Healing after Fox Attack

momchick4

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 7, 2015
97
10
96
I have a 15 week old EE pullet that was attacked by a fox last week. The fox pulled all the skin and feathers off her neck.
I have her isolated inside the house. She is eating, drinking, and acting normal. She has even gained weight over the last week.

I added Duramycin to her water and have been spraying Synbiont Wound Care spray on her wounds.
The wounds are drying up and looks like they are healing.

My question:
How long will it take to regrow the skin and feathers?



The skin & feathers are missing all the way around her the side not visible in the picture.

I don't want to move her outside until I know the bugs & dirt won't create an infection on the wounds. Once the skin is healed enough, I do have an empty starter coop that I can put her in until she is completely healed. I don't want any picking from the other pullets making us go back to square one.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
Hopefully someone will chime in that has hands on experience with something like this. (Unfortunately all of my predator injuries have ended in death).

I can say that chickens heal amazingly well if they are given good nutritional support and kept away from the flock and further possible pecking injuries, which you are doing by isolation.

From others experiences, she may never regrow feathers in that area, if the feather follicles were destroyed, and it may take a number of weeks for her wounds to sufficiently heal such that she is ready to be back in the flock.

My thoughts.

LofMc
 

momchick4

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 7, 2015
97
10
96
She seems to be lonely in isolation and the other pullets have noticed her missing. The fox killed a 3 year old hen and injured the pullet.
We are trying to trap the fox.

I have read both ways about feather regrowth. Some have experienced permanent feather loss while others have had the feathers regrow. I am leaning to permanent feather loss because the skin & feathers were removed down to the muscle.

Just not sure when it would be safe to move to back outside to an isolated cage near the flock. It's only been a week. I'm planning for at least another 2-3 weeks of inside isolation to keep bugs and dirt out of the wounds.
.
If the feathers don't grow back, will the flock peck at her bare neck? Some of the head feathers do help hide her bare neck.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
She seems to be lonely in isolation and the other pullets have noticed her missing. The fox killed a 3 year old hen and injured the pullet.
We are trying to trap the fox.

I have read both ways about feather regrowth. Some have experienced permanent feather loss while others have had the feathers regrow. I am leaning to permanent feather loss because the skin & feathers were removed down to the muscle.

Just not sure when it would be safe to move to back outside to an isolated cage near the flock. It's only been a week. I'm planning for at least another 2-3 weeks of inside isolation to keep bugs and dirt out of the wounds.
.
If the feathers don't grow back, will the flock peck at her bare neck? Some of the head feathers do help hide her bare neck.

I've not really had feather pecking at bare spots...molts are examples of that, and the other birds seem okay with some running around in bare skin.

When they peck is if they see any blood or sore/scab. Then they can't seem to resist picking at it. Blue-Kote is really, really good for that, and might help cover for healing. You might try a very gentle buddy to keep her company, but I suspicion any bird put in with her would pick at her sores.

I suspicion if you took the bird to the vet, they might recommend some sort of skin grafting, since it was down to the muscle, but seriously, not many of us really wants to spend that kind of $$$$ on a chicken (as much as we enjoy them).

Keeping the wound clean, covered with gauze if necessary, antibiotic ointment on it, antibiotics in her water for a few days, maybe some Blue Kote for healing, and isolation from other birds who would peck is the best care.

In a month's time she will likely be plucky and ready to rejoin the flock proudly bearing her battle scars. Then just watch to make sure no one is hazing her or picking at the bare spot.
(You could always put a little kerchief on her neck...but they'd probably pick at that...for a few days...my rooster wears a no-crow collar and they all tried picking at it some for a few days, but then stopped and now ignore it completely).

LofMc
 

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