Hen lost her eyes?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by G8REngineer, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. G8REngineer

    G8REngineer New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2011
    I am new....Last fall I had 5 chicks that I lost to a raccoon the first night in the coop. Much work on the coop securing everything I bought 3 hens and a rooster yesterday - about 8 month old Barred Rock chickens. Learning from what happened last time I left my pistol loaded with a flashlight ready to go and had a window open to listen. About 3:00am my dog woke me and I heard a ruckus in the coop. I managed to shoot and wound the raccoon (yeah, I had flip flops, a pair of shorts, no shirt, holding a flashlight in one hand, crouched shot and he was moving.)

    Anyway, checked the birds, Roo was doing great, one hen was in the house and did fine, the two in the coop had blood on their beaks. It was then I noticed one looked like she was missing her eyes.

    Looking at her today -- I guess her eyes are there (I am new, remember), maybe a lid closed up over each one. She has been very lethargic all day, she has eaten when I put food right near her. I also believe she layed an egg (egg near her this afternoon, don't think another girl layed it). I just inspected her again before coming in and can not find any other wounds or areas of concern. She is not as upright and erect as the other birds.


    Any thoughts? Are her eyes ok, just swollen maybe?

    Reinforced the coop more this afternoon, can not imagine anywhere a coon would get in. I dread darkness falling.....

    J
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Based on your description, i would suspect some kind of internal injury. If she's still eating and drinking, that's a GREAT sign, but if i were you, i would bring her inside, where she can have quiet rest (and possibly some vitamins and scrambled eggs) and get a better look at her. She may have taken a hard bump to the head or gotten scratched in the eyes, or any number of things.

    Raccoons are rascally, and they're very strong. One lesson i learned is to not try to protect against raccoons with chicken wire. Chicken wire is great for keeping chickens in, but it isn't great for keeping much else out.
     
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Treat her for shock. Keep her quiet and comfortable and offer her food and water frequently. Dip her beak in the water or food so she knows that it is there. A mixture of half Gatorade and half water is best and see if you can get her to eat scrambled eggs or any treat to get her to eat.

    Can you post a picture?

    I know you have your gun ready but think about setting some traps to get the racoons on the outside of the coop before they get in.

    I hope your hen is well soon.
     
  4. G8REngineer

    G8REngineer New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2011
    I will get her inside today and post a pic -- show her some love. She is responsive to my voice, seems to know I am there.

    Debating between traps and an electric fence. Considering a second fence about 2-3 feet way from the coop. Issue with trapping is what to do with the raccoons next. Shooting is not high on my list but given it was in the coop I had no options at that point. Thanks for the support and help.

    John
     
  5. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Question... is hardware cloth sufficient to keep these critters out? Or is it insufficient as well??
     
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Half inch or smaller hardware cloth is usually very successful. Besides that it is not all that strong, another problem with chicken wire is that the holes are large enough that a raccoon can reach through it and will -this is awful- eat your chickens bite by bite, or grab their heads. I have had great success with a basic wooden coop, using 1/4 inch hardware cloth for the windows.
     
  7. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Clean her face off and put some triple antibiotic ointment on her face. Maybe you can get some antibiotic ointment for her eyes from your vet?

    You can't always be there to get the coon, so you have to make your coop and run impenetrable. I thought mine was......but a coon got in over the top of the 6 and 1/2' fence, covered with 2 layers of birdnetting. So we then put utility wire over the top too. We went 5 years without anything getting in. Then one evening, it somehow got in. [​IMG]

    1/2" hardware cloth is good, but you have to put it on top of utility wire, for strength. I also use 1/2" hardware cloth over all the coop windows.......but they are too high for coons. If yours are lower, I suggest the utility wire there too, along with the hardware cloth and put it so that it can't just be pushed in easily.

    If you have problems in your run, I suggest 2' wide 1/2" hardware cloth just laid flat on the ground, right up to the run wire walls all around the perimeter and anchored to the ground with landscape staples. The grass will grow through this and you won't know its there.........but a predator can't dig into it and get under the run walls.

    Its not cheap, trying to make our coops and runs safe, but it sure helps keep the heartache down!
    Coons are just plain vicious. They are incredibly smart, creative and aggressive.

    Chicken wire might keep chickens in, but it doesn't keep the bad guys out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  8. G8REngineer

    G8REngineer New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Quick photo. She is very lethargic, but allowed me to hold her. I tried to check her eyes but could not open the lids. I can not find any injuries.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Any suggestions would be great. I am cleaning up her face and putting some antibiotic creme on her eyes.
     
  9. Chihuahuamom444

    Chihuahuamom444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dont use antibiotic cream in or on her eyes unless it is opthalmic for the eyes....you May be able to get some from a drug store although one made for cats/dogs would be better, do you think a vet will let you buy some?
     
  10. Chihuahuamom444

    Chihuahuamom444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He might have scratched her eyeball which is very painful, call around and see if someone might sell you some, if you have a good relationship with a vet they may let you get some
     

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