Chicken Eating Itself

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by omochick, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. omochick

    omochick New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2016
    One of my chickens was attacked by the neighbor's puppy last weekend. She suffered a nasty puncture wound on her back, a deep cut on her side, and the loss of most of the feathers on her butt. Her butt had a few minor abrasions on it. She's remained alert and eating/drinking. I've been using neosporin and blu-kote and am keeping her isolated from the rest of the chickens. The two major wounds seem to be healing. However, she is repeatedly pecking at and eating away her tail to the point where it is now a bloody stumpy mess. I'm pretty sure her preening gland has been eaten off. We've tried bandaging it, putting her in a saddle made of denim, improvising t-shirt material into a kind of coat that drapes over her butt (that has worked the best so far). But she has wiggled out of, pulled off, flipped up, or dug under everything we've put on her in an attempt to keep her away from the area. The longest we've gone is about 36 hours without her pecking it, and it had crusted over, but today, it's a mess again. I'm at a loss as to what else I can do. Do they make cones for chickens?! Does anyone have any insight on how to bandage this area so she can't get at it? I can't really wrap anything around it as her cloaca is right below it and would get blocked by the bandage.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. [​IMG]

    Can you post some photos of the wounds?
    Any sign of mites/lice or maggots in the wound that she is picking at?

    Sometimes flies can lay eggs in a wound, then maggots will infest a wound - this is damaging and irritating, so she may be trying to dig at it. Check to see if this is happening - they are sometimes hard to see especially in thick feathers.

    I'm not sure what to do about the preen gland if it has been taken off.

    Try soaking her in a warm epsom salts bath up to wound on the rear, flush and rinse it well. Hopefully it will be soothing and if there is anything irritating her it will wash away. Inspect the wound well. Also while she is wet it is may be easier to see if there are any mites/lice that could be the problem as well.

    Treat the wound like you have been doing.

    I don't know how to wrap that, usually wound heal better without wrapping. A cone is a good idea, but I'm not sure how to keep that on. I'll have to think about that...
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You could try putting a pinless peeper on her....?

    Cheers!
     
  4. gardendragon

    gardendragon New Egg

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    Sorry to hear you hare having such a time. I had one self picking. Dewormer and adding fat and higher protein to her diet has helped. The dewormer, I used was also for horses, I read kills fly eggs as well as internal. May also have to use pinless peepers if it has become a habit.
     
  5. koolfunchicks

    koolfunchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2015
    I wonder if you could make a cone from a paper cup? You might have to play around a bit in terms of size but it could work. Good luck!
     
  6. omochick

    omochick New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2016
    Thanks for the insight! I ended up giving her an Epsom bath soak and that seemed to help loosen up some scabs that may have been making her feel tight and itchy. I noticed then that her new feathers were starting to emerge which may have been irritating. I was finally able to fashion a saddle that she hasn't been able to remove. She's now doing well enough to rejoin the rest of her flock.
     
  7. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    Awesome
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Glad to hear she is doing well!

    Thank you for the update. Very helpful information to pass along -that the epsom salts seemed to give her some relief - sometimes you don't know whether or not it will "work", but always worth a try.
     

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