Chicken Attacked, Has Injured Eye: What Can I Do?

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Barry Natchitoches

11 Years
Sep 4, 2008
I have two little girls who I have not been able to keep in the general population for awhile. They are sisters, and smaller than most of my other hens, and for some reason, if either one of them gets in with the other birds, the entire rest of the flock attacks the little ones violently.

So I've had these two segregated and living in their own little fenced in area of the yard, and living in their own little 4 foot by 4 foot by 3 foot tall house. They were quite safe in there, separated by a fence and a gate from the rest of the flock... until this afternoon.

My wife went outside to feed and water the chickens about an hour before sunset, as she normally does.

She was carrying some feed in one hand, and was operating the gate with the other, when Patty quickly scooted between her feet and darted right out her area and into the main chicken yard.

Immediately -- it happened in a matter of just a second or two -- she was backed into a corner and eleven hens and a rooster joined together in a violent attack on her.


My wife dropped the food and ran out into the main yard, but she was delayed for a few seconds because she had to hook the gate in order to protect the other bird from also becoming victim to the mob.

By that time, the birds had injured the chicken's eye. I'm not knowledgeable on this sort of thing, but she is holding it closed, and it is weeping.

The other eye is OK.

She is now pretty much not moving hardly at all. My wife freed her from the mob, and then put her in the back area right in front of a plate of boiled egg that she had brought the two of them before the attack. Then she left to do something (I don't know what), and when she went back a minute or two later, the little bird had walked about three or four feet and was standing in a cat litter pan that we use as a watering pan. It has recently rained, so that pan had about three or four inches of water standing in it. She was just standing there, in the middle of all that water.

My wife picked her up as gently as possible, and brought her inside, and set her up in a special dog cage that we keep around for emergencies like this. She put a blanket around the cage to protect her eye from a lot of light, but she put a dim, battery powered lantern in there next to the waterer so that she could see her food and water.

What should we do?

One thing we cannot afford to do is to bring her to the vet -- vets around here will charge you $300 to $500 a pop (routinely, mind you) and then not do a single thing to help your animal. We've had it with the over priced, under performing jerks that pass themselves off as veternarians.

Is there an anti-biotic we can put in her water, to help her fight off infection? I don't think I could apply an ointment to a chicken's eye -- I just don't think I can?

What about a farmer friend's suggestion that we give her a drop or two of gin to let her sleep for a while, and heal while she sleeps? (Apparantly our farmer friend has had success with this method).

What about a suggestion I read on BYC somewhere, to put a plain, uncoated aspirin in a quart of water, and let her drink some aspirin water to help if she is suffering pain.

Right now, we can't tell if she's in pain. She mostly doesn't move much since we brought her in. But she was hanging her head as she stood for about ten minutes or so, till she finally just layed down. She is now in a semi-dark and quiet environment, so she's sleeping at the moment, best I can tell.

Please help us figure out what to do for her.

We don't want to cull her. We'd like to help her heal, and then just sort of take it one day at a time for awhile. If we have to keep her inside for awhile, we will -- though she will have to stay in the cage because we don't have any chicken diapers.
If you had some Rescue Remedy, you could put that in her water; it sounds like she may be in shock. Keep her warm and quiet and tomorrow make sure she has food and water in here little carrier. Chickens just amaze me with the horrible wounds they can sustain and heal just fine; most of the time without any help from humans. When she is no longer in shock (tomorrow) you might try some colloidal silver in her water and a mist for her wounds and eye. It's very good for eye issues. Hopefully, its just a scratch. I know from personal experience, a little scratch can feel like having a pregnant elephant in your eye...
What is Rescue Remedy?

I can't get any tonight, I suppose, but where can I get some tomorrow?

And as for collidal silver -- I have some of that. How much of that do you put in a gallon of water?
What about the idea of using a few drops of gin to help her sleep for a day or two?

My farmer friend (who is also a pretty good, although informal, vet with all the animals she's raised over the years) says that if they sleep it off, this can help them avoid shock.

But if they are already in shock, is it still appropriate to use a little gin? She said to use an eyedropper and drop a little gin down her beak.

(My farmer friend has to get up at dawn, so she's asleep, and I can't call her again.)

And -- hate to sound so naive -- but where does a person buy a little gin at 11 pm at night? (I am LDS, so I've never drank before, and really don't know anything about going into bars or liquor stores).
Rescue Remedy is a Bach flower remedy. You can get it at a health food store; for next time. She will likely be out of shock by the time you would get any, but it would do the same thing as a little bit of gin. I wouldn't worry about giving her any of either at this point. For now, the most important thing is keeping her warm and quiet. She should be better in the morning. Colloidal silver; if it is about 10 parts per million, I'd put about an eye dropper full in a cup of water for her to drink. I would get a bottle with a mister top and spray it (full strength at 10 parts/million) lightly in her eyes (tomorrow); she's been through enough today - just let her sleep. Like I said, chickens are remarkable healers on their own...
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