How to take care of a chicken with an open wound?

MaeM

Songster
Dec 9, 2020
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197
106
Hi! A few days ago, I found an open wound below one of my hen's wings. Like a huge slash that left her skin loose from her "armpit" to the beginning of her thigh. At the time I compared it to a kangaroo pouch. It was super red and... damn, we had a bad time because I knew I needed a vet but couldn't find one. When we finally got someone to see her, it was too late to sew her up because the tissue had died (turned black). The vet recommended not to try to glue it or anything because the skin will not withstand it. He gave her antibiotics and told us to bathe her with antiseptic.

So I have this hen with an open wound and I was wondering if there's something I can do to help her close it. I don't really trust this vet, I don't know if he really knows A LOT about these birds. And maybe there's some sort of "trick" (like an ointment or something) that could help her scar over that wound. The hen is ok because we literally bathe her with antiseptic, but that thing is dangerous and most importantly, I think she is in pain. She isolates herself and barely drinks and eats because it hurts to stand up (she lifts up her leg). She spends her days hidden in the coop, sitting down in that same spot, it breaks my heart.

P.S.: We don't know what caused the wound. The location of the wound makes me think it was the rooster, but I didn't see this. And the vet said it could be a smaller wound which ended up turning into this slash because we didn't see it earlier.
 
Aug 10, 2020
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Hi! A few days ago, I found an open wound below one of my hen's wings. Like a huge slash that left her skin loose from her "armpit" to the beginning of her thigh. At the time I compared it to a kangaroo pouch. It was super red and... damn, we had a bad time because I knew I needed a vet but couldn't find one. When we finally got someone to see her, it was too late to sew her up because the tissue had died (turned black). The vet recommended not to try to glue it or anything because the skin will not withstand it. He gave her antibiotics and told us to bathe her with antiseptic.

So I have this hen with an open wound and I was wondering if there's something I can do to help her close it. I don't really trust this vet, I don't know if he really knows A LOT about these birds. And maybe there's some sort of "trick" (like an ointment or something) that could help her scar over that wound. The hen is ok because we literally bathe her with antiseptic, but that thing is dangerous and most importantly, I think she is in pain. She isolates herself and barely drinks and eats because it hurts to stand up (she lifts up her leg). She spends her days hidden in the coop, sitting down in that same spot, it breaks my heart.

P.S.: We don't know what caused the wound. The location of the wound makes me think it was the rooster, but I didn't see this. And the vet said it could be a smaller wound which ended up turning into this slash because we didn't see it earlier.
Hope your hen heals soon! Keep her isolated from the rooster for at least two weeks, until the wound heals. Make sure she has a saddle on when you do reintroduce her. DownUnder makes a good one and you can find it on amazon.

When the wound is still open, you can rinse it with saline or lactated ringers solution. Betadine should only be used when the wound first happens and it should be diluted until it's a light brown color. It can damage tissue that is trying to heal, so only use when the wound is first being cleaned.
Then just use pure saline for a week or so. That's correct, you don't want to trap infection in an open wound like that, so stitches are not a good idea. Normally I don't use antibiotics for a wound like this, but if she is acting differently, it may mean there is infection.

Best wishes!
 

Eggcessive

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It sounds like a spur injury while the rooster was trying to mate. They can be deep, and it should be cleaned daily either with saline or 2% chlorhexidene, or Vetericyn Hydrogel. You can then apply plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment twice a day until the tissue begins to come together and heal from the inside out. If her wojnd cannot be seen by others, she mY be alright with her flock. But you can keep her in a wire dog crate with food and water, kept with her flock. Don’t forget to check your rooster if you have one to dull or trim his spurs.
 

LEMAYTXCKNCOUNSELOR

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Premium Feather Member
Oct 23, 2021
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Our Speckled Sussex hen had an almost identical injury. We did not know if she would pull through but gave her every chance. My farrier told me that they are tougher than we think. We cleaned the wound, kept her isolated for a few days in a dog crate and gave her water with electrolytes and occasional treats to stimulate her appetite. We dissolved aspirin in water for the pain. She made it and is now healthy and happy. If your hen has made it this far that's a great sign. Isolating themselves is normal behavior, it's instinct not to show injury. Wishing you the best with her.
 

MaeM

Songster
Dec 9, 2020
101
197
106
Betadine should only be used when the wound first happens and it should be diluted until it's a light brown color. It can damage tissue that is trying to heal, so only use when the wound is first being cleaned.

DAMN. I was using peroxide and the vet told us to use Betadine TWICE A DAY!!!
I'm super worried now!!!


If her wojnd cannot be seen by others, she mY be alright with her flock. But you can keep her in a wire dog crate with food and water, kept with her flock. Don’t forget to check your rooster if you have one to dull or trim his spurs.

She is ok with her flock. They don't peak at her wound because it is not visible. But she doesn't want to be with them. I tried to let her free range with the others but she hides in the bushes. Sometimes she doesn't even come out when I call them all for treats.

That's worrying, I'm afraid of infection. And at the same time, I think she's better away from the rooster, if he tries to mount her, he could harm her deeper, right?

My rooster doesn't have spurs yet, tho. If he did this, he did it with his toenails. Can toenails be trimmed?
 

MaeM

Songster
Dec 9, 2020
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197
106
Photos of the wound?

The circled part is not attached to the hen's body. It is literally like a kangaroo pouch. I try to keep it clean.
 

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MaeM

Songster
Dec 9, 2020
101
197
106
Guys, thanks a lot for the advice. Her wound is slowly healing with no sign of infection. But she is kind of traumatized. She still spends her days hiding in the bushes. She barely comes out to eat and drink.

I didn't expect her to lay eggs any time soon but since she hasn't done so I think she may still be stressed. Or malnourished from hiding and hiding without eating. I mean, she doesn't forage anymore, she only feeds on what I give her but I have to literally find her hideout and leave a plate with food as nearest as possible to it because she won't come out.

I feel so bad for her. Is there anything I can do?
 

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