Help a college farm bird with a nasty necrotic wound

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TreeFever, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. TreeFever

    TreeFever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2008
    Hey all,
    I'm writing not from home this time but from my college. I go to a work college (Warren Wilson) with a large operating farm.
    We have a huge chicken tractor following our cattle around that houses 200 something laying hens (NH Reds, Barred Rocks, Buff Orps).
    This morning I was doing a favor for the poultry crew and bringing water out to the tractor. We found a NH Red hen who had half closed eyes, head drooping, feathers fluffed up. Her crop was empty. On her back side is a tennis ball sized lump that has a 3 inch long laceration on it that is really surrounded by dead tissue. It is not oozing, it smells a little but not awful. The wound then enters her thigh about 3/4 of an inch, also surrounded by necrotic tissue. I don't think it was an animal attack (we have guard roosters and close everyone in at night in a secure coop), the cut is of not typical of a bite. I almost think she might have gotten snagged on something sharp in the coop? We brought her into the heated shop and set her up with water and a little warm mash. Once she warmed up she began to drink on her own. She seems a little more lively now.
    My plan is to try and cut the necrosis off as best I can and see if there is a possibility of sewing her up. The lump is what concerns me most. It doesn't quite feel like an abcess, but I cant be sure. If it is an infection, what are the best antibiotics to use?
    I'll try and get a pic up later, for now, if you could offer tips that would be great.
    ~Virg & the Warren Wilson Farm Crew.
  2. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Hi! Sorry to hear of the wounded hen!

    I would definitely post a picture of the wound, might help others determine what is going on with her. It does sound like she torn herself open on a nail, sharp edge, etc. which then got infected. I've had something similar happen to one of my girls and ended up having to squeeze the nasty infection out several times before she healed. Chickens are incredibly resilient creatures!

    I would be wary of stitching her up, you want the infection to drain. I would thoroughly clean the area with very diluted hydrogen peroxide or a saline solution. I would also put some vitamins & electrolytes in her water and start her on a broad base antibiotic like Duramycin.

    Good luck, I'm sure more experience folks will chime in with more suggestions.

    Side note: I love Warren Wilson! I'm from Asheville originally and have had several friends go to WW over the years, great place!
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sounds like a mating injury from a rooster's spurs or claws. If not maggot infested, such injuries generally heal on their own, but the hen should be seperated from the roosters. Sharp spurs and toenails coupled with multiple roosters trying to breed the same hen can cause such injuries. A little Neosporin slathered on the wound will aid in the healing.
  5. TreeFever

    TreeFever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2008
    She drank a lot of water and passed the "pee" portion of a chicken poo. She wont eat yet. She seems chilled again. My boss said we'll let her be for the night and if she doesn't seem perky by tomorrow we might just do the right thing if ya know what I mean. We have so many birds it's (unfortunately) hard to worry about just one if she's this far gone.
    Thanks for the love [​IMG]
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Chickens recover quite well from injuries if they are treated properly. Since this is a school, I would think it educational to at least make the effort to learn how to treat a chicken's wound. Definitely a broad spectrum anitbiotic in the water. Lance and clean out the wound as was earlier stated. Provide quality feed and water. The heat lamp is good. It could likely have been rooster spurs or something sharp in the tractor or coop anyways, the wound is now infected, so that is how it needs to be treated, regardless of the source. I would check the coop and tractor for any sharp protruding objects, and remove as necessary.
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Yes, clean it well. Be agressive in removing dead tisue. flush it out really well with diluted providine iodine. cover it well with neosporin and cover dress it open without stiching. It will need to be rechecked/dressed at leat 1-2 times a day to ensure you stay ahead of the infection.

    Antibiotics would be a big help too to chase back the infection and prevent it from going systemic.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010

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