Found pullet under coop during snow storm w/bloody comb & swollen eyes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by patman75, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    This morning at 6:30am when I went out to water my chickens I was missing a chicken. We had just gotten a fresh 4 inches of snow, it was about 23 degrees out with a wind chill of 14. There was no sign of any other animal track in the snow. I grabbed a light and looked under the coop and there was my Speckled Sussex pullet (who just started laying), poor little thing was shivering and bleeding from her comb. After getting her out of run I brought her inside and noticed both of her eyes were swollen, her comb was also frozen and breathing was labored.

    After some a while of warming in up I was able to get her to drink and she ate some yogurt. Her breathing improved. I put the food and water in front of her and got her to drink on her own. I had to leave for work (was VERY late now) hoping she would be alive when I got home.

    When I got home her right eye was open but the left was still shut. She was drinking, eating and grooming herself. She even laid her 4th egg.

    Here is what I need help with, I plan to clean up her wound tomorrow morning and wondering what I can do if anything about her eye?

    How this all happened?? My theory is some time after 3:00am when my light on a timer turned out she was picked on by one of the older hens and she ran out of the coop to get away. I found a single pair of chicken tracks in the fresh snow going under the coop so it had to happen after 3:00am, I think she would have been dead if she was out there all night. After she ran under the coop she fell asleep because it was pitch dark outside. Not sure why she got picked on to the point of blood being drawn, she is the omega of the flock but they have been living together from the last 2 months and the pecking has gotten much less lately to the point where she eats with them when I feed them treats. It is possible the roo drew blood during mating and then the other hens just kept pecking. Either way I a little ticked at my flock for being so mean. If her other eye never heals I can’t see how I can put her back with the 4 older girls without her being pecked and this happening again. I would hate to cull her.

    Any help and advice is much appreciated. Thanks all!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010

  2. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    Poor little girl. So glad you found her.

    For her eye use contact lens saline solution. Wet a cotton ball and hold it on her eye to loosen any 'gunk' and then wipe gently downward. The solution contains germ killers and might fizz a little like peroxide but that's OK. After you clean up her comb coat it with blue kote so the chickens won't pick at it anymore.

    Are you sure the others caused the damage? Is there possibly a predator out there?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I'm glad to hear she's alive.
  4. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    Well some good news. She is still alive and both eyes are open. The left one is a little bloodshot but it appears she can see out of it and is focusing on things pretty well.

    I have cleaned up a good chuck of the dried blood and will finish in a bit after a give her some time to rest before we finish up, she seemed a bit stressed. The back half of her comb is gone. Her comb was just getting longer and more red and now it is gone.

    Still mad at my other chickens. [​IMG]

    As for predator, I really dont think so. Other than her comb she is perfectly fine, no missing feathers, no limp, nothing. Plus no tracks in the fresh snow and the coop is fort knox. Her tracks (only tracks) in the run in the fresh snow confirmed she left the coop sometime between 3-6:30 and then stayed under the coop. I have seen my older chickens go after the comb on my BO when I had her away from the flock for a few days to help her with passing some soft shell eggs.

    For now she will inside I see a warmup in the forecast by the end of next week I hope to get her back into the coop with the rest then. Thanks for the info on blue kote.

    I will NEVER EVER try to introduce new birds to the flock. It has been one big pain in the butt. Next year I will get more chickens and then just freezer camp the first flock once the new chickens start laying. No dealing with introducing new chickens.
  5. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    Oopps I just saw that I did not post correctly in the subform. It was my first chicken emergency. Sorry.

    Speckled sussex is going fine now. Not looking forward to putting her back with the other.

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