Hen has pecked her rear to pieces

nhc920

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2019
22
28
39
Georgia
My 9mo Welsomer hen has recently started first pulling her feathers and then pecking her rear under her vent. It was a bloody mess. I brought her in, washed her butt several times a day, used the rinse off antiseptic, hen healer, neosporin, made diapers from fabric like upside down aprons with a pad added, fed excellent food, blueberries, etc. But a few days ago it got so infected and smelled horrible, dead flesh and has eaten away a chunk under her vent like something took a big bite out of her. Her comb barely has color and even her eyes are pale. She's ripped her diaper off 2x today to get to her butt to peck til it's bloody and my bathroom is covered. I don't know what to do. Should I just put her down or is there a chance for her? Her poor butt will never be normal looking again so much of it is gone, just her vent left. Should I or not? I'm exhausted and I hate putting her through this if she doesn't recover. Is this gangrene? Help, please!
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,338
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Colorado Rockies
If you didn't treat the wound in the beginning with soap and water and antibiotic topical ointment, then by now she has a raging infection of which the bad smell is direct evidence.

Her pecking at her wound is indication it hurts a lot. That's what chickens do to a painful body part, trying to rid themselves of what causes them pain.

We cannot assess how bad the wound is without your posting a clear photo. But it sounds bad. The wound would require aggressive debriding with soaks in Epsom salt water twice a day. She would also need to be started on an oral antibiotic like penicillin. You may decide to euthanize her in lieu of the intesive treatment she'll require.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,262
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California's Redwood Coast
Hi there. :frow

Sorry you both are facing this... :(

Sounds like you misread what was going on.

Sounds very much like parasites (lice or mites). vent gleet, bullying, etc.. was how it started. Are you able to post pics?

You say excellent food including blueberries... blueberries are a treat, what is fed on a regular basis including treats and supplements? No judgement, just trying to help. We all do our best until we learn something different.

I would not put down a 9 month old pullet for misdiagnosis and treatment, unless that's what's recommended after seeing pics. It does sound awful though and euthanasia might be the right way to go! I would start with an epsom salt soak. Do you have the means for veterinary care? :fl
 

nhc920

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2019
22
28
39
Georgia
Hello!! Thank you for answering so quickly. Trying to get thoughts together as I wait for pics from son and hub. She was wormed a month ago and sprayed coop and hens multiple times for mites. She's clean. About 2weeks ago we noticed the freah wound and gave her a epson soak, then watched to see if she was bullied. She's in with only 2other young hens and we were slowly working on joiing her to the rest of the flock. The other 2hens seemed to not go after her and then we caught her self pecking several times. They had a separate run and now the other 2are with the rest. We brought her into the house as the wound got bloodier about a week ago. Her regular food is allflock, oyster shell and grit, treats are usually lettuce on a string and occasionally berries, not often. Just started letting them free range. Oatmeal is an occasional treat too. ACV in water. Have been washing with a Dawn/water solution in a spray bottle, rinse, then hibiclens, rinse and fresh bandage with neosporin 3x a day. Gave her blueberries as we read it was good to build up blood loss, tsp applesauce for amoxi ( not sure of amount, divided pills by son) OK, here's pics from this AM.
 

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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Please first post a picture. Hens can be vent pecked or feather pecked, and a wound may attract flies which then lay maggot larvae. There could be vent gleet instead. An infected prolapse might also be something that attracted pecking. Look her over for tiny bugs (lice or mites) especially under her vent and elsewhere. Epsom salts in warm water is good to use for soaking her and cleaning up the vent area. Plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment are good for applying to the vent or wound area.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,338
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Colorado Rockies
The wound appears to be within the realm of being able to be successfully treated. If you're giving her amoxicillin, she needs a minimum of 250mg per day for ten days.

I would increase her soaks to twice a day with debriding of any necrotic tissue. That's anything that looks dead or rotten. That's where the excess of bacteria is, so it's crucial to reduce that as much as you can. Far from harming the wound, this aggessive debriding will encourage new cell growth. Vetericyn is formulated to promote this cell growth, so get some and use it after every wound cleaning session.

She seems to be sabotaging her wound by pecking at it. Earlier I pointed out that this is what chickens often do to try to mitigate pain. So giving her a chewable 81 grain aspirin twice a day can help reduce the pain she is experiencing and maybe reduce her urge to peck at it. Covering it as you've been doing is probably the best thing to protect her from herself.

This will be a challenge to outrun the infection, but I know you can do it.
 
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