Hen's face not looking normal (pics included) help!

tayjamieson

Songster
Jan 11, 2019
104
164
116
Mount Vernon, Washington
Hi Everyone,
I just went out back and saw one of my hen's and I'm concerned about her, I'm not sure how to describe the way she looks so I have included photo's below for you guys to see.

My boyfriend told me this week he has been seeing a skunk by our coops in the mornings, we also have noticed holes dug along the perimeter of 2 of our pens so something is trying to get into our coops. We plan to shoot this skunk when we have a good shot to do so, but we haven't been successful quite yet. Anyhow my boyfriend thinks the skunk MAY have sprayed this particular hen because he said when he walked up to the coop he smelled that skunk smell strongly and once all the chickens were let out of the coop he said the smell diminished.

If she was sprayed, would it have this sort of effect on her face like that? What can I do for her to help her out? I feel horrible, I definitely don't want any
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of my animals not feeling good. Any advice/opinions are greatly appreciated!
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,065
53,326
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southern Ohio
Sorry about your hen. She looks sickly in the face. Does her skin appear yellow anywhere on her body? I have never come across any threads about skunk spray on chickens, but after doing some reading, the spray can be toxic if breathed in, possibly can burn the eyes, and can cause nausea/vomiting, and in some rare cases, anemia. Here is a link to read read:
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/skunk-spray-toxicosis-odiferous-tale

I would do some checking for some other things, such as checking her under the vent for mites or lice, look at her droppings, feel of her crop and descibe if it is empty, full, hard, or puffy. Look for any eye drainage. Does she cough or sneeze? Offer some electrolytes and see if she will eat some scrambled chopped egg or wet chicken feed. Do you have an vet who would see her?
 

tayjamieson

Songster
Jan 11, 2019
104
164
116
Mount Vernon, Washington
Sorry about your hen. She looks sickly in the face. Does her skin appear yellow anywhere on her body? I have never come across any threads about skunk spray on chickens, but after doing some reading, the spray can be toxic if breathed in, possibly can burn the eyes, and can cause nausea/vomiting, and in some rare cases, anemia. Here is a link to read read:
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/skunk-spray-toxicosis-odiferous-tale

I would do some checking for some other things, such as checking her under the vent for mites or lice, look at her droppings, feel of her crop and descibe if it is empty, full, hard, or puffy. Look for any eye drainage. Does she cough or sneeze? Offer some electrolytes and see if she will eat some scrambled chopped egg or wet chicken feed. Do you have an vet who would see her?

Thank you so much for your reply! Unfortunately in my area I have tried contacting every vet I know of and none can help with poultry.

Well after I posted this I went and picked her up and she definitely was sprayed by the skunk. I used a first aid saline eye wash to rinse her eye's out well, and then I gave her a warm bath with a tiny bit of dawn dish soap and vinegar to remove the skunk spray residue.

After her bath, she was acting a little dazed and confused and she went into one of our coops and stood in the corner and closed her eyes so I assumed she was cold from being wet and I used my hair dryer on a low warm heat and got her all dry again. I also completely stripped all the hay out of my coop, cleaned it, sprayed it with a coop deodorizing spray, and put new hay down to get rid of the skunk odor.

I finally ended up putting her in one of my old chick brooders with fresh hay and a heat lamp in my basement to get her warm and cozy again. I just checked on her again after about 30 minutes and she perked her head up at me so she is more alert already. However her breathing sound's a little congested now, I'm worried that perhaps when I did the saline eye wash I got water into something that wasn't supposed to have water in it? I don't know? :( I hope she is going to be OK, I'm newer to caring for chickens and ducks so I'm kind of learning as these things happen, everyone here at BYC is always a huge help.
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
11,555
61,967
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Good job caring for her. Skunk spray is brutal! Though I’ve only treated a sprayed dog (twice). I really have no idea how to help you, but want to offer encouragement. I would give her extra TLC while she isn’t feeling well, like vitamins and electrolytes in her water.
 

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