Chicken froze into the snow

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickygrrl, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. chickygrrl

    chickygrrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
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    We noticed one of our Aracauna's acting aloof and refusing to come out of the coop like the others on a sunny 30 degree day. When we picked her up, we saw her entire underside is plucked clean and there is a bubble on one foot. We aren't exactly sure how this happened, but think she was missed when we closed the girls up for the night. It appears she hunkered down in the snow, the snow under her melted under her body heat and then refroze. When she got up somehow, she pulled out all of the feathers on her underside. We did find a spot in the snow where all her feathers are stuck.

    We have since moved her into a large rubbermaid box in the house and she is doing ok, considering. She is not eating much of her regular feed or vegis, but is drinking water and just devoured half a hamburger bun. We are worried about her being too cold without her feathers. We are in Northern Minnesota and it is currently 29 degrees F in the coop, but it can get colder than that. This is our first winter with chickens...

    [​IMG] We just feel terrible for her. Has anyone ever heard of this happening before? I couldn't find anything about it on the BYC message boards. Will her feathers grow back? What should we do about that bubble? When should we put her back with the others? Is there anything else we should be doing? Helpful advice only, please. Every chicken is now counted by everyone who shuts them up at night and we're doing the best we can.
     
  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    I'm very sorry about your little girl. [​IMG] Keeping her indoors until she heals is a good idea. I'm no expert, but I do believe that her feathers will grow back in, in time. Keep us posted. Oh, welcome to BYC! You'll find lots of good info on the forum, to help you out. [​IMG]
     
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    Welcome to BYC! If the feathers were completely plucked instead of broken off, they will grow back in 6-8 weeks or so. Otherwise, she will have to wait for a molt. You don't say how long it has been since this happened. I had a BB turkey that this happened to. It took a day or two, his whole breast turned grey and the outside layer of skin died, and he had a huge scab on his whoke chest, But he recovered. The blistered part you will have to wait and see how much damage there is. If it is too severe, he can loose the toe. It is like a burn. I would be concerned about her in really cold weather because she has nothing to insulate her. I expect you will need to keep her up till it warns up or she gets her feathers back in. You need to encourage her to eat, she will need a lot of protein to heal. Tempt her with boiled egg and yogurt. She will also need plenty of water.
     
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Just keep her warm and eating..try scrambled egg, warm canned dog food etc... Her feathers will grow back in time, poor girl. I don't know about the bubble....... Welcome to BYC, sorry this was your first experience with us....
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. chickygrrl

    chickygrrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Duluth
    Thanks so much for the quick replies. We noticed about 3 days ago. Her skin still looks pink. I will cook an egg right now!
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Maybe you could post a picture of the bubble so we can help?

    I do a head count at night but those dang black chickens in the dark have me counting at least 3 times over!
     
  7. chickygrrl

    chickygrrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Duluth
    So the good news is our girl is loving the eggs and still alert and clucking.

    The bad news is her feet seem worse today. I am attaching a photo--it is from my cell phone so not the best quality. The bubbles are in between her "toes". The one on the left is still a bubble and the one on the right appears to have popped. There is some white stuff in it that I can't get out with a wet washcloth on my own. When my husband gets home from work and can hold her still I'll try cleaning it better. She is not putting much weight on her feet which is making it hard for me to get to them on my own. Any suggestions on how to help her? Is this really bad?

    We are fixing up a large dog crate for her since she'll be indoors for quite a while...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Rather than a washcloth, try loading an oral syringe (or a regular one without the needle) with clean, warm saline solution and rinsing the heck out of it. You could also just soak the whole foot. Let it air dry as much as possible.

    I'd treat it like a blister that popped. Since it appears big/deep I'd flush it probably twice a day and otherwise keep it open to the air as much as possible.

    I have no idea what caused it, maybe someone else can tell you, but from the pic that's how I would treat it.
     
  9. chickygrrl

    chickygrrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Duluth
    I soaked the whole foot as directed and noticed that the whole bottom of the foot was like a giant blister. I popped it and drained a bunch of clear liquid out with a syringe (one of my dogs has diabetes), but didn't quite get all of it. I'll try getting more out before the next soak. I also put some gobs of Neosporin on the popped bubbles between the toes . Now that I'm writing that I think maybe it was a bad idea and I should have let it dry out instead of putting something on it. I had read on another post somewhere that Neosporin is ok. Should I use something like Bactine? I saw that somewhere too. She's not putting any weight on that foot, poor girl, but is still very alert and eating/drinking.
     
  10. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Wounds generally heal fastest if they are kept moist. That's why it's a good idea to leave the fluid in a blister if possible. If the fluid is gone, leave the skin over it if possible. If the skin comes off, cover the wound with neosporin and, if possible a bandage of some sort. That will hold the moisture in and facilitate healing. Hope she does well. I'll say a little prayer for her!!
     

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