Infected Wound on Tail

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HuttonFarm, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. HuttonFarm

    HuttonFarm Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Nov 2, 2010
    Afton, NY
    Hi everyone,

    A couple days ago I noticed that my chicken has had most of her tail feathers broken off at the base. I am sure some were pulled right out, but many still have the ends inside. She was bleeding but I left it, figuring I'd keep an eye on her to see if it would heal on its own. Many of the chickens were contributing to breaking it open again. Now it has grayish-white goo all over. I believe it is infected and I need to know what to do with her. It's getting cold up here in the north and I have been hesitant to move her into the house because then she would not be getting used to the cold weather, but I feel now I need to. Either that, or crate her inside the coop.

    Anyway, I need to know what to do with the wound. Should I soak it in warm water and try to clean it out really well, then put neosporin on it? Should I pluck (gasp!) the remaining feather stumps or should I leave them in? Should I bring her in the house or should I crate her in the coop with a heat lamp (b/c she can't curl up with the others at night to keep warm). Should she be on some sort of antibiotic? I am worried for her. She is acting completely fine otherwise, but I don't want this to get out of hand.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Kelly
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    451
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would crate her in the coop for her own protection, leave the feather remnants alone, clean the wound well as you suggest, and use Neosporin. The cleaning is important. I'd probably just use saline or warm water with just a little mild soap in it; more important that it be thorough. I would probably not go the antibiotic route, other than the Neosporin, but you could give some Penicillin if you want to. You need to keep a close eye on it for maggots and necrotic tissue, and get rid of any maggots fast if this happens. If it gets necrotic (black or yellowish rotten smelly tissue, not a scab) it will need more serious attention.

    You are exactly right about jumping right on this. If you'd rather put her in your house, go ahead. Hopefully you can put her back out pretty soon. I would worry more about her losing her place in the flock than getting acclimated to the cold; that is a factor, yes, but a few days or a week shouldn't make that much difference, I wouldn't think.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2010
  3. HuttonFarm

    HuttonFarm Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Nov 2, 2010
    Afton, NY
    Thank you so much for your reply! I checked her last night and her tail has now crusted over. It is no longer bleeding, and it doesn't look as though anyone has picked through it recently. There is some black - but I think it is dried blood. I am hesitant to soak it to remove the "scab" now that it's finally dried. Should I still remove it just to see if there is infection in it? Or should I leave it alone now that it's hardened up? I thank you for any advice - I'm new to chicken health!

    Thank you,
    Kelly
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by