Short story: I'm treating an open wound on a Cayuga duck (hen) with Blu-Kote (and now penicillin) and she keeps picking at it and getting it in her mouth. Her water's always purple from it and I can see it on the tip of her bill at times--she's black from bill to toe, so it's hard to see unless she's under her lamp. I want her to be able to preen around the wound to remove any crusties or bothersome bits AND I want the wound to get lots of air, so I'd rather not cover it until it's healed up partially at least. How safe is Blu-Kote for her to ingest? I've read that it's safe to eat eggs from birds treated with Blu-Kote/and that it's absolutely never safe ever...I'm inclined to think something approved for use on humans (Violet Gentian) would work its way out of the system after a time and eggs would be safe--not to mention that the study that links kidney cancer to Violet Gentian was done with massive amounts administered to rats over an entire lifetime. Maybe I won't eat her eggs if they come out purple, but my concern is how much she's ingesting. Should I put a t-shirt over her entire body while she's healing? She sometimes shakes her head after she picks at wound, like the Blu-Kote tastes bitter. I change her water often when it becomes noticeably tinted after I've sprayed her wounds. I don't Blu-Kote her before work for this reason--however, the residuals are still there for her to pick at with unchanged water for 8+ hours. Will ingesting Blu-Kote harm her? Will it mess with the flora in her digestive tract/should I give her some yogurt to help if so? The long story of care up to this point: I have a Cayuga hen who was attacked by a possum last Wednesday night. I brought her in immediately, but did not see the extent of her injuries at first. I thought she'd gotten lucky with only an abrasion on the top of her wing that was drooping (due to a sprain, I thought, as the wing didn't seem sore to her). I rinsed it off briefly with full-strength H2O2 and rinsed with plain water in the utility sink in the basement. I thought there might be some injuries hiding on her breast, so when I did the initial clean-up, I thankfully squirted some Hydrogen Peroxide up into her breast feathers. She was surprisingly docile, as I haven't picked any of my ducks up since they were about 5 weeks old--I thought she knew she needed help...that may have been part of it, but she may have been in shock as well even though she put up a fight when she'd had enough handling. The next night, my boyfriend helped hold her still as I gooped up her wing again and taped up her flight feathers to help with her droopy wing. I set her up in a dogloo indoors in a dog-free zone in our house. She was drinking water immediately and ate a little bit of food that night. There were only a couple smudges of blood before the cleaning and none that I could detect on her towels after the cleaning. The next night, I moved her setup into the garage and added a small newspapered run to the dogloo. I set up a banker's lamp outside the dogloo to see if she would huddle under it, as our garage is usually under 40 degrees--she stayed in the dogloo except for coming out to nibble at her food and drink some water. After looking for advice here on the forums, I came home from work the next day with some epsom salts, unflavored Pedialyte, and Blu-Kote. I prepared a warm, shallow bath with plain water to let her get the outdoors gunk off. I put some graduated steps up to the bath and covered them with a towel for traction, and she happily climbed in, eyeballed me for a minute to see if I was tricking her, and then started splashing around and cleaning up. I let her dirty the water for a few minutes and then shooed her out, replacing the dirty water with a weak (half-strength or less) warm epsom salt bath. She again got in and splashed around. In the meantime, I put the banker's lamp into the dogloo to help her dry herself and keep her warm in the cold garage. To my horror, when I saw her start to preen under the light after her epsom soak and pick under her left wing , there was a large gash that had been hidden by her glossy black feathers and my inexperience with manhandling injured ducks for their own welfare. At least I had squirted some H2O2 on the general area likely within an hour of the attack...the wound looked like a golf-ball sized hole. I watched her try to clean her wound, but still couldn't get a good look at it. In desperation, I shot some Blu-Kote in under her wing while she was cleaning up and presenting it under the light. I was planning on retaping her wing after the bath, but decided to let it go to help the gash get some air. By now, she was hissing and biting at me when I got close--still perky and walking around normally. I left the lamp in the dogloo for heat and drying--her wings looked shaggy after the epsom salts stripped off her oils. The next morning (Saturday--day three), I enlisted the help of my sister, who is very good with animals and amateur veterinary emergency care. I knew I needed to get a good look at what I was dealing with and see if the "off" smell in the dogloo was duck poo + wound smell or duck poo + infected wound smell. I administered another plain water bath followed by a weak epsom salt bath to help clean out the wound and let me see if I missed anything when we did the full inspection. She splashed around and seemed to be soothed by the warm baths. My sister held the hen down while I inspected the wound and trimmed feathers and a small strip of skin away that I'd seen the duck pulling at after her first bath. The golf-ball sized wound was a nice upside-down v-shaped gash about two inches tall and almost three inches wide on the side of her left breast, with another inch-long vertical gash behind it. The v-shaped wound also had pulled the skin and fat away from the muscle and there was a pocket maybe an inch deep and wide under the actual exposed area--no more full baths...I may flush her wounds with saline if needed, but am leery of adding moisture to a wound that may pool liquids. Worse injuries than I expected, but the hen still seemed spunky and the wound was not inflamed as much as I would have expected. We Blu-Koted the wound and let her get up to finish drying off. She seemed the same on Sunday--still not eating well aside from a very little bit of hard-boiled egg chopped shell on, but drinking water. After more searching through the forums on Sunday, I decided to start a cycle of penicillin on her, but didn't get to the feed store until Monday morning. That morning, she was trembling ever so slightly, so I hoped I hadn't waited too long for the penicillin. I wrangled her myself, putting a pillowcase over her head and wrapping her in a towel this time. The shot was surprisingly easy to administer when she was hooded--I gave her a full cc to jump-start the cycle and released her...then realized I had to grab her again to redress her wounds with blu-kote I know that Blu-Kote isn't ideal for open, gaping wounds, but I'd rather use something dry and let air get to the wound. I'll continue the penicillin for another four doses of 1/2 cc each, maybe longer if I notice infection worsening or persisting. Last night, her appetite started to come around, as she'd eaten nearly half of the egg and picked around in the sunflower seeds for the bits of lettuce on top. I was worried that I'd have to force-feed her. Her dogloo didn't seem quite so stinky this morning, so if an infection was starting (as they almost inevitably do from a possum bite, I'd think), I think it's subsiding after the initial Penicillin injection. I'll rewrap her wing tonight after I spray on the Blu-Kote. I think she's a tough one and should be out of the woods now. I just can't believe how well she hid those horrible wounds! If she were a Pekin, I would've seen the bloody areas immediately, but not through those thick black feathers. She's very lucky, too--I have a surplus of drakes to eat or find homes for this spring and, sorry to say, if it had been a drake, I probably would have culled him after seeing the extent of the injuries. We'll chalk this injury up to a very educational one...she'll be wrangled and poked nightly for awhile, and that wing is getting taped up again tonight, so hopefully we'll make friends. I've decided to name her Penelope (she got herself "pen"ned back up after a glorious summer free-ranging on the pond, and now gets to be the guinea pig for my intramuscular "Pen" injections...and I've got a "pen"chant for mythology, but I started thinking of her as Penelope that first night even before the puns dawned on me).