In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 17, 2012
brooklyn, ny
I've been reading here for awhile, but sadly this is my first post.

I have a five week old barred rock who got stuck on something last night and ripped off a chunk of feather and skin. Thankfully it happened right as I was heading out to bring the chicks in to their brooder, so the wound was clean. Last night I cleaned the wound (to make sure) and put triple antibiotic ointment on it, then loosely wrapped her in gauze to keep her from making it worse. She slept in a separate box with a towel and a heat lamp (they've been off the lamp for about a week now).

She seemed pretty bad last night, but I think I managed to keep her from going into shock. I also got a little water in her, but didn't offer food. I was pretty sure she wouldn't make it through the night, so I sat with her for a bit and said my goodbyes and tried to prepare my three year old son for the fact that she might not be OK. (She's my and his favorite of our three chicks.)

This morning, she's still with us, which is great. She's clearly weak and tired, but she's alert, looking around, drinking lots and even eating some mashed, watery chick crumble. She can stand and even hop if startled, although she seems to prefer to lie down. She's not saying much.

The very bad news is that when I removed her gauze to check the wound and put more ointment on, I realized that her crop had been torn open when she hurt herself, which I had not realized before. I knew it was visible, but I didn't realize it had been opened. Now I'm worried (1) that she's even less likely to make it; and (2) that I might have made it worse by pointing ointment on her. What if some got into her crop? Also, if her crop is open, should I be offering food at all? She was very happy to eat this morning.

I don't know what to do! I had gotten my hopes up after seeing she made it through the night and after reading some threads on here where chickens made fabulous recoveries, but now I'm terrified again. She's such a sweetie.

We're hoping to get her in at the vet when they open at ten. Unfortunately, our normal vet (for our cat & dog) doesn't see birds anymore, but we found one sort of near us that does and we're hoping they can help.

Any advice? Reassurance? Scolding for all I did wrong in trying to care for her?
I think what you did so far for her was very good. It's good that you got to her so quickly.
I've never dealt with such a bad wound before though...
I hope the vet can help!
Thanks, FreeChicken! I'm just so scared that's not true! :(

I went in to check on her and the gauze had slipped down and her crop was basically dangling out. I'm holding her now, with my hand across her front to keep it from dangling again.

Heading to the vet now. Fingers crossed.
Super glue the crop closed and then glue the skin closed. Make sure it is as clean as possible before you do this. Withhold food and water for 24 hours and then you can give her water and soft foods for the next several days (yogurt, scrambled eggs). Monitor for signs of infection.

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