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Hen attacked by raccoon. Blind and acting strange

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by matthewschickens, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. Two weeks ago a raccoon got in our henspa. He killed 2 hens and badly injured one that I am worried about. She is a Rhode Island Red. She is 2 1/2 years old. She can open one of her eyes but we do not think she can see out of it. She had gone a week without food. We were trying to feed her with a dropper with no success. Then she started drinking out of a small bucket and is currently eating a watery ground-up food we blended. Yesterday she would not take much food or water! When I went out this morning she would not take anything. She has been pooping a watery substance. She is losing a lot of feathers. We know she has a bad neck wound but it does not seem to be bothering her.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Matthew, I'm very sorry about your losses and this girl is certainly a challenge.
    It's a very good sign that she ate yesterday and she may have overdone it and be stuffed now and taking a break.
    The trauma is no doubt catching up, but there is still hope.
    I am not one for giving antibiotics but I rather think this is a time for them to get the neck wound resolved. Since she will drink they could be given in water.
    The chooks can be very tough and she is in deep trouble as you know.
    I'd be inclined to treat this one in the house in a dog cage, but in this weather it could mean keeping her there all winter, should she survive.
    The thing about separating is also this- should she perish, you know immediately and can dispose of the body.
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida

    I'm sorry that one of your first posts has to be on such a sad subject. I hope this hen can make a full recovery. It doesn't sound likely, but often these birds can surprise us with a miraculous rally. I hope your hen is one of these.

    There's a very wide spectrum of chicken-keeping philosophies. You need to decide for yourself where you draw your lines, how much intervention you'll give a sick or injured chicken, at what point you will decide to euthanize. You also need to decide, if you don't know already, just which method you'll use and who you'll have do it, whether yourself, a friend, a professional. There is a lot of help here on this forum to inform & support you, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Personally, I don't know how much more I would do for a hen in this condition. I like to give them a chance as long as there is life & as long as they don't seem to be suffering. Certainly keep her in a hospital pen, keep ker clean, warm, quiet & protected. Keep the wound clean, watch for signs of infection & treat it. Keep her hydrated, provide water & food. I'd place her beak in it but not force her to eat/drink. And of course, pray for a miracle.

    If you need more input on reinforcing your henspa against future raccoon attacks, check out the Predators & Pests section, also the Coop Construction forum. Please keep us posted as to her outcome.

    [​IMG] Lord, please touch & heal this hen! [​IMG]
  4. Hello again,

    She is now molting heavily.
    Do you think this is from molting or dying?
    What antibotics should I give her?
    She also has started to make chicken noises.
    She has really slowed down on eating and drinking since last week.
    Should I give her Yogurt?
    She is in a separate cage.
    She will not really let me look at her neck.


  5. Is there a power booster that I can give her?
    She is dying very fast and I need all the help that I can get!

    Any help will be much appreciated:)

  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    I don't have the experiance to help with the trauma part, but do have some with molting. Molting can be really tough on them sometimes. I had one of mine inside in the dog crate for close to two weeks, no trauma, just in bad shape do to the molt. Try offering her some scrambled or chopped up hard boiled egg. They need extra protien during molt and eggs work well for that. When mine was at her most lethargic and wouldn't eat even the eggs I got her interested in wet cat food. Cat food can be high in salt and is not good as a steady diet, but can work well to jump start them when nothing else is working. It would also be a good idea to add some vitamins to her water or some poly visol (no iron) on her beak for an extra boost. Good luck and keep the updates coming.
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    According to your first post this hen was attacked 3 weeks ago, correct? Has her condition improved at all since it happened? Or did she get better for some time, and now is getting worse again?

    There are times when chickens make remarkable recoveries from the brink of death. But other times you have to intervene and put them out of their misery if they truly are having a miserable existence despite your best care.

    If she's eating, by herself with some appetite, you can try the protein-rich food like scrambled egg or cat food, along with the vitamins. But if you've been having to feed her by hand & she's still doing poorly, you may have to do something else.

    I'm so sorry for this hen & for your trouble.
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    If you can get a hold of parrot feeding formula from a pet store and mix it to a soft but clumpy consistency and using a syringe and holding her, inject small amounts into her beak. It has a lot of vitamins etc... Also scrambled egg, canned dog food-mushy kind.....
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    But it may not be a kindness to force-feed an injured bird who is not showing any signs of improvement. The forced food may be the only thing prolonging a miserable existence. Which may or may not be the case for this particular bird, I don't have all the details. Has her neck wound healed? How is her vision? How much does she move around on her own? How much interest is she showing in the world around her? These are all factors I consider when deciding whether or not I should help a chicken cross more quickly to The Other Side. I hope it doesn't come to that for this hen, but if you need information on humane euthanasia please let us know.
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I think it is up to the OP to decide, I was only giving a helpful suggestion that has worked for me before I learned how to tube feed. i have a roo that I have been tube feeding for a week, and although at the beginning I questioned his Q of life, he is now improving and I see a change in his attitude...... I have also nursed a roo that injured his back and could not move either leg to stand, it took a month but now he is a normal bird.... it just depends on the situation..... Best Wishes

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