Injured hen drinking and spilling a lot

NatJ

Songster
Mar 20, 2017
313
704
146
USA
When should I start force feeding her? The attack happened 3 days ago, and she hasn't had food since.
You do have feed available for her, right? So she can eat if/when she wants to.

I would offer wet, mushy chicken food and see if she eats it, before trying any force feeding--because eating for herself is less stressful than being force-fed.

Also, if she eats just a few bites, and a few more later, that is a normal eating pattern for a chicken (they don't usually eat giant meals, so don't worry if she doesn't want to stuff herself at once.)

Sorry I don't have any advice directly about force-feeding, just ideas about when/how to avoid it :)
 

ecwetzel

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 16, 2014
26
45
99
As far a fluids go, I would aim to get 15 ml per pound into her every 6-8 hours.
While she didn't eat anything, she did bring her beak down to her food bowl and attempt to. Hopefully she is getting her appetite back?

She also has some mucus coming out of her eyes and in her mouth. Do you think she needs antibiotics, or anything?
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Antibiotics probably would not hurt since she may have a fractured beak and has predator wounds. They are hard to get though, and best obtained from a vet. Amoxicillin is sometimes found at TSC as Fish Mox in the medicine aisle for animals. Dosage would be 250 mg (for a 5 pound hen) twice a day given orally for 5-7 days. Injectable Procaine Penicillin G (in the refrigerated medicines at feed stores) can be given if you can do injections. That would require 3 ml syringes with 20 gauge needles. Dosage is 1/4 ml given in the breast muscle once daily for 4-5 days.

I would keep her eyes cleaned or washed with saline eye wash twice a day. Terramycin Eye ointment or plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment can be used in eyes. That is in most drug stores and grocery stores. Vetericyn wound spray or eye gel is also good.
 

ecwetzel

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 16, 2014
26
45
99
Antibiotics probably would not hurt since she may have a fractured beak and has predator wounds. They are hard to get though, and best obtained from a vet. Amoxicillin is sometimes found at TSC as Fish Mox in the medicine aisle for animals. Dosage would be 250 mg (for a 5 pound hen) twice a day given orally for 5-7 days. Injectable Procaine Penicillin G (in the refrigerated medicines at feed stores) can be given if you can do injections. That would require 3 ml syringes with 20 gauge needles. Dosage is 1/4 ml given in the breast muscle once daily for 4-5 days.

I would keep her eyes cleaned or washed with saline eye wash twice a day. Terramycin Eye ointment or plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment can be used in eyes. That is in most drug stores and grocery stores. Vetericyn wound spray or eye gel is also good.
Oh, good to know. Thanks for all this.

So I can just put Neosporin on her eyes?
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
48,475
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southern Ohio
You can buy Terramycin eye ointment at many feed stores (ask a clerk for it,) but I have used plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic in the eyes of my chickens. Neosporin eye ointment is prescription only for $30 through a vet, while the OTC is $3. Terramycin is oxytetracycline, and about $16 at feed stores. Vetericyn is very good to spray around the face and eyes for wounds as well. Antibiotics are frowned upon in chickens, and most are not approved. But in cases of a wound such as hers, I am pretty sure a vet would prescribe some. Amoxicillin is pretty safe, and you should wait 14 days after finishing it to eat the eggs if you use it.
 

ecwetzel

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 16, 2014
26
45
99
Ok, next question for all you helpful folks...

She was already starting to molt. Now she has quite a few bare patches on her body where feathers got ripped out (but no wounds, thankfully), and she is losing feathers like crazy (much more than regular molting). I'm worried she won't have many left by the end of this week. She will spend a couple of weeks inside, but when do you do with a chicken who has been through an ordeal and is also placed back outside without many feathers during winter weather?
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
In what part of the country are you located? It may be a challenge to get her well and back into the coop. I would try to keep the flock familiar with her with short supervised visits, possibly having her spend time with them in a wire dog crate when you are not caring for her. Hopefully her feathers will begin growing back in. I have made one piece now-sew polar fleece hen saddles for some of my hens who had bare backs at one time. If her recovery is slow, she may need to spend the winter months in doors, but if she can start eating on her own as soon as the pain lessens, you might be able to get her back in the coop, at least in the dog crate with food and water. We have had a couple of threads about hens who have lost their entire beaks, yet survived because they learned to eat strips of scrambled egg and wet feed. One had to be tube fed for awhile at first. I would try to get her back in the coop with the others soon, but you will need to get her drinking and then eating with her sore beak.
 
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