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HOLE in hen's side from aggressive tom?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by charliemikeoh, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. charliemikeoh

    charliemikeoh New Egg

    Nov 29, 2011
    Our Sweetgrass hen started limping about a week ago. We thought she had hurt her foot, so we removed her form the pen and crated her to let her rest and heal. Three days ago, we happened to lift her wing and found out she has a HOLE in her side (maybe 2" in diameter). Apparently it is from aggressive breeding (?). Oddly, it does not smell offensive, but we have read conflicting "advice" --- stitch it, don't stitch it; use iodine, don't use iodine. There is NOTHING to stitch; it is too wide. She is crated again and getting some exercise. She does not seem any worse or better. Eating, drinking, pooping, walking. All fine. But the wound does not seem to be improving either. Not getting worse at least. Advice? Thanks in advance!
  2. charliemikeoh

    charliemikeoh New Egg

    Nov 29, 2011
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    You will probably get quicker and more helpful responses posting this in the Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures forum.


    Unless the hole in her side gets closed, she will become infected and die. If you do manage to keep her alive, get a hen saddle and put it on her before allowing her back in with the tom.

    Good luck.
  4. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2014
    I had not had this issue with my turkeys yet but I had the same experience with one of my chickens. The rooster was over aggressive when mating, she had a gash on her side caused by the rooster's spur. It looked really bad, here is a picture of what it looked like. I cleaned the wound with peroxide, I know some people frown on peroxide but I used it only once to clean the wound. I mixed some Epson salts with water is a small bowl so it was like paste. I put the mixture in the wound and put the hen in a separate cage in the coop. after a few days, it stared to heal and the wound closed completely without the need of stiches.


    Gash on side of hen before treatment, it took a couple of weeks but it got well..
  5. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2013
    Had this happen last year.

    A small Bourbon hen and to big of a tom.

    He slipped off and gashed her down both sides.

    She could barely walk. More or less fell on or head if she tried.

    I isolated her in a clean dry pen away from all the other birds.

    Blue koted wounds. About 3 weeks she was healed and started laying again.

    Hope your hen gets better.
  6. Yrat

    Yrat Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2016
    I also had this happen last year to a hen, likely from my tom simply slipping a bit while standing on top of her. I was worried because the skin was ripped wide open showing completely bare muscle. I didn't do anything for it, kept the hen in with the others and the chickens, and she healed up just fine. I got a little nervous when she was dust bathing in the dirt on the third and fourth day, but it seemed like that was part of the natural healing process, the wound dried right up and almost sealed with dirt, scabbing over and looking very healthy.

    She healed up just fine without any intervention... only for it to happen again a few weeks later! Poor girl... but once again, she healed up on her own.

    I made sure to keep an eye on it over this process, watching to make it looked alright the whole time and didn't start oozing or anything that would indicate an infection. It never did, despite the bare exposed muscles. I believe turkeys, and chickens for that matter, are much hardier than most people give them credit for.

    2nd day (didn't manage to grab a pic when it was at its goriest):
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    3rd day:

    4th day:

    after about a week:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It's common apparently, I've had a few too, all have healed without any help besides some bluekote if the wounds aren't too deep. We tried trimming spurs but it doesn't help, Some toms are clumsy.
  8. Yrat

    Yrat Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2016
    I have wondered if it's not actually the spurs that cause this, as it seems more likely it's probably his inner toenail "talon" that does the damage as his foot slides down her side.

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