Feral chicken badly wounded, what to do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JHaller, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    Someone brought me a feral hen who was taking care of a brood of 10 chicks when she was attacked by a possum or raccoon. The chicks are all gone. I'm not sure how to help her. She was injured several days ago, so her options are limited. She is part of a flock that went wild and is living is backyards, roosting in trees about 2 miles from downtown Austin.

    A section of skin and feathers is ripped away from her chest and is dangling from her neck. She steps on it when she walks. The skin is dried I'm not sure if it's all dead or if it's salvageable. The back of her neck was also ripped and I can see flesh on her shoulder area. There are white worms eating away either infection or gangrene...I don't know how to tell which.

    She is able to walk, took a little water, seems to be staying warm enough. I have her indoors in a cage. She pooped, so I think she must have eaten a little.

    I have rinsed her wounds with saline and applied some plain neosporin, to the flesh. Where the worms are crawling, I let them be.

    How can tell if the flap of breast skin is salvageable? will some kind of scar tissue develop over the skinless flesh?

    The guy that rescued her prefers to avoid putting her down, although it may be the kindest thing to do.

    Thanks for any advice,

  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Sounds like she's in good hands. However, I would remove those maggots! They will eat her alive.
  3. karen71

    karen71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Bear, DE
    Sounds like it might be best to put her down [​IMG]

    Can chickens have stitches?

    Hopefully some of the experts start reading
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like she is a survivor. Clean out those maggots. Not sure of the best way as I can`t see her, but ya gotta get them off her. Use some sharp scissors and trim that dry skin. Apply more Neosporin as needed. Give her a draft free place to sleep and plenty food and water. She`s a survivor and will make you a good hen when she`s well. Don`t worry about the missing skin. Just smear the bare spots with Neosporin and treat her good. She will recover........Pop
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  5. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Quote:I second this completely! [​IMG] Trim the skin...it will fill in. Keep the wound clean. Keep her warm, dry, and well fed.

    Good luck and keep us posted! [​IMG]

  6. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    In my inexpert opinion, it would be best to put her down.

    That said:
    1) leave the maggots, they will only eat the dead, necrotic tissue; not the healthy tissue. Doctors are actually starting to use maggots as a treatment in humans (again).

    2) You can suture a chicken, but after this many days I don't think it would do her much, if any good. Your best bet is to figure out how much of the skin is dead (black, hard, dry) and cut it off. The remaining skin can be bandaged against her body to hopefully regain blood supply. The best way to tell healthy tissue is color. If it's pink, it's healthy. That said, if her skin's been separated from her body for more than an hour or so, it's dead, cut it off.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  7. hoosiersphynx

    hoosiersphynx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    maggots are a good thing they only eat the infected of dead tissue. I would leave them on to help the infection from setting in.
  8. EllyMae

    EllyMae Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not so sure about the maggots...my friend who is also a vet NEVER leaves maggots in a wound on ANY animal. Rabbits will die from what is called fly strike which is a maggot infestation. My other friend who is a long time farmer as well as "keeper of chickens", just advised me today to NOT let flies blow my hens puncture wound.
    Is there anyone on here that KEEPS maggots in an open wound on their chickens? I'm not arguing, just interested to hear other views.
    As a home health nurse, we would be sending a patient to the doc or ER if they had such infestation. All I can say is "EEwww"
  9. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
  10. Sallyschickens

    Sallyschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    Puget Sound Baby!
    This happened to a duck I had as a child. When you are ready to get rid of the maggots (are they good or bad, your decision) pour peroxide onto them. It was a long time ago, but I think this worked for our duck. It cant hurt.

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