Hawk Attack - Wobbly Neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OctoberSKY, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. OctoberSKY

    OctoberSKY New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2014
    I know, it happens all the time, just figured I would add our experience incase anyone can help or learn from our experience.

    About 2pm yesterday, one of our 3 Rhode Island Reds (RIR) Chick, CHICK, Peep, was attacked by a hawk.
    I was not present but my middle son hear squawking, opened the door to see the hawk flying up.
    He ran to the coop where CHICK was laying crumpled, face down on the ground, beak open, breathing heavy.
    He instructed the dog, Roman (Great Dane) to sit and keep watch while he ran to get a towel and box.
    Gentle Roman stood watch as instructed. I arrived about 15 minutes after attack.

    We placed her in a box and covered her with a towel in the bedroom where it was warm and quiet.

    The most obvious injury being her neck was wobbly, as if broken. No additional obvious acute injuries other than ruffled, missing feathers. Her legs work in the sense that she can grip my finger and occasionally attempt to stand and straighten up but her head moves in a wobbly neck circle, ending up looking straight up towards ceiling and cocked to left. She can't straighten her neck or hold it in an upright position. Her wings work. She has been pooping.

    Its approximately 28 hours since the attack. The first 6 hours or so she just slept. Since then, her improvement has been modest, she attempts to stand infrequently, but needs to lean against something (she is in a box with towels to prop her up. We keep moving her into position to keep her head/neck in alignment with back/spine. When she does move her head tends to move into a position as described above where her head is pointing straight up to the ceiling and cocked to the left side.

    Have been giving her electrolyte water since this morning with a syringe, dripped onto her beak till she licks it up.
    Upon further examination she has a wound on the base of her neck/top of breast. Slight skin tear, clumped feathers with what feels like a protruding bone, is probably the best way to describe it. Applied triple antibiotic ointment. Short of an Xray, assuming worst but hoping for best.

    Any experienced help from vet or those who have had similar experiences is welcome.
    Will update daily.
     
  2. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
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    How heartbreaking! Prayers for your chickie.
     
  3. OctoberSKY

    OctoberSKY New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Update:
    Slow but steady improvement.
    We keep her in a box in the house.

    Friday (Day 2): We started giving some yogurt in the electrolyte water syringe, very weak, tries to stand but can't, if she does get up she has to lean against something. Neck, head hang to left, she has little control of either.

    Saturday (Day 3): She slept well through the night till 6 am. About the same as Friday, not much improvement. Further investigated the wound at the base of the neck by cutting away some feathers and soaking matted feathers with warm wet cloth. The whole neck is severely bruised black, off to the sides it becomes dark purple. Cleaned the small, maybe 3/8" cut in skin and applied triple antibiotic ointment. The muscle below skin is visible, appears uncut and clean, just like boneless chicken breast. The process of cleaning matted feathers and 1st aid took about 25 minutes. My youngest son assisted, holding the flashlight. She just laid there with her eyes shut only opening them twice to look around. We placed her near the back french doors to let the other chickens see her, they saw each other and she heard them cackling. Set her in the sun from the window as the afternoon was slipping away. She seemed to enjoy the sun. As the sun sets we put her in the bedroom to settle her for the night, the chickens outside head back to their coop but the head chick, Peep, is standing at the ramp cackling, which she/they never do before going in. Chick hears her and is trying to get up. Peep, the chicken cackling outside has been cackling for 15 minutes in the dark, as if she is calling to Chick to come home for the night. Maybe letting them see each other wasn't a good idea.

    Sunday (Day 4): She didn't slept well last night, moving around flapping wings. Continue feeding her with a syringe, electrolyte water with yogurt as often as possible, every 15-20 minutes if she is up. She appears weak. Keeps her eyes closed most of the time and eye movements are slower. Not good signs[​IMG]. Trying to keep her quiet so she can rest, heal and hydrated. Read that vets say no yogurt for chickens, can't digest it, causes diarrhea. Everybody on the forums says thats crazy they give their chickens yogurt as a treat all the time and I do too, they love it. But to be safe stopped giving her yogurt and switched to unsweetened almond milk which we have in the house too anyway. Last thing we want to do is give her diarrhea when about the only thing we can do for her is hydrate her. In the afternoon we started mixing her crumble feed with electrolyte water and almond milk, blended it in a bullet mixer so it would go in syringe. Worked, she's been eating it. Glab to get some food in her as she's got to be starving which will only weaken her more. The Super Bowl is over and I go to check on her, she is standing, sleeping in her box and it appears there is a large poop beneath her, but it seems a little too large and smooth....it's an egg, she laid an egg during the Super Bowl-!

    Monday (Day 5): She slept well through the night waking at 6 am. Its just starting to snow here in NJ. She started standing on her own last night before bed and is standing here looking at me with her head/neck bent to the side. In the kitchen I set her box on the counter and get her crumble/electrolyte/almond milk mixture in the syringe to feed her. She tries to peck the syringe rather than let me drip it onto her beak. I get a small bowl of crumble, to see if she can eat any and hold it near her. She does, she eats several beaks full of crumble from the bowl, awesome solid food. I place another small bowl with the crumble/electrolyte/almond milk mixture near her to see if she can drink. She goes for it....a couple hours later as I sit to eat my scrapple and a couple of extra large eggs, from my free range girls outside, with coffee, Chick in her box on the counter is still eating her wet mixture. She's a bit of a mess with smoothy mixture all over her. I'll clean her up if /when she stops eating, she's been eating for over 3 hours now...a big improvement day so far[​IMG]...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  4. OctoberSKY

    OctoberSKY New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Thank You, Chick appreciates it I'm sure, we do...
     
  5. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 Out Of The Brooder

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    You are doing a great job taking care of her! Keep us posted I hope she makes a full recovery.
     
  6. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are a great chicken owner!
     
  7. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
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    How is your chicken doing?
     
  8. OctoberSKY

    OctoberSKY New Egg

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    Saturday (Day 10)
    OK so thanks for inquiring.
    We have had slow but steady improvements.
    She is perched on the bottom of a stool, as I type, here in our kitchen. She's currently our House Chicken.
    She's eating her regular crumble and water.
    Her recovery is slow but each day better. Her neck/head is still crooked to the left but I think each day we have seen slight improvement.
    In the beginning of the week, her movements were very slow, deliberate and instead.
    Although she could roost on the stool bottom when she started to fall asleep her head would slowly head to the floor and she would fall.
    Today, she seems to be able to nap on while roosting without falling which is a big improvement.
    We have had her outside on the rear steps, to get some fresh air and see how her sisters would react. Peep, the dominant one, attached her on 2 occasions. So we know we'l have to deal with that when its time to reintroduce her to the flock. I think she needs another week at least to regain motor skills. Basically, we view it as a human in a major auto accident now in rehab. So getting her to roost is without falling is part of her rehab. Her walking is slow and deliberate as well as all her movements but her accuracy, eating and such are improving every day. Flying up or down say from the steps are the next big hurdle, Right now if she tries so falls on her face but today we saw some improvements in stability.

    Like I said, slow and steady improvements. We'll start putting her outside in their run below their coop by herself for short periods of time.
    I must say she seems to enjoy staying inside, when we go to close the door when she's outside she hustle to get back before it closes.

    We keep you posted, thanks again.
     
  9. OctoberSKY

    OctoberSKY New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2014
    [​IMG]
    DAY 3 - Can't stand herself, leaning against towel, can't hold head up

    [​IMG]
    DAY 4 - Still unable to stand unassisted or hold head up
    [​IMG]
    DAY 4
    [​IMG]
    DAY 5 - BIG improvement day, standing on her own holding head up
    [​IMG]
    DAY 5 - 1st day she was able to eat & drink, she made a mess of herself as her motor skills were not good
    [​IMG]
    DAY 10 - exploring the house
    [​IMG]
    DAY 10 - Napping on the stool, another BIG improvement day
     
  10. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
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    Wow, what an improvement! She is lucky to have you and you are lucky she is such a fighter! You may consider renaming her after this. Ali, or Xena. Lol
     

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