Hen attacked by skunk; please help!

gingerz45

Chirping
8 Years
May 23, 2012
11
1
77
Two days ago, I heard my chickens making a ruckus, so I went out to see what was happening. I was horrified to find a skunk had gotten into their pen and was chewing on one of the hens. My husband and I managed to get the skunk far enough away so I could grab the hen. Her entire comb and scalp had been chewed off and her left eye is damaged and stuck closed! I now have her in a big box in my house and I have been cleaning the wound regularly with warm water and antibiotic soap, and then covering the area with bacitracin. So far, there is no sign of infection, but I wonder if the hen should be getting an oral antibiotic, just in case.

Also, she isn't eating or drinking voluntarily. I've seen other posts that say to tube feed, but I have no idea how to do that. I have been using a syringe to give her small amounts of water every 1/2 hour, but she doesn't really open her mouth, so it is a very slow process. In the past when I have had to give water to a sick hen this way, I would force the mouth open, but because of the seriousness of this hen's injury, I am reluctant to try that. I think she can manage without food for a few days, but she definitely needs water, especially since we are in the middle of a heat wave.

All suggestions welcome.
 

nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,833
3,414
376
Tennessee
Try just dipping her beak deep in the water but not covering the nostrils; should that fail you will have to force the beak open but be careful and slow with syringing. While white bread has little nutritional value it does work well for force feeding (and it's better than nothing). Roll bits of fresh, white bread into small, swallowable balls. Force the beak open and place the ball as far back in the mouth as you can while massaging the throat to induce swallowing. Feed slowly and be sure they are going into the crop and not building up in her throat.

GOOD LUCK!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
21,331
32,411
1,036
southern Michigan
Back to that skunk; where are you located? Did you kill the skunk and have it tested for rabies? Did you handle this bird with gloves on only, or bare handed?
All relevant to your health and safety!!!
Getting fresh saliva from an untested skunk is reason to have rabies vaccinations pronto!
You can call your doctor, and your public health department, to get moving on this.
Sorry, I do hope your poor bird survives.
Mary
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
55,249
45,744
1,202
southern Ohio
It would be good to see the wounds. If they are extensive and she isn’t able to respond, it might be best to put her out of her misery. If she seem responsive and you think she could survive and live a quality life, then I would learn to tube feed. It depends if you have the time to devote to caring for a severely injured chicken. She needs to be separated from others, away from flies, and kept in a crate or basket. Hibiclens (chlorhexidene and water are good to clean the wounds, then apply plain Triple Antibiotic Ointment twice a day. Here is a link about tube feeding:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/go-team-tube-feeding-updated-12-29-2019.805728/
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
84,676
98,638
1,677
SW Michigan
My Coop
My husband and I managed to get the skunk far enough away so I could grab the hen.
What happened to the skunk did you kill it?
Did this happen at night or during the day?

Back to that skunk; where are you located? Did you kill the skunk and have it tested for rabies? Did you handle this bird with gloves on only, or bare handed?
All relevant to your health and safety!!!
Getting fresh saliva from an untested skunk is reason to have rabies vaccinations pronto!
You can call your doctor, and your public health department, to get moving on this.
Sorry, I do hope your poor bird survives.
Mary
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom