help traumatized hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kaylie, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Kaylie

    Kaylie New Egg

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Any ideas how to help one of our hens after suffering trauma from a bobcat attack in the run. he got in last Friday afternoon/evening and dragged two hens out and killed. It would have gotten June but we caught it in the act and scared him off. June appears to have no injuries but her behavior is altered. She was hiding under the body of another that cat had killed when I found her to be alive. She is very still and sits or huddles wherever I put her--perch, box, or ground. Her right eye looks fine but she keeps it mostly closed. She appears to be drinking and eating small amounts. We gave her rescue remedy by dropper. I noticed today that she cant seem to hit a piece of food that she aims for. She seems to be 'off target' to the left when trying to peck. No blood, no lost feathers, no skin tears. I just dont see what is wrong other than trauma and don't know how to revive her other than some tlc.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    She might have some brain swelling. I would keep her quiet and would close her up in my dog carrier with food and water if it were me.

    If you don't have facilities for that, just keep an eye out for her as you said (tlc).
     
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    You really just have to wait and see, just keeping her up to snuff health wise is a good start, chickens can be litteraly scared to death they have such fragile little brains and the littlest things seem to freak them out. Just give her some time and in a few weeks she will have totally forgotten the whole episode.
     
  4. Kaylie

    Kaylie New Egg

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    thank you for the encouragement. I want her to make it so very much. Losing the ones the bobcat killed was enough. I guess it really traumatized us, too. I will watch her carefully. another question: We think it got in the same way it went out--under the gate to the run. I dug it out and filled it back in with stone pavers so there is no clearance for it to break in that way again. Can bobcats burrow under the fencing and get in that way or climb over the top of the wire fence? Would a motion sensing light stop him in his tracks? I want to secure the run better. any ideas?
     
  5. rebel-rousing-at-night

    rebel-rousing-at-night Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I hope your girl makes it. [​IMG]

    They can climb over the fence for sure. I think if the cat was intent on getting another meal the light would not stop it as it would be in prey drive. JMO as I've not had experience with bobcats.

    I think the best way to stop it would be several strands of electric fence around your run. As it is I agree to keep her in a dog carrier inside your home or garage with food and water.

    Make sure she eats and I would give her electrolytes w/vitamins in her water. To be sure she got some I would use a dropper.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Pickaduck

    Pickaduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awww, I'm so sorry for you and your sweet hen! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I would do as others have suggested. She may have been jostled around and may have a little brain swelling or her eye could be scratched. I'd keep her in a crate if possible and give her electrolytes and it'll take a little time for her to recover physically and mentally/emotionally.

    As for the bobcat - they can definitely climb! I think you'll get some good advice in the predators and pest section of the forums if you ask about bobcat-proofing your run.
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Bobcats can certainly climb and dig and no light of any kind is going to scare him away. a nice shock from an electric fence would put him off his game but the strands need to be someplace he will actually touch them.
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    PS I wonder if ultra stressed chickens can get "traumatic blindness" because they are so shocked , and be okay once they are back to normal. Or maybe she was injured when he attacked and hurt her eye. We can't get into their minds and know what is going on.

    Poor baby - they can't de-stress with talk therapy like a person might.
     
  9. Kaylie

    Kaylie New Egg

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    thank you all for your helpful comments. I have kept her pretty still. She likes to rest in a nesting box. BTW, I have also installed a baby monitor in the coop so I can hear any disturbances in future. Thought she might be dehydrated, and I have been helping her take water. I treated her homeopathically with Acontinum for shock. Liquified some pellets in water and gave with eyedropper. She seems much better today. I feel more confident that she will survive. She is keeping both eyes open for the most part now and they look nice and clear. You were so right about the depth of shock. Amazing little creatures. [​IMG]
     
  10. Dez

    Dez Out Of The Brooder

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    Good idea with the baby monitor ! I may steal that idea

    I had two hens and one was attacked and killed by a raccoon. The remaining hen was traumatized and did not want to return to the coop for a while.. She is just now getting use to going back there to sleep.. but usually waits for us to go out to the coop to 'tuck her in' before she will go in.

    Poor girl, I hope you hen will recover. Give her lots of love
     

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