Chicken has a whole in her body


10 Years
Sep 30, 2009
Evening. I won't say good, because it's a horribly sad day at my house. Something got one of our chickens. Not sure if it was the four new ones we got, or a hawk or some other raptor. I was out calling for them, and only her sister came running. I found Eve under the grill and not moving. She was breathing and blinking, but would not stand. After tossing in some fresh sweet corn, she stood and hobbled a few steps and sat back down. I scooped her up in a laundry basket with some hay, and brought her inside for further inspection. She had some ruffled feathers on her right side, and underneath near her neck is a hole. You can actually see inside her body cavity. I don't know what to do. Will the skin grow over again, or is she a gonner?? She's breathing, has stood a few times, and she is trying to crow, but she mostly just sits in her basket looking very forlorn. Any suggestions?? Do I just put her out of her misery?? Is she in misery???



Fluffy Butt Nut
10 Years
Mar 11, 2009
Long Island, NY
From what I've seen and from what many people have said, chickens are incredibly resilient creatures. My advice and I hope the more experienced people will chime in here is to keep her separated, clean out the wound and feed her special treats so she keeps up her strength. Also make sure to give her water. Posting pics will help others see the severity of the wound and better know how to help you treat it. Maybe you can also make sure she is warm. I hope she makes it, my thoughts and prayers are with you!


Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
High Desert, CA
How bad is the injury? Are internal organs torn or is it just skin and muscle? Is it ripped open or is it a puncture wound? I would clean it well with diluted iodine and pack it with neosporin. If it is a puncture wound, you will want to let it heal from the inside out (otherwise it can trap in infection, etc). If it is a rip/tear, then let it scab over and heal. You will likely need to keep her inside to ensure that she does not get it dirty or let flies lay eggs on it. I have had 2 hens get badly attacked by stray miniature pinschers and another 2 ripped open on the side by our roo. All have lived. Chickens are tough!


10 Years
Sep 30, 2009
I am a bit squeemish, not sure i could bring myself to actually take a picture. I'll give it a shot though tomorrow morning, anything that might help her I'm willing to do at this point.

I do not think she has any internal injuries....there isn't any blood that i have noticed. The hole, I guess you would call it, is about the size of dime...I'd imagine you could easily put your finger inside it. My husband describes it as the skin that keeps it's arms on/shoulder/front arm pit. Does that make sense? I'm going to assume it's a puncture wound, although I did not actually see what happened to her. I'd need help knowing if it was an actual puncture or a tear.

We are keeping her in kennel with hay in the kitchen. I'm not sure she's had anything to drink...although she has water available. She had some of her yummy corn treat. So I think these are all very promising signs. I am however worried about her sister. She is very lost with out her. They both seem to be a bit lost with out each other. It's hard to describe to someone who doesn't have chickens the close bond that these two have. We recently aquired 4 more, and these two stick to each other like glue. Always have. Now the other one is all by herself in the world. I'm worried about her as much as I am the one who's injured. Ugh. Being a chicken mommy is tough business.

Thank you so much for your replies, and I will try and photgraph the injury tomorrow. I'm just going to let her rest for now and hope for the best in the morning.


Wild Egg!
12 Years
Oct 13, 2007
Sounds like your girl will be fine.

I had a hen with a similar injury from a dog in May - she had a hole on her chest and a few smaller ones on her wing joint/back.

I cleaned her wounds and feathers off once, and put some neosporin on the hole.

The healing took some time, and it looked really ugly after a few days, the edges went black - there was also yellowing around where the feathers were still. Most of the feathers fell out near the wound after a week or so, and the hole slowly got smaller. (my girls hole was a little bigger than a quarter) It took about a month for it to heal up enough for her to go back outside with the others and the bugs and such.

My hen (maggie) still had a odd looking wing, it sits at an odd angle and almost looks like she holds it out - I think there was some ligament damage or something, but she's fine now.

Hang in there...

EDIT TO ADD: be sure to check the rest of her body - its hard to see the wounds with all those feathers, I found some holes days after the first injury was noticed.
I also used a childrens wound rinse - I think it was the bandaid brand, before putting on gobs of neosporin and then leaving it to dry and heal on its own.
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