Hawk Attack... how to treat this wound?


9 Years
Dec 20, 2010
Erie, Colorado
My situation: This morning a young hawk paid my coop a visit and tried to eat my 6 week old mutt chick. The hawk was unable to finish it off, but the bird is pretty badly hurt (I think). He's got a couple of gashes, one circular one covering the back of his head and one long one that goes from his crop to his shoulder, neither of which are bleeding but you can see the tissue. He keeps his left eye closed, but it's not swelling, nor is there any injury that I can see. We put him in a large dog crate with food, water and shavings and I gave him the appropriate dosage of aspirin in water with a dropper, as well as some electrolytes. He doesn't seem to be wanting to move, and sits in one spot.

My questions: What would be the best thing to do for his wounds in this case? Should I try and rinse the gashes? Is there something I should put on them? I saw some other posts about hawk attacks, which is where I learned what to give him in his water. I'm unsure of how to help this little one; I ask you for your knowlege!
Can you post a pic? The woulds sound like they could either be really serious, or not. In the meantime, rinse the gashes out with Betadine, but not any puncture holes. Keep doing what youre doing with the water, and try to get him to eat scrambled eggs, because those had a ton of protien.
Working on the pictures... really blurry!!!

Speaking of holes, I've noticed that in his shoulder joint, he's got a big hole. No blood still, but it's a HOLE. Should I be worried? How should I keep all of this from getting infected?
He seems to be doing better, bright eyed and eating egg. I don't have any Betadine... any good substitutes? I haven't done anything yet. Should I still gently wash it with a damp cloth/warm water?
Oh-kay, I decided to just leave the wounds for tonight. I did finally get the computer to upload the pictures I took. They might be a bit confusing, but if you just cock your head to the left a liiittle bit, it makes more sense.





I've reasessed the damage. He's got a gash on the back of his head, a gash on his chest, a gash on his shoulder, a hole right in front of the gash on his shoulder, and his eye is just not opening. The rest is mostly feather loss. Nothing is bleeding, but there are some feathers and perhaps some dirt and stuff in the wounds; so what am I allowed to get in his shoulder hole? Water? Nothing at all? What's the verdict? How serious is this? Thanks!
So, the chick isstill hanging out in the crate. He's bright-eyed and willing to eat and drink. I haven't touched the scrapes yet; what are the chances that he'll be able to heal all by himself?
You should clean them with saline and apply antibiotic ointment. Poor thing looks pretty bad . Sorry this happened, darned hawks! Oh and don't use any with pain killer, lidocaine or anything.
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We had a dog attack once and my little bantam was bitten. Her wounds looked similar. If would clean them like a PP said and just watch. Keep his separate so non of the others can hurt him(although we didn't we didn't have a choice and no one bothered her). Our chicken's wounds healed up really quick and she was her normal self the whole time.
Thanks for the responses!
I'll see what I can do about the saline/Betadine.
When you say don't use painkiller, you're not talking about the Aspirin, are you?

Thanks again for the help! Little baby chickin will be on the mend!
Poor baby!

No pain killer means nothing like lidocaine or benzocaine, no "caine" type of pain relief. It is poisonous to your chickens. I don't know about the aspirin.

Just keep the wounds clean and make sure no flies are getting in them to lay eggs. Bad news. Check the wounds often.

Keep feeding egg (scrambled) for protein, so tissue will be more able to heal, and water (of course). Any treats, like watermelon, blueberries etc. might be helpful in keeping up hydration and nutrition, not to mention just plain spoiling the poor baby!

If you have have them, give some liquid baby vitamins (no iron) to help prevent any deficiencies.

It's amazing what chickens survive! You might just be amazed at the recovery.

Good luck!

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