Gosling with neck skin pulled off


8 Years
May 16, 2011
I just covered up the goslings for the night, and upon doing so, discovered that one has part of the back of its neck skin missing. It doesn't look like any other part has been punctured and there is no blood anywhere on it. It is a clear skinning. My guess is that either the neighbour's dog, a raven, or a fox ripped it through their wire enclosure. It just so happens that today is the only day I couldn't tend them as I usually do, by being out next to them all day except for meals, while I'm putting in a huge garden. Today I had some physical therapy and had to stay inside and rest, so I did. Sigh.

It is an emden gosling

4-5 weeks old

The wound is a chunk of skin missing that is about an inch along the length of the back of the neck, just below the head, and it looks like the shape of what would be expected if a mouth or a large beak grabbed and pulled (a nearly circular piece off) while the gosling was pulling the other way.

Behaviour is completely normal: energetic, cheeping, running, eating and drinking with delight, eyes bright, no symptoms of anything else.

The goslings are eating on pasture, no feed at all, and growing perfectly since we took the grain away two weeks ago.

I haven't touched the wound because it is so clean, and I will need my partner's help (he's home in an hour).

Can this bird be helped, or is this a done deal? I once had a rescued wild rabbit with the same situation (inflicted by my cat), only the rabbit was skinned on one whole side of its body. My mother tried to keep it alive, but it didn't live. Would skin grow over that spot? The rabbit may have had invisible injuries, and the gosling could have, too, of course.

Since the other goslings are not bothering the wound now, I'm thinking that covering it up introduces greater potential for infection, whereas with it uncovered, it is less likely to infect. We had a surgical consultation with the head of surgery last year when our son nearly cut off his little toe, and he said that it is best to keep it uncovered if it isn't weeping/bleeding, and also to keep it clean, of course. So in this case, I'm thinking of rinsing it a few times each day and making sure it is dry, but leaving it alone otherwise. It is out of range of getting dunked when the gosling cleans its face.

Any thoughts?
Hi there,
One of our goslings got injured by over attentive dog. Nibbled on the chest with some puncture wounds and a large area of open skin. I used what I had in the cupboard at the time, which I have also used on me and my dogs. Eqyss microtek gel. It soothed the area, the redness went down over a few days and the area is dry with scabs now. Gosling did not seem bothered by it. I guess clean and dry is as good as anything but it might have a bald area where feathers might not grow. Not sure- hopefully someone who knows more about that will be able to help.
This just happened to me! Sort of - it was a full grown hen. But the description of your wound is similar - my hen had a big patch of skin at the back of her neck just pulled clean off.

I brought mine inside because it was a pretty crazy wound (it was about 2 inches long and an inch wide). In our case I bandaged it for about a week, irrigating it with iodine solution and kept the hen isolated in the house. She's started to regrow new skin and there are some areas that went necrotic on me but when I took the bandage off, they started to dry out and crust over and they will probably fall off soon too.

I'd say your instinct is correct with not keeping it covered, because I think we kept our hen's wound covered too long. I would say perhaps isolate the chick though I don't know enough to say if that would be necessary. I isolated my hen because I knew that the other hens would peck at the wound and I couldn't cover it up with blukote or a jacket or anything while it was still open and raw. That may or may not be necessary with a gosling.

Especially since it's eating and acting normal, I would say this is definitely NOT a done deal.
Okay, that's interesting about the hen's neck.

I had a closer look, and the wound has two points just at the edge of each side of the wound, like a very, very open human eye, so it must have been a raven, or an eagle, or a hawk, etc....

We left it to dry, and it has. The gosling is still active, but it's neck skin is tight now, so it can't reach its back to scratch itself. I spent some time scratching its back, and it sat down and seemed very pleased to accept this from me, then jumped up to eat some more grass. I have to keep the water level high on their waterer so that it can dunk its face; the neck is too tight to let it dunk normally.

The wound seems to be healing rapidly, though it is gruesome. It's been 24 hours now, so the usual critical period has passed without incident, which is very encouraging!

I agree, too: this goose is not done.

littlenell1, these goslings seem to be pretty tough little beings. I wouldn't expect many birds to survive puncture wounds.

Thanks for your replies!
Yeah my dog decided to get really curious and carry her around the yard. Didn't really try purposefully to hurt her, but somehow the skin got stripped off her neck and balled up at one side. That's what mostly went necrotic, it's kinda gross.

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