Hawk Attack - Chick still alive - please advise/help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kuvasz, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Kuvasz

    Kuvasz Songster

    Jun 22, 2010
    Just went up to shut my chickens back into their chicken house and saw a hawk (huge one) fly out of my fence enclosure. My 8 week old buff brahma pullet was laying on her side. Amazingly she is not dead. It's been about an hour since the attack. She's probably about 1.5 lbs. Her wound seems to be mostly on her back, and there is blood, but not bleeding profusely. At first her breathing was loud and rattled, but now she is calm, in a box in my kitchen and I've covered her with a towel to keep her warm. She can stand and walk if something excites her, so no apparent damage to her legs, her neck, or her wings.
    She will drink a little water off my finger, and can swallow fine. Haven't offered food yet. She doesn't seem to be getting worse, which is probably a good sign? Please tell me it is. She is laying on her belly like normal, and not laying on her side, and she has no problem holding her head up.

    Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated. I can't see paying an emergency vet bill today ..... and yet I don't want her to get worse, and I certainly don't want her to suffer if she's not going to ultimately make it.

    I'm just sick over this, it was so traumatic, and I just can't stop crying and blaming myself for not going up there sooner to shut them in for the afternoon.
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    Does it look like the muscle layers are torn at all? Or just the skin? If it's just a minor skin abrasion it should heal and you could use neosporin (with no benzocaine or any thing that ends in "caine"). If it is torn open some muscle I don't know if it needs to be sewn up..that will require someone elses opinion as I don't have experience there. Keep a good eye on her and make sure she doesn't get infected. Good luck (and you may want to cover the top of the enclosure)
  3. Kuvasz

    Kuvasz Songster

    Jun 22, 2010
    It's been over and hour and a half now, and she's still about the same, doesn't seem worse thank goodness. I think it's mostly a skin tear, but hard to tell exactly. There are two puncture wounds close together and not very big just under her wing on her side. I just washed it out with peroxide, dried it with a paper towel, and applied antibiotic cream (with no 'caine'). She ate one bite of watermelon, and then closed her eyes like she was falling asleep. I appreciate your words of encouragement that maybe she will survive this.

    Oddly, she's named 'Eagle', and she's recently been a huge bully towards some younger chicks I'm integrating into my flock! Almost like it's her bad karma....so sad.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Chickens heal amazingly from wounds. I would put her on a broad spectrum antibiotic to ward off infection. Keep her warm and secure inside, feed extra-nutrious foods. Don;t try to close the wounds unless they are actually gaping, and them only lightly bandage--you do not want to close in any infection. Diluted povidone iodine flushes daily until healed. You can use antibiotic ointment or cream so long as it has no pain reliever.
  5. Afrochicken

    Afrochicken Chirping

    Aug 7, 2010
    Toms River, NJ
    I wish i knew how to help! Also funny that i have 2 chickens that are named Hawk and Falcon [​IMG] Hope Eagle will be ok! [​IMG]
  6. Kuvasz

    Kuvasz Songster

    Jun 22, 2010
    You all are so nice to lend your support and encouragement. I like your chickens names, Hawk and Falcon. [​IMG]

    Eagle was doing better, and I took her out and washed her wounds with peroxide, applied bacterial cream, and she ate a little taste of watermelon, ....but then she seemed to start to get weaker, and she seems to be dosing in and out of sleep or consciousness, which doesn't seem good to me. She's not as alert as she was, and it's making me nervous about her internal injuries.

    Have any of you had chickens do what I am describing and then still make a turnaround, and how long did it take?
  7. aspi66

    aspi66 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2009
    best to keep her away from the other chickens if you can or they will peck her. have her in a cage inside by herself and keep her warm. feed her with a syringe or dropper if you have one. add a little sugar or vit b12 if you have some to the water. like earlier posted, chickens can survive brutal attacks!! just give her a lot of extra love, and keep her inside until her wounds are healed! also, neosporin is great! i still have a chicken living inside who was brutally attacked by the others. i really didn't think she would survive, but she did!! she's doing great and just started laying. good luck, and be strong, these girls are survivors!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  8. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I had a fox attack my hen once a few weeks ago - it was like she went into shock - Just sat in the corner all be herself for a few hours before I noticed she was bitten and had a chunk taken out of her back
    I put her in a dog crate with some blue kote on the wound (it was pretty big) and gave her food with yogurt and some vitamin water, after a few days she couldn't wait to get back to foraging.
    Yes, edited to say Neosporin, too i put on her then the blu kote
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  9. sharol

    sharol Crowing

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    One thing that hawks sometimes do is pick up the prey and then drop it to the ground to stun it. She may be suffering from some ground impact injuries if that is what happened. I have no idea if there is anything you can do if it is, but I've seen them do that with small rabbits around here.

    My thoughts are with you and Eagle.


  10. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    I am so sorry. It sounds like you are doing everythng you can do. I have had a hen recover form a hawk attack so it can and does happen. Keep the wound clean as you are doing, apply the meds and keep her isolated from the other chckens and any kind of activity (kids, dogs, etc) Plenty of water (you may want to add vitamins and electrolyyes) favorite foods and anything to keep her hydrated. It is amazing how they can and do heal, but let her have the rest and the time to do so.

    My hen did go into a kind of shock after the attack and it took several days for her to recouperate. Do not be surprised if she hangs in the coop after you reunite her with the others.....if the others were there when this occured, they will need some TLC as well. She may be more fearful of attacks, but my experience is that it will subside. Let us know how it goes.

    and don't blame yourself. If you do not have fencing on the top of your yard enclosure, you can add that now. Couldn't tell from your post if the hawk flew into the enclosure or flew down into the enclosure.

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