Injured 2-3 week old peachick - NEWSFLASH - Talons to blame!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JestersEye, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2008
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    My son just got some peachicks a few days ago, and today he noticed that one of them has an injury on its back, just under the right wing. The wing is not injured, but the skin over the back / side of the bird is cut open, creating a good 2 or 3 inch-long gap that exposes the muscle underneath. There is no blood at all, just some wetness resulting from seeping fluids. We have no idea how this injury occured, but there was a minor incident yesterday in which the dog knocked the cage lid off the brooding pen. Some of the chicks had scattered a bit and fluttered around before we got them back inside the safety of the makeshift brooding box. After talking to an avian rehab guy I know, he thinks the chick may have exerted itself trying to fly and the tissue was too thin, causing it to rip or tear.

    The chick continued to behave normally, and no injury was apparent until this afternoon. I have disinfected the area with a weak hydrogen peroxide solution, and am planning to put some stitches in an effort to hold the skin closed while it heals. I have sent my mom out for some supplies: betadine (providine iodine), small sewing needles, and thread. It would be great to have actual surgical thread, but the regular stuff will have to suffice. I'll post again after the procedure is complete.

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    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  2. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE - My husband and I were able to clean the wound with the Betadine, and we then proceeded to gently stitch the skin closed around the tear. At first, we attempted to have him hold the bird while I stitched but he kept squeezing the bejeezes out of the chick with his big Frankenstein hands! Finally, I had to take over and direct him on where and when to poke the needle and thread through. I was able to keep control of the bird better (with a more delicate grip) while still using the forceps to manipulate the edges of the tear for suturing. In the end, we were able to apply four stitches; and making me feel a whole lot better about the chicks prospects.

    It was easy to run the stitches through the bottom of the tear, through the skin that runs along the side of the chick, because the skin seemed loose and not well-adhered much to the underlying muscle. However, the skin along the top of the tear was very tight and obviously caused discomfort to the bird whenever we had to pull the edges up for the needle to pass through. Poor baby! S/he was a trooper, though, and endured the ordeal very well, I think. I disinfected with Betadine again after the stitches were in, and then placed the chick in isolation from its pen-mates, but in the same room so they can call to each other. The chick seems to be resting a lot, but appears alert when I check on it. I added some Duramycin-10 powder to the drinking water to ward off infection, as well as sugar to encourage it to drink. I also gave it some scrambled egg mixed with some starter feed, in the hopes that it is continuing to eat despite the turmoil and stress. I think I've done everything I can do for now. If anyone thinks of any advice I've overlooked, please feel free to post, email, or PM.

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  3. mahsmaj

    mahsmaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love your story. I cant beleive anyone hasnt said anything yet!!!

    Edited to say shes a cutie
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  4. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you've got it all under control! Keep us updated as to it's progress.(My husband holds my son's feet like that when he clips toe nails) no more daddy clipn toe nails 1
     
  5. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have finally spotted the chick eating from the scrambled egg / starter food. However, it seems to be getting more and more antsy about being separated from the other 4 peachicks, possibly because it is approaching "bedtime". I noticed its feathers shivering and then it started pacing around and sticking its head through the cage wire.

    Earlier in the day, it seemed fine about settling down to some peace and quiet. I'm afraid to put it back with the others because the breeder I got them from said that the injury could have happened from the talons of the largest chick (about 3 weeks older). They all seem hell-bent on climbing on each other's back. In order to calm him/her down, I have decided to put it in with my other son's 3 little Blue Andalusian chicks. They like to huddle around and peck at their peachick pal, but they can't really do any damage since they are so small (only a few days old).

    It seems quieter now that it has a flock of feathered friends to sleep and keep warm with, but it is still whistling for its real flock from time to time. I hope s/he can stand being separated from them for a few more days and nights.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  6. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Good job on the surgery. I recently had to sew up a badly ripped open hen, due to overly excited rooster. She healed fine. I used "Furall" - a spray antibiotic that sprays on yellow and helps dry and heal and keeps flys off wound. I got it at feed store. It also keeps others from pecking at wound.

    As long as you have it in with some little chicks it shouldn't be too lonely but I would try and put it back with its flock tomorrow because the longer you wait the more of an outsider it will be when it returns. I doubt it was another peachick that caused that injury. More than likely the dog "incident" is what did it. Since it seems to be covered by the wing I don't think the others will do much harm to it but keep an eye on it just in case. The first few minutes is usually when the curiosity sets in, after they settle down they lose interest in pecking at whatever seemed new.
     
  7. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm actually relieved if the injury wasn't caused by the other peachicks, since that means it shouldn't happen again (now that we've fixed the problem with the cage top). Our "patient" spent a happy, quiet night nesting with our little Blue Andalusian chicks. The chicks were happy to have a bigger bird to huddle around, too. After reading the last post, I have decided not to keep the peas separated for long; assuming, of course that all looks well with the wound site...

    I briefly inspected the stitched area, and it looks fantastic! No seepage or drainage of any kind, as far as I can tell. The tear line seems dry and tightly closed. I am very pleased with our accomplishment so far. The chick has been eating well, and appears to behave normally. I assume that it is feeling well at this point. I removed it from the company of the chickens and dabbed the wound with diluted Betadine solution before re-introducing it with its own kind. There wasn't even any pecking. They kinda just looked at each other and that was it, like no big deal. It appears they aren't even aware that the other chick was injured. As long as no infection sets in, it seems as if tragedy has been successfully averted! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  8. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Great job. You might want to look into buying a can of the spray "Furall" and spray the wound. The spray keeps flies and thus maggots from getting into the wound. If the flies get on the wound, it will soon be infested with maggots and you will have a terrible ordeal on your hands. The hen I had to sew up was ripped open from the back of her comb, down the back of her neck, all the way to her shoulder blades and it was a jagged tear. I closed some up with stitches but there were still gaps I couldn't close. There was no way I could keep her inside and even if so, we get flies in the house, so I got the Furall and sprayed her and it dried it all up and allowed her to stay outside fly/maggot free.

    And, I wouldn't want to contradict a vet but I have peachicks and they have been flying around from day one and I really don't see how one could rip itself open like that trying to fly. I really believe the dog got it or it ripped itself on something trying to get away from the dog.
     
  9. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I will try to get some of the spray you mentioned. Luckily, we are keeping all the chicks inside right now, but we have had flies in the house from time to time. This has been a BAD year for flies... In fact, we even lost a pregnant mini lop rabbit to "fly strike" in June, when she was only a week away from her kindling date. It was very sad to lose her! [​IMG]

    I was wondering about the "rip theory" myself. It does look like a tear, though, rather than a cut; but I wondered if maybe the dog had gotten a hold of its wing and held on for a second as it tried to flap away. I guess that might've created enough stress on the skin of a young bird to cause it to rip or tear open like that. If so, I'm just amazed that the wing wasn't damaged at all.

    I'm really glad that none of the chicks were hurt severely, and the dogs have since gotten used to the idea of having birds in the house. They seem a lot calmer about their presence now, thank God. I should've realized that the cage top wasn't secure enough before the "incident" but at least we were able to lock it all down after the fact. All's well that ends well, I guess! ;P
     
  10. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm gonna hafta change the original assumption as to the cause of the skin tear... I just inspected all the chicks again, and the one with the injury (which my kids call "Perch") is looking great; healing well. However, one of the others of the same age and size has a smaller tear along its back, in very much the same location! The wound seems more shallow and feels very dry. At least, it doesn't look as raw as the other chick's wound had, before the stitches were put in. I still think I'd feel better if I put a stitch or two in, if only because the skin is pulled apart if left as it is.

    I really think this must be happening as a result of the claws of the largest chick, the Black Shoulder that is 5-6 weeks old. I examined it closely and even managed to use the small animal clippers to trim its toenails (and I have the pooped-on shirt to prove it). I also asked my hubby to cobble together a small wooden perch to add to the cage, so they have something to climb on besides each other. I'm really hoping that helps to prevent any future accidents from "excessive roughness".
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008

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