Dumb Fox - Doesn't know how to kill a chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jpc2, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. jpc2

    jpc2 Hatching

    Mar 12, 2007
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Long time lurker......

    Last Thursday morning the chickens (2 BO and 2BR - 15 weeks old) started making a lot of noise and the wife thought they just wanted out. This is about 7AM. We live in downtown Colorado Springs about 5 blocks from a large park along a stream known as Shooks Run. I normally don't let them out till 8 or 9 AM. The wife let the chickens out and less than 5 minutes later she was screaming. A fox has jumped in to the run and attacked the chickens! DW's screams scared the fox off.

    Two of the chickens were Ok. One of the BO's was down but still alive. We couldn't locate one of the BRs but there were a lot of feathers near the BO. Checked the bird over and found a couple of wounds - one under a wing and another on the back. Didn't appear to be too bad - she was mostly in shock I think. Put her and the other two back in the coop - (Playhouse with 2"x2" and 1/2" x 1/2" fencing). Started looking for the BR and finally found her hiding in the Virgina Creeper at the back of the run by the compost bins. She was even more traumatized than the BO. She also had two injuries - a couple of gashes on the back and a lot of torn skin on the breast just in front of the wing. Neither bird was bleeding much .

    Spent the morning cleaning up the birds. The Vet I would usually think to call was on vacation or just taking a couple of days off. So most of the 'first aid' was from ideas I'd seen here on BYC. Cleaned out the feathers from the wounds and flushed with some saline solution. By late after noon the birds had calmed down and almost acted normal.

    My wife and I do a lot of wildlife transport for the Colorado DOW. Mostly picking up injured birds and small animals and taking them to a vet or a rehabilitator. Since the vet was not in, we contacted Donna one of the rehab people for some advice. She handles a lot of raptors. We often end up babysitting things like Great Horned Owls and hawks some evenings after picking them up from the vet until she or her husband can pick them up. Anyway, she said we had done about the same as she would have, but instead of the Neosporin she suggested that we get some Scheriners Herbal Solution.

    We picked some up at a tack shop - $15 for a 16oz bottle. The solution is mostly used on horses. Donna said to apply it to the injuries twice a day. The stuff works! Buffy the BO has almost healed. Rachel the BR is doing well, her injuries were much larger in extent. The first time we applied it one of them scratched my arm good. When I finished with her I rinsed off the scratch good and sprayed the scratch - only did it once and to day it is all but healed.

    As for the Fox... We saw it in a drive way a couple of houses down the street the next evening. Looks to be a young one - guess it just hasn't learned to kill yet.

  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    the problem with animal bites/wounds is infection and you are VERY lucky if the birds got through this without needing antibiotics ! glad to hear all went well
  3. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    I would beware. He will probably come back for another try.
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I second that Schmoo!
    You never pay attention to predators until you get birds...
    Even I have a ton and I'm in a Boston suburb!
    I have Coyotes, Red Foxes, Raccoons, Oppossums, Skunks, Red tailed Hawks, a Great Grey Owl, a Merlin, Garter Snakes, all wanting a free chicken dinner.
    I only free range when I can be out to watch them.
    That remedy sounds like it's a great thing to have in the medical kit.
    oh, and Welcome!

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