GRAPHIC :Chicken Attacked By Raccoon, Missing 75% of Beak and Half of Face

Trogdor707

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
3
0
7
Dear Backyard Chicken Community,

I started a flock 3 years ago and these forums have been a invaluable resource, now today I am calling on the community for any advice or wisdom. Last week I was awoken by my chickens at 3 AM. I quickly ran outside to encounter a raccoon that had broken into the enclosure. The dog ran in and started verbally fighting the cornered raccoon.

I called her back for fear of rabies and she finally listened. She did not have a mark on her luckily. I then went back inside to grab a harpoon and when I returned the raccoon was gone. On the ground was one and half year old Big Red, my most vocal chicken with her head covered in blood. When I went to pick her up, unaware if she was alive or dead, she screamed a god-awful noise and ran for her life.

I quickly captured her and brought her inside. I treated the wound as best I could and set her up in the bathroom not sure if I should kill her now to take her out of her misery. I talked to a vet and obtained tetracycline to impede infection. I have been hand feeding her pellet mash blended with warm water with a turkey baster and giving her pain medication in the form of poppy seed and aspirin tea, along with the antibiotics twice a day.

I also have been putting neosporene on the side of her face every few days, but not too often to allow the wound to stay dry. She is very happy to live inside now and is doing well, her new best friend is the dog who saved her life. She also is much friendlier and wants to cuddle in my hair on my shoulder, the pain is not incapacitating. My concern is that her left eye was punctured and is now rotting insider her head. The side of her face has scabbed over and the eye is sealed shut. I have been lightly spraying vinegar on the wound but it still has a slight odor. The wound looks good and does not appear to be seriously infected.

My plan now is to allow her to heal for two more weeks then began reconstructive procedures. Her bottom beak is currently forked and short, the central portion is missing like missing the central part of your lower jaw but still having the sides. She cannot scoop food up it just falls onto her chest. My plan is to use a synthetic self curing dental composite to fill the gap between the two segments on her lower beak. After a few days a second application of composite will be applied to reinforce the entire lower jaw structure by coating the whole surface. Hopefully at this point she will be able to scoop food.

The next course will be to remove any decayed beak parts from the top and bottom that are structurally unsound, IE like a hanging piece of nail on your hand that is barely attached to the rest of the nail, while at the same time attempting to preserve as much of the original structure as possible. As you can see in the photos the top beak is slightly crushed on one side, no attempt will be done to correct this out of fear of destabilizing the small amount of beak left. I will then take a series of detailed up close photos of the beak from a variety of angles with a mm scale ruler included in the photos.

I am currently attempting to locate a donor beak from a large chicken head off craigslist. The plan is to make small dremel cuts into the donor top and bottom beak components so that it aligns with the natural deformations in the current beak like a jigsaw puzzle, hence the purpose of the detailed photos. The next procedure will be to attach the donor top and bottom beak to the current beak structures with additional resins or composites. Hopefully then she will be able to feed on her own and can go back to being a normal chicken. Even if the beak falls off I can reattach it, online people have reattached crowns indefinitely, it won't be pretty but it won't be painful and its better than death in my opinion.

My questions:
Are does anyone have any experience with the topics I have discussed?
What course of treatment should I follow to treat her current injuries?

How much should I force her to eat per day, and should I change her diet?
Should I switch to an injectable antibiotic?
Should I try to open the shut eye with a warm washcloth?
Should I apply a caustic disinfectant such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to her wound?
Am I crazy?
Should I fabricate the whole prosthetic beak instead of attaching a donor beak?
Should I kill the chicken instead since its easier?



































 

EweSheep

Flock Mistress
14 Years
Jan 12, 2007
21,915
190
541
Land of Lincoln
If she made it this far, and you want to keep her knowingly you will have to take care of her needs a bit more than her friends, then she should be around. Only you will decide whether or not she is suffering. If she is suffering or you simply just can not give her the BEST care and commitment of hand feeding the chicken for her lifetime, then it is more merciful to have her put down.

I've had friends that went thru that raccoon attack, and I remember one of them did a fake beak, similar to dental procedures and had success. Some zoos even had them done as well. So you might ask a dentist if he can do a bit of reconstructive surgery on her. It will be very costly unless the dentist or oral surgeon would give you a break.

As long she is able to be fed by syringes and maintaining weight, then she is fine.

As her eye, being infected and oozing, better have it removed. Ask your vet if he can do it for you and it is a hit or miss and it won't hurt to try. Leaving the infected eye like it is, you will be losing your hen and she would be in terrible pain. I've seen people doing eye surgery by popping the infected eye and cut the optic nerve. If you are bold, you can do it but I have no idea if there are major blood vessels in there. You would need alot of antibotics to keep everything at bay. The sooner you can get it treated or removed, the better chances of survival.

A vet that works with aviary or university that have vet schools would be prime candidates...they are wonderful!

Do not use any alcohol or HP in her eye. Or anything with ______caine. Neoporin would work but be sure there is no ingredient with __caine.

Donor beak, no unless you have medications that would combat anti rejection of tissues. It would make it ten times worse if you attempt to do it. Chickens and humans are not the same. Is it possible to do it? Certainly but $$$$$$$$$$.
 

jllynn601

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
61
3
43
Mississippi
When I worked at a vets office and clients wanted to keep their pet alive, the vet always said the decision to keep them alive should be based On the animals quality of life. That being said, I have a one eyed cat that I ADORE and love as a child... Anyone else would have put him down since he was picked up as a stray with an ugly ugly eye infection. Do what you feel is best for your chicken. Either way, wish you the best.
 

Trogdor707

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
3
0
7
Good news her eye opened up and the globe is intact. The vinegar helped the wound look a million times better and dissolved the crust that had sealed the eye. I'm glad I never tried to force it open it healed on its own. the pupil responds and I think she can see there is still allot of swelling around the bad eye but the wound is 90% completely healed. I will post pictures latter and hopefully soon she will be able to eat on her own by scooping out of a deep dish. Temporal suffering is far better than feeling nothing hence the reason we don't euthanize ER patient she's an Earthling like you or I and deserves the opportunity to survive. I'll pull the plug when she stop loving life or even shows any indication of pain (which she does not currently).
 

Trogdor707

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
3
0
7
Good news her eye opened up and the globe is intact. The vinegar helped the wound look a million times better and dissolved the crust that had sealed the eye. I'm glad I never tried to force it open it healed on its own. the pupil responds and I think she can see there is still allot of swelling around the bad eye but the wound is 90% completely healed. I will post pictures latter and hopefully soon she will be able to eat on her own by scooping out of a deep dish. Temporal suffering is far better than feeling nothing hence the reason we don't euthanize ER patient she's an Earthling like you or I and deserves the opportunity to survive. I'll pull the plug when she stop loving life or even shows any indication of pain (which she does not currently).
 

Adela33

Hatching
5 Years
Jul 29, 2014
1
0
6
Hi,
Saw your comment while searching the internet for how to feed a chicken that's had her beak destroyed by a raccoon...it happened to one of our chickens about 3 weeks ago - a raccoon or more made their way into the coop at night, broke through the wire netting of the window and attacked. Out of 5, 2 are dead, 2 survived and 1 had her beak destroyed - we were certain she was going to die, but she somehow made it. Unfortunately, I don't have the stomach to take care of her like you did, but I've kept a close eye on her and have kept the 2 other chickens away. I just noticed however, that she just can't eat! I saw her try to get a grain in her mouth, but kept missing - all I saw was the tongue trying to catch it! It breaks my heart - I had no clue! She seemed to have gained so much strength since that day...what do I do???
 

MrsBachbach

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
2,045
352
236
Arkansas
Quote:
You can always try tube feeding her. I'm sure if you search for it here there are instructions. You will have to make a runny type of mash to get through the syringe or tube. Some feed stores do sell a mash. Or for now, you can use a syringe and some baby food would work good for food, like green peas, rice or oatmeal cereal with a little raw egg yolk for protein. Make sure she can drink, that's very important. How much of her beak is missing? Because if it's all gone, especially the lower part, I don't see how she is ever going to be able to take a drink. I always thought they used their beak to collect water in then raised their head up. Ugh. If she can't drink, it may be best to put her down. :(
 

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