Deep gash on chicken's leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jenniltr, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. jenniltr

    jenniltr New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2017
    Sacramento, CA
    The other night a rat killed one of my silkies and severely injured another. The only wound we can find is a deep gash on one of her upper legs. It does go to the muscle but did stop bleeding on its own. She never went into shock and has been eating and drinking a normal amount. Sadly though, it has been one week and she still isn't walking. She is currently in a two foot bin at night with her two silky friends. She is able to get from one side of the bin to the other and is still making sweet warbling sounds with her friends. Has anyone else seen an injury like this on their chicken? How long until I should expect her to start walking or is this a lost cause?
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome Jenniltr, Sorry for your troubles. Question---did you see the rat do this?? Never had a rat to kill one or hurt one. If its a open wound I spray it with Blu-Kote and watch to make sure it stays clean and healing.
     
  3. jenniltr

    jenniltr New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2017
    Sacramento, CA
    It was definitely a rat. The next night the rats were circling the silkie coop again but luckily we took them inside until we can shore up our one flawed area. Any idea if she'll walk again? A week seems like a long time with no walking.
     
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Get some free cats or a rat terroir or traps. Rats are usually after food in the trays/feeders so make sure there is no food trays or feeders out at night. If you got a lot of rats---they sure need to be eliminated.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you ever cleaned the wound? Have you dressed it with an antibiotic ointment?

    If you've done nothing to the wound, it's probably infected by this time. Even if you did put something on it in the beginning, if the wound was allowed to dry out, infection may have begun. Infection causes a great deal of pain, therefore, your little patient will not feel like putting weight on it.

    For any wound that is more than superficial, you need to flush it twice a day with warm water and mild soap. Then you need to spray it with Vetericyn to encourage tissue growth, then keep the wound moist with a triple antibiotic ointment until it is completely healed.

    PD is right. You need to wage war on those rats. Rats have been known to eat Silkies faces and toes off while they sleep in a coop. You don't want anything more tragic than what has already happened.
     
  6. jenniltr

    jenniltr New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2017
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    This rat issue is huge in our area, worsened by the fact that our neighbor is a backyard hoarder. We have tried many many techniques of getting rid of the rats to no avail. Even with traps, we've killed at least 30 and there were still enough to completely sesrroy our garden. We put away the food every afternoon. We are building a rat fence as our next step. They won't be killing any more chickens because we've fixed the coop issue now. My main concern is the injured chicken and what to expect recovery wise or if there's no way she'll recover.
     
  7. jenniltr

    jenniltr New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2017
    Sacramento, CA
    We've been using neosporin on the wound and cleaned it the first day but then it closed up and we thought it'd be better to let it heal that way than reopen it. Is that wrong?
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You do need to keep close watch on the wound for signs of infection. If this is a Silkie, it will be hard to see any reddening of the skin, but you can feel for skin temperature. Infected tissue is hotter than surrounding healthy tissue. Also infected tissue is likely to be puffy and swollen.

    Even though a wound has scabbed over, you still need to keep it moist with the ointment. Healing all but stops when it dries out. Get some Vetericyn spray or gel. Use it in addition to the Neosporin. One bottle will last you for years. It's the best animal wound treatment out there. I've even used it on my own cuts and scratches and it makes them heal super fast.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Rats are excellent climbers so unless you put a top over the run, they will still get in.

    I lived in Los Angeles where there are rats the size of cats. I lived on the second story and they climbed up the tree outside my window, ate through the vinyl screen and ran over my head at night when I was asleep in bed. The landlady finally hired someone to tear out all the English ivy in the backyard where they were living and breeding and put up metal screens on the house, and I finally got some peace.

    I recommend you contact the health department and ask them if they have any "birth control" for rats. Supposedly, big cities have rat abatement programs where they put out bait for the rats that makes them not be able to produce babies but doesn't poison them. Maybe they can help you with your problem.

    I wouldn't use any rat poison around chickens. Rats are likely to drag it out and it may end up where your chickens might eat it. Plain buckets of water often kill more rats than poison. I find pack rats and mice all the time in the partially filled tubs I keep under my rain spouts.
     
  10. jenniltr

    jenniltr New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2017
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    I didn't realize this was going to turn into a kill rat thread but I'm happy it has. I think I'm going to dig a trench around my entire garden and line it with something so I can fill the trench with water and night when the chickens are locked up. Hopefully the rats will drown themselves. Our coop is secure now. We didn't think rats would kill even a silkie so we made the coop without a bottom. Now we realize how stupid that was and will fix it before moving the silkies back outside.
     

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