Chicken pecked in head now stumbling around??


9 Years
Aug 11, 2011
Hello! Yesterday I found my young white leghorn hen panting and sitting on the ground under her coop. Upon inspection I noticed she had a wound on her skull right behind her comb on the back of her head. I took her in to the house to cool her off (its 90 degrees here) and sprayed the wound with Vetricyn and applied some neosporin. I kept her in a pen inside the house all night. Now this morning I noticed when I set her on the floor, she is having trouble balancing. When she walks she stumbles a bit and puts her wing down for balance. Could there be some kind of internal damage causing this?

We've had several hens with horrific head wounds from predators that have recovered (and have taken days to be able to walk), and we just had a chick that was nearly pecked to death (2 others didn't make it) by a nasty mother hen. She couldn't lift her head the first night because the back of her neck was torn open. We sprayed with Blue Kote and put her in a separate cage with her mom. She recovered over the next few days. I would say, try the Blue Kote, it is a miracle worker. But STAINS like crazy. Wear gloves and protect your face from spray/splatter. The stumbling around could just mean she needs more healing time. If it's a small wound, then your instinct may be right - she may have been pecked so hard that she has a little brain damage. But chickens are amazing self-healers, give her another day of quiet and cool / calm place to heal and see how she does. If she can't get to her drink - help her with that and a dropper with some electrolytes. Maybe someone else here has more experience with those specific symptoms.
Good luck!
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Awesome! Thanks so much for your input! I have given her some of Susan Burek's Intensive Care Acute Therapy with an eyedropper, which really helped her and then sprayed her with vertricyn. I have some blue kote so I will try that as well. I think that helps with anyone pecking at her, too, doesn't it? She is drinking water but eating very little. I do think she will eventually recover, but like you said, probably just needs some extra time. There was a little bit of blood, but not much and the wound doesn't look open at all, just very purple. It looks like whatever got her, just bit her and then she got away. I think she suffered from shock more than from the wound itself. Some of the older hens in the pen tend to pick on my younger ones sometimes. I have separated the whole group for now.

Thanks again, I appreciate the help!

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