what I made for her to keep her warm and her wounds covered. I made it out of fleece. You can buy it at any fabric store for super cheap and you don't need much, just a half yard. You'll have to play around with it to get the right fit. I just used little safety pins to attach it. Worked great.
    Here's a site you can go to to get some idea of the measurements then go from there: http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/jumpers.aspx
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Songster

    Oct 26, 2007
    May have been a coon.
    Walmart carries an 8 oz bottle of betadine. You could use a diluted solution of that and water for flushing and cleaning wounds too.
    Just keep the antibiotic ointment on her for awhile. You might make a type of cloth saddle for her, so it lays lightly over the wound, so she can't peck at it.
    A systemtic antibiotic would be really good too. If you can't get any, put garlic powder in her food, and a little vinegar in her water.
    You have to get water into her somehow........whether my putting it far down into her throat with a small syringe, or injecting it into her subcutaneous tissues. Sometimes you can put some around her beak and she will take it from there.
    My hens were attacked by a coon last year, and they were really emotionally traumatized by it. They quit laying eggs for the whole rest of the year. I think when they are traumatized that much, it really affects their immune systems too.
    Just do the best you can.
  5. newbie coops

    newbie coops In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    Quote:Thanks so much for your advice. This is very helpful!
  6. newbie coops

    newbie coops In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    Quote:I wonder if it was a raccoon...we thought since the rest of the hens in the run were unscathed and there wasn't netting over the top at the time that it was a hawk but who knows? We didn't witness the attack but it must have been quite a horror scene.

    Thank you for your response, I very much appreciate it!

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