Help - Hawk Attack

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CJD, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. CJD

    CJD Out Of The Brooder

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    A week or so ago, I found a big pile of feathers next to my barn, and the dog found the carass up on the hill - a hawk got one of my Buff Orphingtons! (why, oh why can't they be satisfied with all the rabbits around?) I've been chasing a pair away multiple times per day, and everything's been going OK, until today. I went out to check the girls, and just inside the barn door was one of my light Brahmas, bleeding. The hawk must have gone for her head, because there's a laceration just under her jawline, and a whole bunch of feathers missing from her neck.

    I have her in a box in the house, where it's cool (it's about 95 today, so I think maybe she may have been a little dehydrated on top of everything). I cleaned the wound, and I gave her some water with sugar in it. She seemed to perk up a bit, but she still won't stand up, and her head is swinging from side to side (one eye is closed, the one on the side with the laceration, but the eye seems to be OK, just closed), and she's sleeping a lot. Is there anything else I should be doing?

    Thanks -

    Mary

    P.S. I heard that guinea hens will keep hawks away, is there any truth to this? Anyone have experience?
     
  2. lakecountychick

    lakecountychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2007
    I'm so sorry for your chicks.this is my nightmare; to have a hawk take one of mine. I don't have much experience with chickens and trauma ,I was a vet tech and now an RN. What your doing sounds good. I'd keep up the sugar in the water for a day, two at the most, and maybe offer her soft foods. I hear some chickens like cottage cheese in small amounts only, Maybe moistened mash with smaller pieces of foods, fruits and veggie leftovers. This is what I would try. She's probably shocky so needs to be not to warm and not to cold, and to be able torest in a safe quiet area. Any way , good luck and keep us posted.
     
  3. CJD

    CJD Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2007
    I did get her to drink some more water, and she seems to be perking up a little. Maybe a little mashed hard boiled egg will tempt her... I am worried about her eye and her head bobbing back and forth - I hope there wasn't any neurological damage. The bleeding stopped, so that's good.

    I had her in the basement, but it seemed a little too cool, so I put her in my wood-shop, which seems to be just the right temperature. I think if she makes it through the night, she may be OK. I'll let you know...


    Mary
     
  4. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not real sure how to tell you to treat her other then what your doing seems fine.

    Guinea Hens I've heard are great for keeping hawks away. I did read into it because I was considering it myself. However you can't house them like chickens, aparentley they won't tolerate it. They like to roost in trees. They will not stay in your yard unless they want to. They will take a 3 mile radius and call that home. So as for me it would not work out well. I don't own alot of property and I'm not to sure what the neighbors would think if I was to bring home some noisey Guineas and not be sure for them to stay put. If I owned more property...you bet I'd get them.

    I hope your hen is feeling better soon. [​IMG]
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=emergencies&action=display&num=1159169461
    I
    have several articles at the link above which I believe can help you... you need to flush the wound with chlorhexidine or a dilute novalsan (failing that then a dilute iodine/betadine "tea")

    here is an excerpt from the AVIAN WOUND MANAGEMENT site on general care:
    http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=practical&action=display&num=1158141893

    http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2003/august/Cousquer/Avian-Wound-Assessment.html
    excerpt summary on TREATMENT measures:
    First aid
    Traumatised birds often have multiple injuries and may be further compromised by dehydration, malnutrition and other problems, especially if there has been a delay (hours or days) between injury and presentation [1]. Fluid and nutritional therapy and treatment for shock are critical in the early management of all traumatised birds. Overzealous wound and fracture treatment before stabilisation of the bird may prove fatal [1]. Some first aid of the wound, however, will inevitably be required.

    Wound first aid will usually be performed at the time of the initial or subsequent clinical examination. It need not be high tech but should fulfil a number of basic objectives:

    Cleaning - The wound should be cleaned quickly to remove as much contamination as possible. A more thorough cleaning should await veterinary examination of the wound. This is usually performed under general anaesthetic to help minimise stress . Sterile isotonic saline (0.9%) or a solution of 0.05% chlorhexidine may be used. Care should be taken not to wet the bird excessively as this is likely to increase the risks of hypothermia.

    Haemostasis - veterinary attention should be requested if there is excessive bleeding. Bleeding from most small wounds will stop following the application of a wound dressing.

    Protection from dehydration - the use of a hydrogel (e.g. Intrasite) will help protect a wound. This can be covered by a vapour permeable film dressing (e.g. Opsite) to provide further protection.

    Immobilisation - certain wounds may benefit from immobilisation or splinting. A figure of eight dressing can be used to immobilise the lower wing, for example, or the limb can be strapped to the body.

    Analgesia and antibiotics - broad spectrum antibiotics can be provided in the first instance: clavulanic acid potentiated amoxycillin (150mg/kg orally or subcutaneously) will provide cover against most aerobes and anaerobes. Analgesia can be provided with NSAIDs (e.g. carprofen (Rimadyl)) 5mg/kg subcutaneously or intravenously. Local anaesthetics should not be used in birds due to the suggested sensitivity of birds to drugs of the procaine group "."
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  6. chicken legs

    chicken legs Out Of The Brooder

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    If it were my chicken I would give a little bit of Rescue remedy found in health food stores. I had a very sad loss due to a chicken hawk...know what you're going thru...sorry
     
  7. CJD

    CJD Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2007
    dlhunicorn, thanks so much for all of the information. It really helps.

    I did clean the wound and put blue-kote on it, and it seems to be scabbed over. She did make it through the night, but she still isn't eating. I tried to tempt her with some cut up grapes (her favorite), cooked mashed up corn, and some mashed up hard cooked egg but so far, she hasn't eaten any of it. She still won't stand up, and her eye's still closed, but she did cluck at me this morning, so hopefully, this is a good sign?

    Chicken legs, what is Rescue Remedy?

    Mary
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    if it were me I would not take the risk and get a systemic from my vet... (antibiotic) ... your bird is probably still suffering effects of shock and will need electrolytes/vit in the water...if you do not have then gatorade will do in a pinch (this is much better than sugar water)... when she has calmed down (make sure she is drinking >dribble some water regularly along her beak... need to do this each hour to remind her to drink)... you can also offer live culture plain yogurt (not the flavored desert kind)... in addition to this you can cook some human otameal (in water) and mix with her feed...
     
  9. CJD

    CJD Out Of The Brooder

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    I will give the gatorade and yogurt a try, and see if I can get an antibiotic from the vet. I'm going home at lunch to check on her, and I may bring her back to work with me so I can keep an eye on her and make sure she's drinking.

    I called the feedmill to see if they had any guinea hens, and they actually gave me a pretty good tip for keeping predators away - If you put a radio where your chickens are, and tune it on a talk station, the hawks won't come around. I guess they don't like the sound of human voices. Anyone have experience with this?

    Mary
     
  10. hollyclyff

    hollyclyff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've not tried the radio thing, but I can't see it working really well. Just last week my daughter and I were out swimming and my daughter is pretty loud in the pool - she never stops talking. We heard a commotion from the chicken coop and looked over to see a red shouldered hawk sitting on top the screened run. Our chicken coop is only about 30-40 feet from our pool. The hawk didn't even make a move to fly away until I got about 15 feet from it. I had planned to free range my girls, under supervision, when they got older, but I think I've changed my mind now. Apparently our hawks have little fear of humans.
     

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