HELP - Bloody, scalped hen


11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
Cheshire, MA
I went out this morning and my regular layers had viciously attacked one of their own. She is a leg horn, probably around three. The whole back of her head is bloody right down to the bone. It appears that they 'scalped' her.

I put her in a separate cage, with food and water. For the first hour she just laid there, not moving too much. I just went back out again, expecting to find that she succumbed to her wounds, but surprisingly she is up, eating and drinking.

So, she has a good fight to her, but what do I do about the injuries. It appears that from about the top of her head to her neck is bare. It seems to have stopped bleeding but is just raw hamburg.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
I've had the exact same thing happen to one of my pullets last year, she did great!

First, I made a sterile saline solution. Boil 1 qt water and add 1/4 t salt, cool to rm temp and flush the wound to clean it. Once it's clean, apply generous amounts of neosporin. That's all I did! I kept her seperated until it was completely healed. The skin grew closed, covered all those bones, feathers grew back...she just had a small bald spot at the back of her head.

I do not give antibiotics until I'm certain there's an infection. I don't give pain meds either. The vet I worked for years ago was very conservative with pain meds, she said if you take away the pain completely they act more lively than they should and may further injure themselves. It's a balancing act, but if your girl is acting perky enough, she probably doesn't need them.

I have had a rooster basically scalped, as Southernbelle said, rinse well...very well...with saline solution. If you don't want to make it, the stuff for contacts is a great choice. As threehorses always says, "clean it like you mean it"
and then you probably don't have to do much else.
If it isn't bleeding profusely like combs sometimes do then that's one less headache!
Good luck, and keep us posted...any chance we could get a photo?
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