Hawk attack

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CMV, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Hi All-
    I'm a new member today, but I've been reading info on this site for 1.5 years. I've never really needed any specific info until today. I had a 1 y.o. Wyandotte hen get attacked by a Cooper's hawk yesterday. I thought it was a fatal attack as all I found were feathers and a large hunk of skin left. This morning I found the hen outside her house with a devastating wound on her lower back. I brought her inside, caged her, cleaned the wound with saline and covered the 4x4 inch wound with Neosporin. She does not appear particularly distressed. She's standing and was walking around when I found her. She has not consumed any food or water that I know of since I found her, nor has she voided. The wound has surprisingly little blood involved, but the skin is completely gone. The hawk's talon's appear to have just ripped away a large patch of skin, but hopefully did not actually puncture any organs and although the fatty layer under the skin is visible there does not seem to be any muscular damage. My question is this- can she survive this injury? Is the wound likely to close up considering its size? If anyone can offer some advice I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I've read lots of stories on BYC about birds with injuries like this. The key is to keep away infection.

    It's likely that your bird is in shock. Offer her electrolytes, yogurt, cheese, meat, and other nutritious foods.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks so much. I have some electrolytes coming soon. She is not interested in eating, but is now drinking.
  4. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    So Sorry! Good luck with her, she sounds like she is coming around though, if she has started to drink. I had no idea that hawks were such a problem, I know people with chickens all around us, and never once did I ever hear a story about a hawk or owl. . .definitely need to think about a top for my run. . .
  5. jprinc44

    jprinc44 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2008
    south-central Va.
    I had a hen who had a similar injury caused by a dog attack last year. It ripped a huge hunk of skin off of her side- feathers, skin and all- right down to the meat. I kept her in the house for two weeks, kept it clean and dry until it scabbed over, then put her back into the coop- where the roo promptly jumped on her and tore it open again. The moral is- she survived the attack but needed two more weeks of rehab to heal the roo wound! She eventually grew feathers back in that spot as well, and is almost good as new now. One of my better layers, in fact. Good luck with your hen. Janet
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am pleased to report that the hen is eating, drinking and pooping. She is also calling for her friends (she is inside the house and her 5 cronies are outside). She looks as if she may survive the shock of the attack. Now if I can prevent an infection she may actually live to tell the tale. Thanks for the food advice-she loved the cheese and yogurt. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  7. Swampwood

    Swampwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2010
    Krotz Springs, LA
    So.. How did she do?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by