Help! My hen was attacked!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SquawkN.Poop, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. SquawkN.Poop

    SquawkN.Poop New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2010
    My hen was attacked by something yesterday. We keep them in their pen and hen house at night, but when we are home, we like to let them out to eat grass in the yard. We put them out while we were eating dinner. After about an hour out in the yard, we put them back in their pen, but Suzie Q. was nowhere to be found. We found a few feathers in the grass and thought the worst. We spent a long time last night and today looking for her, but assumed she was a goner.

    Then tonight I let our dog out and he walked down the steps where he sniffed at something and I saw that it was Suzie Q. She was hiding under our stairs, which is near the outside of the coop. She had jammed herself in between the stairs to hide. When I pulled her out, I noticed that her back was all torn up with feathers missing and a few puncture wounds. The wound had some dried blood around it. One of the punctures appears pretty deep- maybe 1/2". I pulled as many of the feathers away from the wound as I could. I noticed a few fly eggs on some of the feathers near the wound. I cut off all of the feathers that had the eggs on them, then cleaned the wound with alcohol dabbed on a paper towel. We put neosporin on the wound and put her into a clean nest box. She is limping on her left leg, but I didn't notice a wound on her leg. She was able to move around and didn't really want me to clean her wounds, but sat still for me after a while. I was very gentle with her, not wanting her to hurt herself anymore. She did drink some water. She seemed comfortable laying down in the nest box where she feels protected.

    I don't have a heat light here (we borrowed my parent's heat lamp when they were chicks and have returned it). I also don't have a garage or shed or any kind of separate outdoor room other than the chicken coop at this time. Should I bring her in to the house for the night? I do have a clip on lamp that I can put in the coop, but I don't have a dark or red light. I'm worried that she might get too cold: it is supposed to be 44 degrees overnight. She was out in the cold all night last night with a wound. [​IMG] Anyway, any help you could offer would be great. I'm hoping that she makes a full recovery, but I don't want to make her suffer needlessly.

    Squawk N. Poop
     
  2. Catz1611

    Catz1611 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2010
    Fredericksburg VA.
    Sorry to hear about your hen! [​IMG]

    one of my Roosters was attacked by our dog when the person watching our house accidentally let the dog out, not realizing the rooster was out too.

    Long story short..I came home after a week of it happening..The Rooster lost all his tail feathers and a good number of other ones. he had a 1 1/2 inch bite mark on his back that was pretty deep. he also was limping because he had gotten scraped pretty good on his hip.

    what I did..cleaned the wound with water and peroxide..had a maggot come out..ew.

    then i packed the wound with Neosporin then took a cat/dog carrier and put it up to where the opening was facing the ceiling..put hay in it..then the rooster.

    I had him in our bathroom..and when he was in I shut the carrier and placed a regular lamp on top of the carrier door. (I did this for about three or four days, then put him back in his coop..still keeping my eye on him.)

    The next day, I went to tractor supply they told me the best stuff to get was called Trophy EMT Gel, natural hydrolysate of collagen. it can be used on large or small animals and is completely organic. it worked WONDERFULLY. Neorsporin is fine though.

    my rooster is doing great now.. is not limping and is healed up with his tail feathers growing back nicely.

    hopefully this helps and encourages you. [​IMG] and I hope your hen heals quickly!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  3. StormyRidgeChixLady

    StormyRidgeChixLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2009
    Sorry to hear Suzie Q was attacked. Its sounds like she will be just fine, i have been through this many times between predators, breeding season, and pecking order. If you can keep her inside where it is warmer, she will be more comfortable, and will have to use less energy to stay warm and her body can divert that toward healing. But if you have to put her outside (its not freezing so she would be ok) do not put her in the coop, the other chickens will pick at her and the wound, unless you have a cage you can put her in and then set that inside the coop. Whereever you put her, it must be very secure because other animals can smell the blood and that she is wounded. So it may attract feral animals. If your chicken house isnt very predator proof dont put her in there. When they figure out they cant get her bc they cant get in her cage, they will more than likely go after the others. Your best bet for everyone is to bring her inside. Do you have a laundry room, mud room, or seperate foyer?

    Other than that, I would use peroxide on the wound, only once, no more alcohol. Neosporin will be fine for now, but if you have access to a farm store, get some nitrofurazone also labled NFZ. Its always good to have on hand in the goop and powder form. For this you want the goop, it comes in a jar. I usually grab a few q-tips to scoop it out and apply it. This way you know your applicator is clean and its alot less messier. The NFZ will keep the infection out/down and keep the wound moist. They have a tendancy to get very hard, dry, and crack. If she has a bum leg, you will want to keep her mobility as confined as possible for a few days, then test her leg out and go from there on if you should confine her again.

    Hope this helps, Good Luck!
     
  4. SquawkN.Poop

    SquawkN.Poop New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Update on Suzie Q.:

    I brought her inside the house and put her in a large, very sturdy, thick cardboard box with lots of bedding and some corn husks which she likes to use for nesting. Over the top of the box, I put a flattened wire bird cage that fits perfectly and allows me to lift one side. This is the same setup I had for them when they were chicks before putting them outdoors. I have her in a room where I have my veggies from outside that I'm trying to overwinter, so there is a warm light 12 hours per day. I also added a small light above her cage to keep her warm, which I turn off about 2 hours after the big light shuts off and turn on 2 hours before the big light comes on. That way she is warm throughout the day and gets about 16 hours of light, but also has lots of time to sleep. It's a 60 watt bulb, so it's not very bright.

    I cleaned up her wound with warm water and hydrogen peroxide. I did get some fizzing in the puncture part of her wound. I cut the feathers that were matted with blood and were getting into the wound. I have been putting neosporin on the wound once per day. It's starting to scab over, so I've been backing off on the neosporin a bit.

    She is very mellow and is not eating with her usual voracious appetite, but is eating. I've been giving her some of her favorite treats: corn on the cob, apples, tomatoes. She takes a few bites of them, but isn't super interested in eating a lot. I need to get her some grapes- they are their absolute favorite thing to eat. We went to the feed store and they didn't have any NFZ, but they gave us antibiotics for poultry and other livestock and told us to put it in her water. She is drinking the water with the antibiotics just fine.

    She seems to be healing fine. I'm wondering if her mellow, lethargic demeaner is due to the injury, or because she is missing the other hens? The other 2 girls have been pretty freaked out since the attack as well. They seem very on edge, which is not how they acted before. I'm hoping when Suzie is well enough to rejoin her sisters, things will get back to normal. Also, when I reintroduce them, do I need to have Suzie Q. stay in a cage for a day or two to get them used to each other again?

    Thanks so much for your advice!
    Squawk N. Poop
     
  5. FaneBursuc

    FaneBursuc Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2010
    Romania
    SquawkN.Poop, in my country (Romania) chicken + puncture wound may means terrestrial leech. Check for that, usually they hide under the fowl house, especially if the house is made of wood planks. I don't know if in you country leeches are a problem,but in mine there are, especially in country side. There are not only "water" leeches, as many beliefs, there are terrestrial leeches too, who usual attack small fowls. Somme that leeches could reach 20 - 25 cm long or maybe more, and are a real threat to chickens. They attack at night defenseless chickens, slipping in to the hens house between wood planks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  6. SquawkN.Poop

    SquawkN.Poop New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2010
    FaneBursuc: Thank you for your response. Fortunately we don't have terrestrial leeches here! This was definitely either a bird of prey (hawk or eagle) or a predatory animal like a dog or large cat. Her back feathers were ripped out across her entire back (about 3"x5" section) and she had two small puncture wounds where the animal bit her or it's talons dug in. she had also lost some skin across about an inch-wide section. Her leg is also injured. She had all of her feathers the day before. She is only about 7 months old. She is doing so much better now though and the puncture wounds are scabbed over.

    Thanks again!
    Squawk N. Poop
     

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