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Hawk killed my Bantam EE and severly wounded my Barred Rock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by myfester, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. myfester

    myfester Songster

    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    This past weekend, I came home to find a hawk (Cooper I think) in my yard tearing up my beautiful bantam EE. I was so heartbroken. It tried to fly away with her, but I guess with my flailing and screaming, it didn't grasp her well enough and dropped her back into my yard. I was at least happy to have her back (even if deceased). Darned if he/she was going to totally win!

    My Barred Rock is living in a large dog crate in the house (happily I may add). The back of her neck is severely torn open (I think it even tore an opening to the crop...not sure, but it smelled very sour). She also has several large, deep talon gashes across her back. Could you believe, I called 25 different vets (some who deal with farm animals and birds) and not one would suture up my chicken. Apparently chickens don't fall in the category of "farm animals" nor "birds"! So now, she's stuck with the back and side of her neck totally exposed to the elements. I've been giving her warm sponge baths (which she loves) and applying Blue Lotion antiseptic.
    Does anyone know if she can live with her neck open (it's not to the bone, but you can see the fatty areas)? Will it scab over? I'm unfamiliar with chicken skin. I'll have to keep her indoors til totally healed because of the roosters. If they grab her neck to mount, they'll kill her.

    I'm going to try to contain them now (they had free range all thru my acre of property). Going to try that fishing line method I've read that seems to be very effective. I want them to have a large enough area to enjoy, so can't really built a roof...plus $$ is an issue as well. For those of you that have used the fishing line roof, how has that worked for you? I'm afraid now to trust them out alone, but I can't be outside all light hours.

    I appreciate your responses [​IMG]

  2. coloradochick

    coloradochick Songster

    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    [​IMG] I'm sorry about your little girl. I've had to throw my kids' balls at the hawks a couple of times this summer as I'm running at it and yelling like a mad woman to get the *#@* out of my yard.
    [​IMG] to you and your BR. Hope she gets better.

  3. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chirping

    Sep 23, 2010
    Freeville, NY
    Very sorry to hear about your loss! I am no expert, but you can sew the wound closed...regular (sterile) needle and thread work fine...good luck!
  4. 24279102

    24279102 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Grand Bay, AL
    It will heal from the inside out. Sometimes doctors leave human wounds open so they don't seal the infection in there and it does EVENTUALLY fill in - but this is not a fast process depending on the size of the wound. Just keep it clean - you can put some salt in the water that you are bathing it with. I don't think the bluekote will hurt it.
  5. myfester

    myfester Songster

    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    Thank you very much for your replies. I was planning on sewing the wound shut myself with fishing line and a needle, but by the time I got home from work Monday afternoon (I spent allll morning calling 25 vets to find someone to sew it shut with no luck), the wound already started it's healing process and was too late to try to close it. All her wounds are healing nicely. I am concerned about the neck wound though. Since it's healed wide open (about 1" - 1 1/2" wide and 3" long if not more), I fear when I finally let her back into the flock, the roosters...with all their mating enthusiasm, is going to refresh the wound. I'm hoping it does fill in eventually...at least a little. I'm giving her as much time as she needs. She's so good in the house...and I let her out supervised during the day to hunt bugs or whatever [​IMG]. She mostly hides under bushes [​IMG]

    I think I've went overboard with trying to keep the hawk from attacking again...I have a criss-cross fishing line roof, CD's hanging all over the place. A friend bought my a mechanical owl and reflective ribbon. It's the shiniest chicken prison ever...lol [​IMG]
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Sorry to read of your losses and injuires.Hope your hen heals well. Have you any photos of your run or chicken area/ I would love to see. I just made my run smaller,and folded the bird netting from the old area over the smaller run. More for the hawk to break through.
  7. myfester

    myfester Songster

    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    Ok, I'm going to try to attach photos of the (hopefully) hawkproof chicken playground.

    Hopefully you can see the fishing line criss-crossing along the top and the upper section of the sides. I hung some unused CD's (don't think I'll be using that Microsoft Windows 95 disk anymore...lol





  8. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    Myfester, be careful about letting your injured girl outdoors. The last thing she needs is for flies to lay eggs in her wounds----maggots!!!
  9. chickensrun

    chickensrun In the Brooder

    Oct 21, 2010
    Really sorry about your run in with the hawk! [​IMG] I agree with keeping her in until she has healed more. Such a trooper to have survived the attack and that makes us more diligent in saving our girls and boys. I just lost my Golden Laced Wyandotte to a cunning timber wolf.
  10. myfester

    myfester Songster

    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    Exactly Carrie Lynn, which is why I kept her indoors. I checked her wounds daily to make sure I saw no buggies or infection. I'm glad to say, when I checked her wounds today...all looked great! I can hardly see her talon wounds and the scab mostly fell off the neck wound and skin is starting to finally close on that one (or at least regenerating). Tonight is the first night I'm letting her stay in the coop with the rest of her clan (although I wonder if she's ready). I have a hen apron on order and plan to have her wear that as well so the roos don't bother her too much. Right now, she's keeping to herself in the coop. She's terrified to go outside at all. I can't believe she survived it! Her wounds were so...open initially. I don't expect her to ever lay eggs again though...which is just fine.

    The pal of the bantam EE that was killed is so lonely no. She clings to me the whole time I'm in the "playground" and wants to be held. She hasn't bonded yet with any of the other chickens and she's so tiny (she's a bantam Old English I believe).

    Thanks for the sediments. So far, the fishing line thing is working (don't know how soon a hawk will re-attack an area)

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