Coyote attack—left one hen with big gash!


Feb 13, 2020
Hey all,

Posting about Kevin, our lone standing hen. Coyotes got into the run and took all our hens but Kevin managed to get away, left her with what I thought was one puncture wound but when I brought her in I found the approx.8”long gash from side to side over her back spanning from under one wing to the other.
I’ve only ever had horses before so I did what I would have done with them which was to give it a good wash out with hot soapy water (added a little peroxide) then dry off Well and coat it with “red-kote” blue kote’s antiseptic sibling. I had to squeeze some liquid out of the puncture wound and then give it a nice wash. Boy was she a champ through this all!
I brought her into the house and made her a little bedding box by the woodstove because all her feathers on her back and sides are gone, even the down. Which is where she’s stayed the last three days.
I wrapped it the first night with gauze and a loose horse wrap bandage around her torso, which she didn’t mind at all. I it off the next, re-coated it with the antiseptic and left the bandage off during the following day so it wouldn’t fester or stuck to the injury. Tonight I washed it with saline solution and a soft tack sponge and did the red kote again.

she’s been drinking water and ive been doing what I’ve read here which is to give her some scrambled egg, but tonight she got a little regular scratch and seemed into it.
Her movement is limited, she stays in our house in her little box all day, even though the box is open so she could go out if she wanted. Which I suppose is good because I don’t want that wound tearing by her jumping around.
She seems ok, and though the wound is deep and seems like it would be hard pressed to come together and seal up, it’s not inflamed or irritated looking (yet, knock on wood) just still a little gooey and bloody looking in the middle, deepest part.
My big concern right now is that she seems to be shivering a bit. It’s not constant but I don’t know if that’s from the lack of feathers or pain or something bigger being wrong.

Any thoughts/advice would be great.

Last edited:


Jul 31, 2018
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
Clean the wound with Chlorhexedine, not a saline solution. You can buy it at most chemists.
The spray is easier to work with. The Chlorhexedine needs to stay in contact with the wound for about 20 seconds so it isn't a wipe type cleaner.
A picture of the wound would be a great help. If as you say the gash is 8 inches long then she would benefit from having it stitched up.
Don't use hydrogen peroxide on such wounds. it cauterizes the tiny blood vessels and inhibits healing.
What you do need to consider is if she has any internal injuries from jaw pressure. It's often such injuries that go undetected and kill the chicken.


In the Brooder
Oct 3, 2019
depending on how bad it is well if its bad. is she not moving. she could be in shock. were do you keep her. the best stop is probably inside. so she wont feel such in shock. hope your chickens better. :) :thumbsup


Feb 13, 2020
Can you post pictures of the wound? You can apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to it. You don't want it to dry out.
Thanks for the information!! I will try to get a good pic of it tonight, if I can get her wings lifted a bit to snap a photo of it. It looks severely shorter than when I first cleaned it out, as if it’s starting to heal from either side inward. Do you know what the purpose of not letting it dry out is? I’ve cared for dogs, horses and cattle but never chickens, so I want to make sure I’m doing what will be best for her!

she’s staying hydrated, gave her some water and fermented grains this morning, and she’s in a box in the house near the wood stove so she stays warm and no dust etc. gets in the wound.


Feb 13, 2020
Can you post pictures of the wound? You can apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to it. You don't want it to dry out.
Hey, thank you so much for the response!
do you know about the“drying out”? I’ve heard that a couple times here but I wasn't sure if keeping it raw and open would be worse than letting a scab form after getting it all cleaned and flushed with antiseptic. Just wanting to get all the info I can do I can start building my knowledge base!

She’s doing pretty well this morning, vocal and eatin/drinking but, wewill keep at her!
thanks again!

Shamo Hybrid

Jun 6, 2018
I would think allowing the wound to dry up and close is the ideal option? If you leave it wet and moist, bacteria can form in there and go into her bloodstream making all your heroic efforts all for naught!


Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
It is best to clean it with chlorhexidene and water, or a wound spray such as Vetericyn, Theracyn, etc and then coat it in plain antibiotic ointment twice a day until it heals. Most wounds will eventually granulate in and close. Using a clean old towel for bedding will help to keep it clean. Do you have a good picture of the wound?
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