Help, my pullet got scalped by her siblings

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ReliezFarm, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. ReliezFarm

    ReliezFarm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2016
    My first time posting for help!!! I have found so much information here, it's great!!

    So, when I opened the coop as usual today at 7am to let the birds out, they all were excited as normal to get out, Rooster first, followed by the pullets, and two bit older bantam pullets. EXCEPT for one, which was in a bloody lump on the ground in the corner of the coop. At first I thought she was already dead, but she was just pretending. It appears that she was pecked and abused by the others in the morning excitement to get out of the coop. My chickens are free ranging on our 2 acre fenced property.

    This injured girl is one (Plymouth Rock) of 6 chicks from the same daddy, but 3 different mommies. They are all about the same size at 7.5 (corrected!!) weeks old. They normally get along fine and I have only seen them doing their play fighting thing in the yard. None of the larger birds bother them, but they know to stay clear of the older birds, if their mommy is not near to protect them.

    So what I've done so far. I used 3% H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) to clean the wounds and get all the dirt off. I'm putting neosporin ointment on the open wound. There isn't enough skin there to cover the skull that is exposed. I pulled up the skin that is there as much as possible. But every time she shakes her head it comes loose again. I 'd like to put something like 2nd skin on it to give it time to grow back, but don't know how I can attach it to stay. Is there a way to bandage a bird like this? if I wrapped gauze around it's head, the ears would be covered. There was also pecking damage on her body/wings, but that will heal up better. I still wiped her down with the hydrogen peroxide.

    I'm holding her on my lap, keeping her warm, since she seemed cold when I picked her up. I am going to put her in a large carton with a heating pad set to 85F for isolation. I'll have water and food in there for her. As I'm sitting here the whole crew was outside my window and she was calling her mother, who answered. I had to go outside and let them see each other, fed everybody some treats (bird seed mix), including the injured pullet. the injured bird jumped off my lap and did a nice big poop (thanks!!) She wanted to hang out with the others, but is wobbly on her feet (still in shock?). Then I noticed one of the other pullets noticed her head and started acting like it was going to attack it. I grabbed up the injured bird before anything happened, but I could see the intent. So she is back on my lap, quiet and resting. She was shivering, but has calmed down and is resting with eyes closed. I'm going to continue to observe and keep her isolated inside.

    Is she going to live? What can I put on this open wound to help it heal and not get infected? Will the skin grow back or how will her head every heal up?

    Thanks for all the help this site has provided. I'll check back later and hope to find some remedies... Stephen
    chick with scalping.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  2. ReliezFarm

    ReliezFarm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2016
    What about a liquid bandage, like 2nd skin?? anybody had experience with this on chickens? I know plenty of people that swear by it on humans.
  3. MaddMaverick

    MaddMaverick Chirping

    Jul 25, 2018
    Don't use hydrogen peroxide on a wound like that. You'll just kill additional skin cells with it. A better thing to use would be Vetericyn spray. They have a poultry specific bottle but the ingredients are the exact same as the dog version. I had a banty rooster that was scalped almost as bad as that and he survived aok. No more peroxide, keep up with the neosporin for a day or 2 then let it scab over to protect the wound, spray several times a day with the vetericyn. It'll take months for that to heal completely. Probably never grow feathers on its head again from the scar tissue that'll form. If you live in a cold climate you just got yourself a house pet.

    Attached Files:

  4. BGcoop

    BGcoop Songster

    Aug 5, 2018
    I’ve used it on dogs and it worked well. No idea on chickens though.:confused:
  5. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    Oh your poor girl :hitfrom what I understand they are very attracted to red so if you have any hope of them not attacking again you need to get some of the blue spray (Blue Kote or something, I'm not sure but sure someone knows the right name!). The spray on stuff could work, you cna also get special Vetx bandage, you may be able to tie it around her head with a dressing underneath.
    BlueBaby and ReliezFarm like this.
  6. MaddMaverick

    MaddMaverick Chirping

    Jul 25, 2018
    Also that "newskin" stuff burns like fire and you'll have one heck of a time getting it out of the feathers as the only thing that removes it is more of it or acetone based finger nail polish remover. It doesn't work in large wounds anyway. It's really only for small cuts.
    DobieLover, ReliezFarm and Shadrach like this.
  7. New2Chicks97

    New2Chicks97 Songster

    Jul 3, 2018
    Washington State
    Holy moly! They did a number on the poor chick.

    I have used the new skin stuff on my daughter but never on an animal so don’t know how well that would work. It does sting a bit so be aware that brushing it on a wound like that isn’t going to feel good so you may need help if that is the route you choose to go.

    It sounds like you are going to have to keep her separated until the bloody spots heal up some to avoid the others attacking her again. I wish I could be of more help but I haven’t had my chickens long enough to know much about caring for injuries.
    DobieLover and ReliezFarm like this.
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I have had polish chickens scalped just like that, and they did well healing with plain Neosporin twice a day for several days. Then when a scab would form, I would spray BluKote on daily so they could be with the other chickens. It would be good if she could be with her broody and chicks for some visits, or take one of the chicks to be with her as she ehals. But the red will be pecked, so use caution and supervise them. Another possible product to use would be Alushield spray, a silver wound spray that might help to get her back with her flock quickly. I would use the ointment for 2 days, then switch to that:
    Here is some info:

    You can buy it through TSC, Stateline Tack, Valley Vet Supply, Amazon Prime and others:
  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Keep her inside, coat the exposed area with a thin layer of honey. Get some wound tape and try to gather what skin is left as tightly as possible without giving her a chinese facelift. You will probably have a house chicken for a month or so.:)
    DobieLover and ReliezFarm like this.
  10. Al Capon

    Al Capon Songster

    Dec 12, 2017
    Central OK
    Liquid bandage works to seal cuts, but it burns like a @#$%# %^&*^R.! Don't know if chickens feel that kind of pain, might use it as a last resort.
    PrettyChickens15 and ReliezFarm like this.
  11. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    I'd use superglue before i'd use nuskin, superglue dosen't burn.
    DarkWater1929 likes this.

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