1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Hen Gravely Injured

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tinyfarm, May 7, 2011.

  1. tinyfarm

    tinyfarm In the Brooder

    Dec 7, 2010
    One of my hens was attacked by a racoon last night, dragged out of the henhouse, over the fence, into neighbors yard. We found her alive, but all the skin and feathers have been ripped off her head, including her comb, and not sure, but it looks like one or both of her eyes are gone. She might have other injuries, but she is otherwise all in one piece.

    We thought she would die right away, so we placed her in a comfy box someplace quiet. This morning she is still alive. She seems calm until I touch or move her, then she starts panicking.

    I'm at a loss of what to do for her. I don't want her to suffer, but it seems that taking her to the vet would be even more trauma, and I doubt she can be saved. We are city-folks who are completely incapable of humanely culling her, so we'd have to take her to the vet to have her put down, again more trauma.
    Would it be cruel to just wait it out as long as she's calm? Should I take her to the vet anyway? I feel just terrible. Any advice or opinions appreciated.

  2. Willie647

    Willie647 In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2008
    Southeast Texas
    That is really a hard one. If she can't see at all she might heal but what would her life be like? It breaks my heart too but you don't want her to suffer too long. When she is resting does she seem to be in pain ?
  3. MSDeb

    MSDeb Songster

    If this is a pet, read this entire post before making a decision: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=474095

    you decide to try and nurse her back to health, keep in mind that during the months it will ntake for her to heal she will need to be separate from all other birds and she will be susceptible to every little bug that comes around. That being said, we have a hen that was mauled pretty badly by a raccoon who has healed and regained her place in the flock. She was and is the head hen.

    Good luck. Only you can decide what is best for your situation.
  4. LindsayB

    LindsayB Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    Poor girl [​IMG] Chicken are very tough. Shes probably still in shock from the whole ordeal. I would keep her separated and see if shes eating or drinking. Did she lose both eyes? Chickens can get around with one eye but it would just be cruel to keep her alive if she is going to be blind.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Quote:Sounds like she's in shock, extreme stress. Given the extent of the severe injuries and possible eye loss, I'm sorry to say that I recommend that she be culled.
  6. tinyfarm

    tinyfarm In the Brooder

    Dec 7, 2010
    She doesn't act like she's in pain, but I can't imagine she's not feeling pain unless she is in a kind of sleep/coma/transe. Since she can't see I'm assuming she thinks its nighttime and is in that sleepy state. I'm hoping she'll just quietly pass away in her sleep. If she lingers or if anything changes I'll take her to a vet. We're in Los Angeles and new to the area, I doubt vets her see many chickens. I hope they will help. Thanks for your reply.
  7. LindsayB

    LindsayB Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    If your hoping she passes away in her sleep I would just go ahead and cull her. Its apparent that shes in pain if her wounds are that bad, chickens hide pain pretty well... The easiest and fastest way to cull her is to get pruning shears and quickly snip the neck. Instant death, no pain. Might sounds mean, but its much worse letting her go through that much pain and if she can't see she's probably scared to death. I know it may be hard for you to do, but sometimes you have to build up courage and JUST DO IT. Don't think about it too much...Just walk in there and do it.

  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:I agree, though I'd caution that for a full grown hen the long handled type are going to be safer than hand ones.

    For my part, I would not keep animals if I did not feel I could do this when it comes down to it, and even have a plan ready. Really, if you think about it, of course it will be difficult and objectionable.
  9. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    This is your decision to make, I can only say that I would not allow her to suffer. Going to the vet to quietly and gently end her suffering would be a kindness. I don't believe in waiting for mortally injured animals to die. A friend recently allowed her grievously injured dog (hit by a car) to suffer in the barn for two days before it died, because she didn't want to pay the vet bill. She was relegated to the barn so the children wouldn't be exposed to her suffering. Even typing it makes me sick to my stomach.

    You are obviously a compassionate person who wants to do the right thing. I can only say what is right for me. Also, I agree with another poster who said you need to be prepared for these types of occurrences and either know that you will take them to a vet or dispatch (cull) them and how, when the situation arises.

    My sympathies for your loss.
  10. Balbinka

    Balbinka Songster

    Apr 16, 2011
    This situation is killing me!
    How heartbreaking...

    If you aren't going to get her treated by an avian vet, get her put down, PLEASE!
    She is in pain and even if she does die in her sleep, how is it fair to her to let her suffer?
    Really, how much more trauma could euthanasia be compared to having her face ripped off?

    I don't mean to sound like I'm attacking you, I'm not! It is just so sad and I can feel the pain of your hen through the monitor.
    I am so sorry you have to go through this, good luck with your girl,


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by