Fly Strike Picture of Wound Progression of Healing

Chickery Chick

6 Years
Jul 27, 2013
July, found Hen crawling with maggots in a hole under her vent the size of racket ball.
Soaked her in warm epsom salt 20 min intervals until no maggots were seen.
Isolated her from other chickens in the house where no flies could lay more eggs on her.
Picture below Day 1 after soaking and drying her off.

We put triple antibiotic cream(no pain relieve variety because not good for open wounds) but then after about a week we were advised by a horse fancier to use Vetercyn, which they gave me a small spray bottle of $30, and sprayed her daily with Vetricyn which was an amazing product that I am now a believer in. We also started her on antibiotics after day 1. And trimmed off as much of the black area around the edge as possible, but did not get all of it.

Here is the scab that pealed off about 3 weeks later. Sorry I know this is grose, but I did not realize the whole time it was a scab I was spraying and keeping clean and supple (which was good). I had no idea a chicken would scab over this big of an area and just simple peel it off.

Below is August photo, the day after the scab came. Note the stitches that our Vet put in. This was not necessary. The Vet actually cut this hole on her trying to make a drain hole but then realized that was not a good idea and stitched her back up. Don't do this! Just use a large syringe and clean needle and poke in swollen abdomen and suck fluids out.

And finally September photo, day or two after removing stitches. She has been outside for nearly a month and with her flock now.

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Just an update:
My hen is doing very well and it is now almost November. She did have water belly or acities and we drained her the following months ourselves with large syringe and sucked it out. Her abdomen was so full it looked as if it were going to explode. Prior to draining, she could barely walk or make it to the coup. The fluids were always clear or slightly brown, not yellow or infectious looking, so no egg peritonitis, which we had feared. She has not needed to be drained for about a month now. We suspect the heat and/or stress from the wound caused her fluid, but not sure. She must be part cat with 9 lives. It may come back, but we don't know that, but for now she is still with us, thanks to this site and all the help.
the regeneration and healing abilities of chickens is incredible. i hear about it on this site every so often, but ive also seen it firsthand with my chicken who survived a raccoon attack 7 weeks ago. pretty sure i could see her neck bones in her neck wound, and now the scab is half fallen off with beautiful healthy pink skin where the wound was. fly strike sounds and looks disgusting, but i think to be a good chicken caretaker you have to get over the gross factor, lol.

i had a chicken about a year ago that had something along the lines of egg peritonitis: very swollen abdomen, eggs that went from normal to misshapen to none at all. eventually put her down but i read about relieving the pain from her distended body by syringing out some of the built-up fluid. i was afraid to do it at the time. what did you use to drain your hen? what kind of syring i mean and where did you get it? did you disinfect the puncture site at all before you stuck the needle?
I got the syringes and needles from my vet, but you can order needles and syringes on-line. I know Lambert Vet Supply sales them at a reasonable cost but you have to get a whole box, so probably best to just get them at your Vet. You may find them at your local TS or Feed Store too. Tell your vet what you are doing so they can give you larger needles, not longer, just a bit bigger of hole size than the normal puppy shot needle size so the fluids come out easier and faster. I think #20(blue) is normal shot size for administering vaccinations for pets and will still work if that is all you have but not as well. The needles are are color coded for size, so you'll want the next sizes bigger pink and green I think, and ask for 10 of each, then you can see which one you like better. I think they ran around $0.35 cents each. Then just ask for a 20 cc or larger up to 60 will work syringe. I liked the 60. I never got it clear full but it gave me room to work with. I never reused the same needle after a draining session(meaning several punctures for the occasion). I then threw the needle away after I felt I drained enough that day, but save the syringe for next time. I did wash it out with super hot water. Then next time to drain hen, put new needle on the end. I did not sterilize the area before the injection(s). I did it at night after she was sitting up her roost and with a flashlight.
thanks for the info! it's REALLY stupid but i'm afraid to go to my vet because the last time i went to put our first chicken down (the one with the reproductive issue) he convinced me to spend $150 on sending a biopsy to CA...i changed my mind at the last minute but i don't trust him. hes the only ony in the area who will see a chicken without costing an arm and a leg before i even get in the door. still he seems too interested in getting me to spend money, you know?

anyway if i come across that type of scenario again i may go back to him to see if he'll give me the supplies i need but i'm sure hell want to see the hen first...cha-ching! fair enough but again i dont trust bf's mother is a nurse...maybe she comes across something like that, lol

can you imagine? having flies lay their eggs in you and having them grow under your skin while it festers and finally splits open? poor chickens AAAH! lol
I did not take my chicken to the Vet's for the fly-strike. I just happen to have antibiotics, Epsom salt and all I needed on hand(see last paragraph). I had Gentocin, left over from a puppy with a hernia repair that did not need all the meds prescription and it has a fairly long shelf life, so I lucked out. I looked it up here if safe for chickens and dosage. On the wound, I found all the help I needed here. I did take her in about 3 weeks later for more antibiotics because she seemed to be taking a turn for the worse at that time and could hardly walk, that's when the Vet made an incision then oops, stitched it back up, but I watched and learned as the Vet 1st started out by retracting fluids via needle/syringe I realized then, with all the fluids coming out, that she had been bloated with acities/water belly. I took matters into my own hands after that and removed the fluids myself after that. The Vet prescribed penicillin injections in the breast for the 2nd round of antibiotics for 3 days. The hen bounced right back in 24 hrs and has been doing great sense.

I don't think she split open from the actites/water belly, I think poop accumulated on the area and flies got infested in it. The flies were at an all time worse this year. She actually was acting normal and was perched up on her roost when I found the fly-strike so she couldn't have been too bloated. If there were that much pressure, to split her, I'd think her other organs and lungs would have failed first from too much pressure. Then educated on the signs and symptoms, I noticed at the same time a BR hen gasping for air with labored breathing and comb turning bluish. I felt her abdomen and sure enough she was all boated too. I drained her then too, and lots of clear fluids came out. She too is now running around and doing well. I think the extreme heat set this off, because now with the cool down the water accumulation in their bellies has diminished. If next summer is like this past one, blasting hot (over 100 weeks on end & consecutive months over 95) I will install an AC for the chicken shed.

I believe you can get your needles and syringes from Tractor Supply. Possibly even penicillion. If not found in your state, go on-line and get them. Here is a good site that has helpful links to avoid seeing greedy Vets and still get your meds. I, like the other writer on this thread, breed dogs(2 decades) and know a lot of tricks on how to avoid Vet visits. I always keep on hand-so order now, cephalexin, Amoxicillion, and Metradonazole all purchased as fish products. Amoxicillion is labeled as Fish mox, Cephalexin is listed as Fish flex, and MetradonaZOLE is listed as Fish Forte - Fish Zole. These products are exactly the same color and dosage that your vet will give you. However with recent study, rather than fighting bacteria infections(for dogs anyway, could be same for chickens too?) rather than Metradonazole, they have found that the wormer Safeguard, also found at Tractor Supply is much more effective and safe, active ingredients, FenbendaZOLE.

Most importantly, if you want to avoid Vet visits, do a mountain of reading on illness and meds to treat. I have found most of my information via other breeders, not Vets. I have also found better and cheaper remedies than what the Vets will prescribe. The same goes for chickens. People here have owned, bred, and treated chickens with many many illnesses without Vets, in most cases. They completely understand the Vet situation and are more than willing to help you work around that if all possible. But don't get caught with your pants down. Because many of these meds can take up to a week to arrive after you've ordered, stores can be out or closed, weekends/holidays and 3am panics and living in rural Nowhere can be a challenge for getting meds when you need them the most. There are other in-home products that you can dig for in a panic, but there usually less effective but may still get the job done, depending on the severity and condition.
Most people who end up at the Vets that otherwise did not need to go(other than serious accidents and surgery) are people who have not prepared themselves, or took time to read things. In the end, they pay for it....literally.

I recommend starting a care package. Hydrogen peroxide(for wounds and inducing vomiting for dogs anyway, not sure about chickens), Triple antibiotic cream(no pain relief kind) Fish mox 250mg bottle, Fish Flex 250mg bottle, Safeguard liquid wormer, an ample supply of needles and various sizes of syringes(1cc to 35cc), tacky wrap for wound wrapping, sharp new razor blades, Adams flea spray, 7-dust, petroleum jelly, super glue, Epsom salt, Fish zole? Probiotics(because most types of meds are going to kill the good bacteria and need followed up with this), small sharp scissors rounded at the end, box of newspapers, heat lamp(s), Duramycin-10 and Vitamins and Electrolytes Solution (both found at TC for under $10 and long shelf life). Also on meds above, just because the expiration date is up, does not mean you need to throw out. Most meds last way long after the expiration date, just make sure you store in proper conditions. Refrigerated products, obviously will have a much shorter life and exp date should be more noted on those. I'm sure I'm forgetting some items but these are what comes to mind right now. I also keep Lactated Ringer's Injection (Generic) contain concentrations of electrolytes that are intended for intravenous infusion for replacement of extracellular losses of fluids and electrolytes as needed by the animal. Lactated Ringers + 5% Dextrose also gives added calories and helps restore the animal's blood… on hand and inject under the skin for hydration. I'm not sure if this can be used on chickens.
Here is an excellent site to get you started on your self-education on drugs
Here is a site to get you started on symptoms Health.html
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My hen's fly strike wound looks like your first picture. So glad you posted the pics because I was scouring the net wondering if the yellowish scab was actually a fly pupa but couldn't find any literature. Thanks to advice given here, I first soaked the affected area then used screw worm spray to kill any worms/maggots. Strangely, I didn't find a singe maggot on the wound or floating in the bath water. I left the screw worm spray on for several hours then washed the area and used Vetericyn wound care spray twice daily. It's drying and closing slowly but still looks like your first pic. She's doing much better but not drinking or eating much. That's my only worry now. Thank you for posting this...Wanted to add, it's only been a week for my hen, so guess I have a couple more weeks before the scab falls off.
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I'd start her on Duramycin-10 and Vitamins and Electrolytes Solution (both found at TC for under $10 and long shelf life).
My hen too got finicky. I found that she liked fresh soft bread crumbs and small little dog kibble.
thanks again for all that info! I do have the majority of that stuff on hand; not all in one place or in a kit per se, but putting one together could be helpful so i dont have to run around the house for everything, lol. ill have to order the drugs online.

i didnt know tsc sold syringes or needles, i'll have to ask about it next time we go. not sure how comfortable i am giving injections for anything yet, but we'll see. should probably get over it before im faced with the decision under pressure!

for the raccoon attacked hen ive been tube feeding her kaytee's exact baby bird food for the past two weeks and she has done pretty well so far.

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