Emergency....chicken feathers and skin pulled apart......

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by donnap1967, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I went out to lock up my chickens tonight I found blood in the coop. One of my chickens has been picked to shreds on her left side near her hind end. There is a big chunk missing and skin hanging.

    I think the other chickens must have attacked her and just kept going at it. I brought her in and rinsed the area under warm water to see the damage and its not good.

    She is also continuing to do further damage to herself! I cant imagine why she is picking herself apart even worse.

    I do not live in an area with access to an avian or chicken vet and I do not have access to antibiotics.

    What do I do to make her stop pecking herself? Do I need to cull? [​IMG]
     
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    If you have any Betadine in your medicine cabinet you can wash and clean the wound with that and then apply Neosporin to the wound. Keep her isolated from the rest till she heals. I also spray with Furall, a yellow spray on antibacterial that you can buy at the feed shop - it promotes drying and healing and helps prevent flys from getting on wound and keeps others from pecking at wound.
     
  3. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I patted her dry with a spare towel and put her in a laundry basket for now until my daughter brings home a box. I put her in my spare bathroom in the dark for now to settle down. I just checked her and she seems to be quiet for now.

    I ran to to drug store before I got a reply to find some supplies. I was thinking of betadine but I didnt want to irritate the wound too much and have it start bleeding heavily again. I found an antibacterial spray for emergency situations where water isnt available....so it doesnt need to be rinsed off. I also bought some gauze pads and vet-wrap type stuff.

    I know its probably better for it to get air and dry but she was pecking at it and making it worse. I am hoping my daughter will be able to help me wrap it when she gets home. Maybe I could keep it covered for a day or two and she'll leave it alone.

    Just a couple weeks ago another of my hens had a similar problem but not nearly as severe. In the same area even. Why is this happening? Most of my hens are standard size, I have one silky hen and one silky roo. Is my silky roo doing this?
     
  4. NRacine

    NRacine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, poor baby! I was wondering if you can put an Elizabethan collar on a chicken. You know, the lamp shade things to keep dogs from licking wounds? It might inhibit feeding, though. Just an idea. How scary for you, I wish you luck.
     
  5. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    If they've starting pecking at one another it can quickly lead to cannibalism which is what's happening here. They will literally eat one another alive. Many thoughts as to what causes it - top of list are:

    Protein deficiency
    Boredom
    Too closely confined.

    How many chickens in how large a coop and how large a run? Do they get to free range? In my experience, and just about any one else who free ranges, cannibalism doesn't occur. But free ranging is not always an option so others have tied cabbages to dangle in air for them to peck at, thrown straw or hay on ground for them to scratch through. I also throw their food on the ground for them to scratch and peck at. You can try adding Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) to their diet. The seeds are whole, in the shell and a great source of protein as well as scattered on the ground gives them something to hunt for and peck at.
     
  6. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are 8 chickens in the coop currently...the coop size I cant remember exactly at the moment but ten used to be in there and there wasn't a problem however it was spring and summer and they were able to free range then.

    The run is a good size but could be a little bigger. There is hay on the ground for them. The run is the best I can do right now because of all the melting snow the whole yard is a mess of "suck your shoe right off" mud. [​IMG]

    I give them scratch to keep them busy in the mornings and usually a treat like bananas or some such in the afternoon when I get home. They are all on Purina Layer feed.

    Should I let them free range even though the mud is bad? Is it most likely the rooster starting the problem or could it be just about anyone>?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    If they are used to free ranging but have been "cooped up" most of the winter, they are probably going a little stir crazy. If you have been letting them free range I would still let them out. The mud won't bother them. I've seen mine run around in snow and slush and boggy mud. It's probably NOT the rooster doing it. It's normally another hen.
     
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    If they were free ranging and you have the inside all the time now...that could be the problem indeed.

    Let them out. My girls go out everyday regardless of the weather. If it is below freezing, I wait until lunchtime to let them out in the afternoon sun but they were out in the snow, rain, whatever. They put themselves up when it gets too cold, I just leave their door open and they go inside where the heat lamp is, if it is too cold for them.
     
  9. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I let them all out today to free range and they seemed pretty happy about it. I even brought my poor injured Wyandotte, Gabby, out for a while to stretch her legs in a less muddy area. She's all bandaged up so the wound stays clean.

    I am exhausted. I emptied the old hay from the run and put down fresh hay. I emptied all the shavings out of the coop and put in clean shavings. I removed a low roost that some of them were becoming used to using. I had it in there for the silkies but they were all starting to crowd on it and I think they were fighting over space on it.

    Gabby is back inside in a box now until my daughter gets home and I can have her help me redress the wound. I am wondering if I need to try to clean it or just reapply the antibiotic ointment and put a clean dressing back on. I wish I had antibiotic to give her her orally.

    Her appetite is good...she's eating and drinking. She pecked about outside and she even went into the coop when I brought her outside and layed an egg.

    Another thing I am wondering is if it is even possible for this to even heal. The skin was gone so there was nothing to even try to suture. It's just an open hole. [​IMG]

    Say a prayer for me....I sure hope she can recover.
     
  10. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2008
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