Fox Attack - Sole Survivor - shock and possible injury advice needed


Jul 25, 2016
Hi there,

A fox (or badger) got into my garden on Saturday night and managed to get the door off the coop and killed four out of five of my pet chickens. We are devastated. The survivor was in serious shock yesterday, so we put her in a very big rabbit hutch in the utility room, with the hutch door open so she can come out if she wants. She lived as an indoor chicken for a while before she came to us so i thought it may feel safer inside for her. Yesterday she was very badly shaken, and not moving much, she was drinking water and ate a very small amount of treat food. She came round from the shock a bit in the afternoon when i found her a snail to eat but then i noticed her leg. She is reluctant to put much weight on one of her legs, and makes a little baby whimper noise when she does. I had a look, and the skin isn't broken anywhere, but she does have some small clump of feathers pulled out, they are mainly on the other side of her body though. I can only think she has hurt it getting away.
When you feel around the actual leg joint, she seems ok, but if you touch her foot or ankle she reacts. I will try and soak all the muck off her feet and take a photo. It is only slightly swollen, and looking at pictures, it doesn't seem as swollen as most chickens who have broken a bone, is there a chance it could be a sprain? Is there any way to tell that yourself? I hoped she would seem better this morning but if anything she is moving around less now than after she polished off her snail yesterday.

She is drinking plenty of water, but she had one of her favorite treats for dinner, sausage cut up into tiny bits. She ate a bit but kept looking around expecting the other four to appear and gobble it up, after she had eaten 4 or 5 little bits, she lost interest and lay back down. She is a four year old ex-battery chicken, so she has never been on her own in her whole life, i am worried that loneliness is a factor for her. I am checking on her on a regular basis and sitting with her but she is still looking around for the others.

Thank you so much in advance!!!
Hello there....
Personally I can't help on the sprain front but I am reading right now that from a reputable poultry mag that dissolving a small amount of sugar and a pinch of salt in warm water and gently dipping its beak into it should help to replenish it sugar reserves.
For the sprain/break, i'd personally recommend taking the poor thing to the vets. ...or....see what everyone else says!!! :)
Hope it lives!
The loneliness factor will only really kick in if you leave her for long. If she has your company, she will find some comfort in the fact that you are there.
Thank you, i have just tried the water solution and i think she did take a little bit of it. Sorry i should have said, i am going to take her to the vet when i get paid on wednesday but i am fairly tight on money so i want to do everything i can first.

The lady that we got her from said she used to love watching the washing machine, so i have turned it on in the hopes the sound will be familiar, but i think i will end up sat with her for most of today!

Thank you!
I'm sorry. I had chicks hatch this spring and out of 57 four lived through our last attack. And 7 of 23 hens went missing. Cayenne pepper oil helps if you spray it around the coop. Also if you know someone who has a large male dog allow it to mark on the posts to convey that they ate his food and they better not let him catch them returning. Allow him to do so until signs of pest or predator are gone. They have found easy food. They will come back!! The cayenne should help but I let my neighbors dog do his thing and the only problem I've had lately are hawks circling around. Your latter chickens and your Gloria Gaynor-(the singer of I will survive lol) will not be happy with the dog thing at first, but they will get used to nobody coming around anymore. But mine are too big to carry off. If it was a badger though they don't fear much and are very aggressive. You may have to take drastic measures for that one. But it's doubtful. They normally stick to the little stuff unless they're just starving. Which is not likely this time of year. Probably a mated pair of foxes or a bobcat.
UPDATE: We have an egg!!! The shell is fairly badly formed on one end but i think this is a good sign!

Thank you jroberts, i think the nickname Gloria may stick!! My mum has a big male dog so i will get him down to mark the territory, i am keeping her inside for the next day or two and then we are going to have to be super vigilant.
She is still alive, our little determined survivor! I am now 100% confident she hasn't broken anything, and it does not seem like she has any internal trauma. I am becoming worried she has had a stroke, but am struggling to find a comprehensive list of symptoms.

If this helps:

1) What type of bird , age and weight.
Ex-battery - 4 years old

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Sat in a hay bed, she will stand up but only for her very favorite treats. She is able to stand, but seems uncertain in her balance, and prefers not to have to bend down to drink from the water bowl. She is drinking from a spoon/drips from a water bottle.

3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
No, she has a very small bald patch on the same side as her bad leg, it looks as though her feathers have been yanked out. I suspect the fox didn't bite her, but she could have caught herself getting away. She is over the shock now, but is just feel really sorry for herself.

4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
Fox attack

5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Yes, she will only eat things she really likes, but she will eat a lot of them (just not her corn)

6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
35mg of aspirin to help reduce any swelling and relieve the pain, however she is still not really putting weight on her foot. Since having this she has stopped making little whimper noises when she moves but she is still very uncertain.

8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
if possible i do want to treat her entirely myself, i get paid at the end of the week so i can take her to the vet then, but after ringing the vet, i don't think i will be able to afford anything like surgery.

9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
She is currently sleeping in a big rabbit hutch, on floor level, with the hutch door open, in our shed. We are checking on her every 20-30 mins, she has lots of hay.

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