Help!! Chicken with cut on head!! Picture included

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cstronks, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BYC...I need some advice...

    I just came home from college on spring break and I noticed that one of my birds has a pretty large cut on her head. She is a buff orpington in a flock of 5, and they have always gotten along. I'm ruling out predator because it is only a cut on her head and no other bird is affected. I looked for signs of blood in the coop and I was not able to find any. She may have cut her head open on something causing the others to react. Anyways, there was no violence when I initially saw the wound, and for the past four hours the flock has been tame. There is some dried blood around the cut, but for the most part it looks like whatever caused the incident has subsided. The opening is larger than a quarter by a little and it appears that there is a laceration on the skin between the head and the neck. When she is not craning her neck or stretching the opening is not noticeable. The other birds have clearly seen it and are no longer/not interested. I am not ruling out that she got her head cut on a wooden edge or possibly on the front door of the coop. I am not sure though. It also could have been the birds pecking at each other. Maybe a combo, but I cannot be certain.

    Anyways, aside from cleaning the wound regularly, what other advice do you guys have?? She laid an egg today, so stress doesn't seem to be affecting her. She is eating, drinking, and socializing with the other birds. She let me pick her up. She didn't scream. I tried to cover, but that seemed to upset her and arouse the curiosity of the other birds. I removed that, cleaned again with soap, water, and antibiotic solution on the cut. What else can I do. I have posted a picture. Thanks. Any suggestions welcome.

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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Ouch that looks nasty but the wound seems very clean, so it appears you are doing a good job. If she were mine I would keep her in a cage or small pen, so that she is not moving around too much and the wound has a chance to start healing. But I would keep her near the others so that she can socialize with them. I don't know that that's totally necessary under your circumstances, but we do that here just for those reasons. I think I would be applying Neosporin to the cut. Internal antibiotics are not usually necessary for a wound. If you use Neosporin or anything like it, don't use the kind that has pain killer. Make sure that she continues to eat and drink well. Others might have other suggestions, but to me at this point it seems you are doing just about everything you can.
     
  3. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply. They're all roosting now, but I will put neosporin on first thing in the morning.
     
  4. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a pullet that got a similar wound, we think our cockerel got a little too aggressive as he was learning to mate, but here's a picture of it the day it happened. We brought her in and cleaned the wound and then put neosporin on it twice a day. it took about two weeks to heal, but we didn't keep her in the house all that time. Yours looks like she is healing well.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  5. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I notice that it has gotten worse or believe that the other chickens are pecking at it I will be sure to isolate her. As for now I'll put neosporin on it. I also discovered the wound today, as I came home for spring break. You said it appears to be healing, but we just noticed it today. My dad said this is the first he saw of it, and he checks the birds 4-5 times a day. I believe it will heal nicely. Your birds wound seems very similar. Did you ever attempt to close it with a butterfly stitch or steri-strip?
     
  6. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only reason I say that it looks like it's healing is because our pullet's wound looked so gruesome for about a week. I'll post a picture of it after a couple of days so you can see what I mean The picture is a little blurry, and keep in mind that she has Neosporin slathered on the wound.


    No, we didn't try to close it as our vet said (over the phone) that there might be a possibility of infection unless we wanted to cut away the tissue that was damaged. I didn't feel qualified at that point to do any type of surgical procedure, so we washed it out very well and packed it with Neosporin twice a day. At this point, with the experience I have, I would cut the torn flesh off and let it heal from there. She healed fine with just a little bit of a bump behind her comb, so it's not a problem, but you can see the scarring and that little bump of tissue that formed from the skin that got torn away.

    Really the only reason we brought her inside was because we were so new to chicken keeping and had read that if other chickens saw a bloody wound they might peck at it and make it worse or even kill the wounded chicken. Your chicken doesn't look like it will be an issue at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, just to add that with Elvira, if she wasn't moving her head, you couldn't see the opening at all, but if she got stressed or was trying to eat or anything made her move here head, the whole top part of her scalp would move around, I think that is what freaked me out more than anything. It would move independently from the rest of her head! [​IMG]
     
  8. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks. She is about a year old so the entire flock has good chemistry. I will now close it then unless I notice that it is 1). opening more, or 2). tempting for other hens to peck. I'll apply the neosporin and hope for the best.
     
  9. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a quick question...the cut is starting to turn a different color, like a darker red/blackish combo. I have been regularly cleaning and applying neosporin to prevent infection, however dirt will always get in there because she digs in the run and goes about. I put plenty of neosporin and clean with hydrogen peroxide, but I'm not sure about the color. My family believes that the cut is closing and scabbing, but I want to be sure. Did your chicken's cut get much darker during the healing process.
     
  10. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it got a really ugly greenish, red- black color for days. We just slathered the Neosporin on, but no peroxide. I know they get into the dirt and fling it all over the place when dust-bathing, but as long as you have that layer of Neosporin on there it should be fine.

    Elvira went through a really gruesome couple of weeks where I worried about her, but I saw no sign of infection, no pus or discharge other than a sort of clear discharge the first few days. My main concern was the amount of scalp that was exposed and would it heal cleanly. she definitely has a scar, especially on one side of her head (SO close to her eye, it's not even funny!), but she healed amazingly well considering the severity of the wound. I'll get a picture of her tomorrow so you can see what I mean.
     

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