Hawk Attack - missing an eye - how to treat? - Update

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lelilamom, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    This hawk is plaguing my flock! It killed my roo right after Thanksgiving and just got one of my GLWs. My beagle alerted me and I ran out there and interrupted the hawk and ran it off. The GLW is missing an eye and has no deep wounds that I can see. I have her inside in the basement. She's clucking, but not moving much. I'm sure she's scared out of her wits.

    How do I treat the missing eye and the superficial cuts she has to her head? We've had some very severe attacks in the past and I've used bacatracin and blu-kote, peroxide, etc but I don't think I can use any of those on or around an eye or head.

    Any guidance?
     
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry to hear about your hawk problems - I can relate. [​IMG] Your hen's lucky to have survived.

    Since you already have her separated, it'll be important to clean her eye socket and head wounds out thoroughly - flushing with saline works well. Recipe here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/600863/eye-drops-saline. You can use triple antibiotic ointment without pain reliever on the head lacerations, but my "go to" wound healer is Vetericyn spray. For the eye, an ointment made specifically for treating eye injuries, like Vetericyn Ophthalmic Gel, will promote healing and minimize risk of infection. An electrolyte/vitamin/probiotic solution in her water may also help her recover more quickly from the trauma of the attack by supporting her immune system.

    Best wishes for her speedy recovery.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the guidance. I cleaned and dressed her missing eye and her other scratches. She doesn't seem to see out of her remaining eye though it appears unharmed. She's not eating or drinking though she coos when I talk to her. She's huddled in the corner of her box and doesn't look at me when I approach. I'm sure she's scared - all my GLWs are pretty skiddish and after several hawk attacks, the last taking the roo, I'm sure she's had enough - so this is just the icing on the cake.

    Can a chicken thrive with only one eye?
     
  4. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    YVW. I think you're right about her demeanor - what a trauma. It may take some time for her to bounce back.

    Blind or visually-impaired chickens can do just fine. There are a number of threads here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/newsearch?search=blind+chicken.

    I have a visually-impaired (from birth) Muscovy drake. He has a good quality of life: he forages, he free ranges, he chases ducks just like the other drakes in the flock. I realize that this type of impairment places him at greater risk from predators, but it's a risk that I think is outweighed by his contentment in leading a "normal" life.
     
  5. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning she's a little more vocal but refuses food and water. She opened her missing eye and Low and Behold the Eye is THERE!!!! It's pushed way in so I'm guessing she has no vision from it. She's watching me from her undamaged eye now but still so skiddish. I gave her a low perch next to her food and water and she's pooped normally all over the floor next to it so I'm guessing she doesn't have any internal injuries at this point.

    I'm keeping her in the basement for a few more days until I see a full 24 hours of eating and drinking. Then I'll introduce her back into the coop.
     
  6. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Normal poop is a good sign. I'd watch the injured eye to make sure it doesn't get infected - maybe she'll even recover some sight in it. [​IMG]

    Chickens can be pretty hard on anyone different, including the injured - will you keep her separated in the coop (like in a crate where others can see but not get to her)? With serious injuries, I don't take a chance on others picking at the wound and keep the injured away from the flock until they've healed enough to hold their own.
     
  7. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can't actually tell that the injured eye is injured. She just keeps it closed all the time. On occasion, she opens it and you can see her eye sunken in it. I have a separate coop that is face to face I can put her in, but without other chickens in it, she'll be cold. I have the ability to crate her in the coop and I might do that once I know she's eating and drinking. With 30+ chickens in the coop / run, no one is really at the top of the pecking order. I have a Buff Orp that has historically been at the bottom of the list for 5 years now and she rarely gets picked on. My one-eye here is only 10 mos old. Hopefully she'll go back in with little or no issues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  8. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One more thing... She isn't moving around. I can pick her up off her perch and move her to a box and vice versa, but she is not walking around on her own. She stays exactly where I left her for hours on end.
     
  9. Eckielady

    Eckielady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is she doing? We had a hawk attack yesterday and our little silky pullet got attacked. Not sure how she survived since she's so little but the hawk got stuck in the coop. I believe she's missing her one eye and he grabbed her around the head. She's walking just fine but I'm worried her jaw is broken. I have her inside with her sister and will give her a couple of days. Hope your little one is better.
     

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