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Found a chicken that looks to have been attacked

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MsTBJ, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. MsTBJ

    MsTBJ Hatching

    Nov 11, 2008
    Hi everyone - my first post though I wish it was under better circumstances. Came home this evening to find a small black and speckled hen in one of our gardens that looks to have been attacked by a dog. One eye has been severely damaged and there are feathers missing around 'her?" head. She is walking around fine though obviously struggling with the eye damage.

    Currently she is nesting under a tree in our yard. She seems secure and relaxed and I didn't want to stress her out and we don't really have a suitable cage for her to stay in for the night. Does anyone have any ideas?

    We have two chickens who free range and I'm sure she's going to be feeling pretty rubbish if she survives the night how is she going to cope if we try to introduce her to our girls? How long should I keep her away from them? So many questions I am a bit flumoxed about what is the right thing to do. Any advice is warmly welcomed.

    It's funny - we are new to chickens (about 4 or 5 months now) and it has been wonderful and I have never seen another chicken in our neighbourhood and now a sick one turns up on the door step!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008

  2. Chicky85254

    Chicky85254 Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    AZ & CA
    Could you maybe put her in a large cardboard box inside the house or garage with some food and water available? I'd think an already injured bird outside overnight would be unlikely to survive the night.
  3. MsTBJ

    MsTBJ Hatching

    Nov 11, 2008

    Yes, she won't be out all night. I just wanted her to settle after the shock of being found and having three rowdy children all wanting to know if she is alright as we found her just on dark and no doubt she was feeling lost. We all know how chickens feel when they can't find their usual roost.

    It's a balmy night and very still (lovely Queensland weather) in a fully fenced yar while we set up something for her in ghe garage.

    Thanks for your response I really appreciate it.

    EDIT: she is now in a box in the laundry and still in shock it seems.

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Welcome to BYC. There are a few things to remember when finding an injured bird. They shock easily..and can succomb to it. Get her in a dark, warm place. Clean the wound with saline wash. She will probably need electrolytes in her water..to help her recover fropm the shock. Make sure she is eating...maybe even entice her with some hard boiled egg. Keep her away from your flock for at LEAST 30 days. You dont want to introduce some sort of illness to your existing flock. When the time comes to integrate her...put her in a small dog crate, or wire cage where they chickens can see each other, but not attack. She will need to be in this cage for at least a week...to let them get to know each oth. When you finally decide to let them together, keep a watchfull eye. There will be some pecking just to let her know she is not the dominate one. ( unless she wins) LOL I hope she recovers well...keep us posted.
  5. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    [​IMG] I sure hope your new found feathered friend recovers. It sounds like she will have a good chance at it with someone who cares enough to help her. I would get some powdered antibiotics to add to her water to help prevent onset of major infection from that eye wound. Best of luck!!! Go have a cuppa and a biscuit and just relax a bit now, you have done a good thing, you deserve it [​IMG]
  6. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Now that she has had the night to rest, I would suggest carefully examining her. She could have puncture wounds, rips or tears that are under feathers and not easily visible. If you find any wounds, clean with Betadine and apply Neosporin. Let her have lots of quiet rest - keep the kiddies away since you don't know if this chicken is used to being around people and being handled or not - you don't want to further stress her.

    Edited to say: Welcome to BYC - home of lots of helpful advice from Chicken Loving Folks.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  7. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Do you have hawks in your area? Dogs don't usually go for the head, they like to grab the back of the chicken as it runs away. Hawks (at least the ones around here) will talon the back and go after the head. You need to examine your bird thoroughly (neck/back/chest/wings) for other wounds. All of the supportive care recommended by others is great- warmth, quiet, dark, yummy food, electrolytes, syringe liquids ect. A vet can provide more appropriate pain meds and antibiotics than what you can find OTC. If she survived the attack and the initial shock, she likely will survive as long as she does not get dehydrated or infected. Do not introduce her until her wounds are healed, as she may be a target to the other chickens- they like to peck wounds. She may have even been pecked at by the other chickens if she was ill from another reason. Chickens will peck at the comb/eyes of a down bird normally. If she loses the eye- you may have trouble keeping her safe as a free ranging bird- think about rehoming her into a coop/pen home if she survives this and ends up being blind on one side.

  8. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    This is from dlunicorn - cant take credit...

    Make your own emergency electrolyte solution:
    (emergency electrolyte solution WHO):
    1 cup of water
    2 tsp. sugar
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp baking soda
    (make fresh daily)

  9. MsTBJ

    MsTBJ Hatching

    Nov 11, 2008
    Wonderful responses, thank you. The newly christened "Matilda" survived the night and slept relatively well.

    Investigations this morning show that the main damage is to her eye. She has lost a few feathers around the top of her head but no deep wounds just scratches around the comb. I washed off the dried blood with a saline solution and some betadine. The MrTBJ has been dispatched today to find some antibiotics.

    So this sweet little one-eyed bird drank and drank this morning (home made electrolytes thanks!) though I had to hold the water container and she missed a few times as she seems to have lost her depth perception with the eye issues but I sat there for 15 minutes while she drank and drank and then drank some more. I couldn't get her interested in eating anything just though she has been left some seed and will be offered some scrambled egg through out the day.

    She clucked and clucked at me when I moved a potted nasturtium next to the box and jumped up to roost on the side of the pot.


    Thanks everyone for the help:)

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  10. ChickNChicken

    ChickNChicken Hatching

    Jul 20, 2008
    Canton, Mass.
    A coincidence -- I'm a new chicken owner, posting for the first time on the list, and I found my chicken in the jaws of a hawk this afternoon. I heard a scream and ran to the backyard. Very similar to your story, except I witnessed the attack. (Well, the end of it.) I ran at the hawk for about 50 feet, with him glaring at me the whole way, and he didn't decide to let her go till I was almost within arm's reach.

    My poor girl was badly shocked and has wounds on both sides of her head. I've been giving her some hydrating fluid (I also have finches, and I have some "sick bird" formula called Thrive, described as being "Electrolytes, Minerals and Body Salts for Sick Birds." http://ladygouldianfinch.com/product_thrive.mgi)

    in a big box in a large dog kennel in the basement, elevated on a table, with a heating pad, lots of old towels, and lots of quiet. (Except I turned the radio on to NPR, on low...I thought it would be soothing... and she'll be very up-to-date with current events.)

    We live in a suburb of Boston -- not a place I would expect to see a hawk. It's kind of a cold autumn day here. The cellar is not heated, but with the heating pad I'm hoping it's warm enough for her. She's used to being in her coop outside, so it probably feels warm to her. I hope so, cause she's not allowed in the house.

    She's one of three Dominiques I have that are around six months old. They are huge. Almost the size of small turkeys. So, I am extra surprised a hawk would take them on. I let them out of their run for a couple of hours a day to free-range in our fenced-in backyard. I'm going to have to limit that, now, to when I'm outside with them. (We want to keep them free-ranging because they spend every free moment eating lawn slugs, ticks and other bugs.)

    Any ideas of what I can do for pain relief? Her wounds don't look too bad, but I imagine it still hurts quite a bit. She still seems very dazed. I've been reading posts on the subject of wound care/emergency treatment and will follow that advice. But I'm not clear about the pain issue. I'm hoping to avoid a vet because I promised my partner that if we had chickens it wouldn't cost us an arm and a leg in vet bills.

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