fly blown chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by neridaoshea, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. neridaoshea

    neridaoshea New Egg

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    May 21, 2012
    Hi everyone,
    A few days ago I discovered to my horror that one of my chickens had maggots crawling under her skin on her belly. Nothing could be seen from the back and she seemed to be her usual self until that night so I had totally missed it. Instead of going back to her pen she snuck inside the house. Thank goodness or I may not have noticed till the next morning which would have been too late I think.

    I'm posting this because she is doing really well now and I wanted to pass on the steps I took using this website and others in the hope of saving another chook.

    My first reaction was this was the end of poor Twisty. She was dripping blood and her belly was alive with maggots about 1cm long under her skin. I put on rubber gloves and soaked her in the laundry trough in salty warm water. I cut off all the feathers in the area to make it as clean as possible and emptied the water at least 3-4 times. Each time the fresh salt water made more maggots drop out one by one but not completely. I googled a bit and read that someone used pyrethrum- I used some of that but watered it down. This sent the last of the maggots running. I then flushed the whole area gently with clean water and then pat dried Twisty. This whole process took about an hour.
    Finally I dried her with a hair dryer on low heat making sure it didn't burn her. After that she seemed to go into shock and I was very worried. Fortunately I had some left over Cephalexin antibiotic that was still good and gave her a dose of that. The next day it really wasn't looking good but with hand feeding of boiled egg mush using a syringe and some asprin in her water for the pain, (also hand fed) she is looking much better today (2 days later) She hasn't moved but she has gone from eyes barely oped to quite bright eyed and she just tried to grab a fly which had flown into her box.

    This happened because Twisty ( as much as I love her) is nasty to the other chickens and so they wont let her sleep up on the perch with them. She was sleeping on a chair in the pen and therefore, her poo wasn't dropping down. I think the maggots may have been in the poo and they then crawled onto her belly. As I said, everything looked fine from the back so I had no idea. She always had a pooey bum so I didn't take any notice.
    Nerida
     
  2. [​IMG]I hope that never happens to me!!!(my dad loses cookies at the sight of maggots)
     
  3. shelbyanthony

    shelbyanthony Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2013
    jackson tn
    Oh my poor little hen. this concerns me though i have a hen that will not let some of my other pullets sleep on the roost..so they are forced to sleep in the nesting box or on the ground. someone told me my dominant pullet will start being more tolerent of the others with time its been a couple weeks. I think that i need to stop them from sleeping on the ground though
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    As the weather gets warmer we must be careful about wounds on birds. Flies can find a wound and lay eggs. They hatch very quickly. Much like neridaoshea, I used the same method except with a Prozap Screw Worm aerosol on the wound. I once found a wound maggots were invading below the vent of one of my hens. The aerosol quickly killed the maggots as they came falling out of the wound. I cleaned the wound with Betadine ,dried it and kept it clean. The Bird received Amoxicillin caps for 5 days. Cephalexin is a very good antibiotic to keep around in addition to Amoxicillin. Both will remain in my cabinet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. shelbyanthony

    shelbyanthony Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2013
    jackson tn
    Thanks for the info...how much amoxicilin or cephlaxin can you give a chicken?
     
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    These maggots almost surely entered through a wound in her skin. Just roosting overnight near poop should not cause this...the maggots in the poop would have been happy to stay there. Be vigilant about checking wounds to avoid this problem.
     
  7. Yoda

    Yoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maggots only eat dead tissue so there was something else wrong with twisty other then her sitting on poop. I am assuming the antibiotic cured what the problem was and I am happy she is alright.
     
  8. neridaoshea

    neridaoshea New Egg

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    May 21, 2012
    I can assure you that maggots do not just eat dead tissue. They were under her skin eating her alive. The same thing happens to sheep sometimes. It was absolutely dreadful. Perhaps different varieties of flies from different parts of the world produce different maggots- in Australia, these maggots eat living flesh. I have read from others who keep chickens in Australia that this fly will lay eggs in the poo when it is a bit runny on the chicken's skin and then the maggots will burrow into the chicken's flesh when they hatch. It is particularly bad at this time of year.

    Shelbyanthony- I've been giving her 5mls about 4 times a day and it is doing the trick. It's really just to make sure that an infection doesn't take hold..she didn't have an infection before this incident. When I saw the mess she was in I knew she would need antibiotics as a prevention rather than cure.

    good news. She has started nibbling on tomato and drinking water without assistance. She is definitely a tough chicken. I adopted her from a family who didn't want her anymore because she had stopped laying eggs. She was brought up by their little children and got her name because she has a twisted neck. I'm not sure if the kids did it or she was born like that but she is one of the best chickens we have had. (except for the aggression). she is full of character.
     

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