Chicken lost half her skin

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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I know, they didn't even bother to pick her up until I was about to collect her. They let me know she was injured and looked "a little rough, but she'll be ok." Awful people.
Maybe awful is a bit harsh, maybe not. The problem as I see it in this culture of ours is that many, many people are indifferent to the well being of food animals, treating them mostly with indifferent expediency. The thinking is that, being merely food animals, they feel no pain or have emotions or experience stress and need any extra care if injured. It's ignorance and a very lazy sort of thinking more than anything. Any person could look at a chicken with an open mind and immediately grasp that they are a much higher life form than a zuchini plant.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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Update 11/25 a.m.: if my count is right, it's been a week since her injury. I'll share what I'm doing and what I've learned.

Per the poultry vet who was kind enough to talk to me, blue kote is NOT recommended for an injury like this. It actually stings, which is ok on small injuries but would add to her suffering here. It also dries out the wounds which would be awful in this situation.

She's getting .5 ml of penicillin injection daily for 5 days. 4 aspirin dissolved in 1/2 gal of water to drink, along with Nutri-drench. She's eating high protein crumbles, some fermented, but she didn't like that much.

Her skin gets a warm compress, followed by a thick coat of Hen Healer to soften and protect. I spray with Vetricyn after in case there are spots I have missed. She also gets Vetricyn spray once the Hen Healer has absorbed. Evening is manuka honey and more Vetricyn.

She's eating, drinking, and pooping completely normally.

--

I was just given a hen that as of now, was mauled 6 days ago. It had been on it's own, severely injured, for 4 days before I got it.

She doesn't seem to know that she should be dead. I don't understand how she's alive.

She's missing a huge amount of skin. Around the back of her neck is, I believe, exposed bone. All the skin on her entire neck, down her front, as far back as where her wing starts, and down as far as her leg.

And yet she survived outside for four days like this and even now it's still eating, drinking, pooping, and standing on her own two feet. I'm doing everything I can for her. She has a faint bad smell, so I've been trying to clean the thick layer of dried blood off her, as well as treating for infection with penicillin and Vetricyn spray. Also using Hen Healer to keep her wounds as soft as I can. Pain relief is aspirin in water.

I don't know what to make of this. I think I'm worried she'll die, but of something I didn't prevent or didn't fix properly. I mean she's survived this long, now it's my turn. She's such a survivor I worry that I won't know when or if it's time to let her go.
She's actually seeming to do really well. She's resting all the time, but she's eating and drinking, moving around a little in her carrier, and when I tried to bathe her she put up a good fight and walked herself back into the carrier.

The smell is what worries me.
Yes, she is drinking aspirin water.
The odor is a bit concerning, hopefully the Penicillin that you are administering will help, but the wounds need to be flushed well - I would get some Chlorhexidine or Betadine and flush/rinse the wounds.
Instead of Hen Healer, get some triple antibiotic ointment and apply to the wounds. Hen healer is good for small areas, I have it and use on small things, but triple antibiotic ointment is needed for this.

I would not dress the wounds at all, leave them open.

I would swab the wounds with diluted Chlorhexidine or Betadine at least once a day, but keep the wound moist with your ointment. This cleaning of the wound should help eliminate the odor and promote healing - it's what I would do and what I have done.

Eating/drinking is a good thing. Is she drinking the aspirin water o.k.? If you need to, sweeten it a little with juice, corn syrup or honey.

Keep us posted.
 

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
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We had a hen who we rescued after she was dumped at the animal shelter following a dog attack. Vetericyn was an absolute hero product to her recovery. We also too used Chlorahex wipes. It took a long time but she recovered, and that’s the most “egg-cited” I’ve ever been to see a bird lay an egg when she finally did, LOL!

You keep your head up and be strong for that beautiful bird, and I’m sending you both well wishes and all the luck for a healthy recovery.
 

SulkyBantam

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Nov 3, 2020
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I know, they didn't even bother to pick her up until I was about to collect her. They let me know she was injured and looked "a little rough, but she'll be ok." Awful people.
I just can't believe that, its so awful. They should be reported. Did they give you all their poultry? They should not even have that puppy...
Where did they keep her for those 4 days? Did she get food + water?
 

cassie

Crowing
Mar 19, 2009
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Look at her eyes. Eyes on a sick or injured chicken tell us their health status. She appears to be in pain and shock and sepsis, if not organ failure.

Organ failure is what happens when there isn't enough skin to protect the body from dehydrating. Skin is the most important organ of the body, and it controls the balance of nutrients that keep a body stable.

I'm all for helping a chicken fight for life when there's a chance for recovery, but this chicken is going to die a slow, painful death regardless of what you do. If this chicken were to be treated, she would need to be on a continuous IV drip of fluids and antibiotics. There would be no question in my mind that if this happened to one of my chickens, and all of mine are cherished pets, I would euthanize. Now.
From the OP's description, it sounds like this chicken is doing just fine. As long as she is eating and drinking and acts alert, I would keep treating her. You can always put an animal down if necessary, but I think all this chicken needs is time. I have seen animals recover from some really horrible wounds.
 

mrswalker

Chirping
May 7, 2020
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I just can't believe that, its so awful. They should be reported. Did they give you all their poultry? They should not even have that puppy...
Where did they keep her for those 4 days? Did she get food + water?
As far as I know, she was allowed in and out with the other birds. She was not in their house and had to be caught in order to come home with me.
 

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