Liz Birdlover

Crowing
Jan 6, 2018
1,277
4,329
396
Delaware, USA
Well this is a new one for me. My 3 year old Henrietta was recently introduced to a charming 1 yr old Roo, Casanova...his very 1st hen. They got along great, she squatted & he clumsily & hesitantly climbed on her back & always coo'd sweet sounds for her to eat mealworms, cabbage & melons, he would rarely take a bite for himself. He has never been mean to me or any other birds, he is a lover boy, hence the name Casanova. (I already have a Romeo & Valentino).

So apparently what happened is an accident, but I thought I'd share it here with you all, because I've seen photos of hens with "flesh pockets" and now I know exactly what it's from...a Roo's spur.
So I noticed she wasn't her chipper, outgoing self. I checked her over. If I hadn't put her on my lap, to lift and look under her wing, I never would've seen it!

Clumsy Roo has literally ripped her skin so badly that I had to give her 35 stitches. I flushed the wound with sterile saline & held her so it drained out, then cleaned feathers from the area so I could stitch her up with a disinfected needle & thread. I've stitched quite a few pigeons successfully after Hawk attacks, but this is my 1st chicken. I thought chickens may be more nervous & squirm around, but she got comfortable on my lap and stayed still.

Let me tell you, birds are so amazing! On my lap, whether it's for inoculating, tending to a wound or stitching up, they hold still & remain totally calm, looking at me with soft, trusting eyes. She is now on ammoxicillin & set up in a large carrier crate for some peace. Her appetite is great, she was chowing down right afterwards. I think she will heal fine. I just wanted to mention this because if this had gone unnoticed, hidden by her wing, it would've healed nasty...like pouches!

When stitching, I leave the last part at the bottom, abt 1/4" a bit open, as it will continue to drain from the saline wash and gradually heal closed by the time stitches need to come out. I apply a light coat of Neosporin to keep it moist but protected. Check and clean gently with q-tip and chicken wound spray as it cleans & disinfects, but doesn't sting. Stitches may be ready to come out in 5 to 7 days, depending on how the wound has healed.

She was an amazingly calm & sweet patient! She ate mealworms then followed me as I prepared her "hospital crate". She will be comfortable in the house a/c during recovery.

Heal well my sweet Henrietta! ❤ You have a cute assortment of hen saddles ready to wear!

Casanova...dude, you're getting a pedicure.
 

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Liz Birdlover

Crowing
Jan 6, 2018
1,277
4,329
396
Delaware, USA
Yes, I've had my own share of stitches from cancer surgeries & I removed my stitches when we got snowed in for a week, so you sort of learn how they look. I had pigeons injured from Hawk attacks about 20 yrs ago & learned doing the stitching real fast...pigeon was cut across crop & when he flew in, food spilled out of his crop onto the landing board. He had flown home injured! I still have that pigeon, he wears a purple leg band, his purple heart! 💜
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,376
27,254
932
Germany
Looking at the picture of your rooster, it was definitely not his spurs (he hardly has any yet) but his toenail that sliced her open.
To prevent this from happening again, keep his nails trimmed and filed until there will be no sharp edges or pointy tips left.

Your handiwork looks nice, hopefully she will heal up soon without any further issues.

Some years ago, this happened twice to my hens and both healed rather quickly without stitching nor antibiotics.

Maybe you could add some more hens to spread his love and attention?
 

Liz Birdlover

Crowing
Jan 6, 2018
1,277
4,329
396
Delaware, USA
Looking at the picture of your rooster, it was definitely not his spurs (he hardly has any yet) but his toenail that sliced her open.
To prevent this from happening again, keep his nails trimmed and filed until there will be no sharp edges or pointy tips left.

Your handiwork looks nice, hopefully she will heal up soon without any further issues.

Some years ago, this happened twice to my hens and both healed rather quickly without stitching nor antibiotics.

Maybe you could add some more hens to spread his love and attention?
That pic of them is old, just wanted to show them. His spurs are big & he is a big boy. My Roos are sweet & will perch on my outstretched arm...he is so heavy & big I need to use both arms for him. I will need to find him some larger hens. It's like a moose trying to balance standing on a bowling ball.
 

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LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,376
27,254
932
Germany
That pic of them is old, just wanted to show them. His spurs are big & he is a big boy. My Roos are sweet & will perch on my outstretched arm...he is so heavy & big I need to use both arms for him. I will need to find him some larger hens. It's like a moose trying to balance standing on a bowling ball.
Some Brahma or Jersey Giant hens might suit him better.

I once had a RIR x BCM cross that grew so big and heavy (6,5 kg), that even the bigger hens were left with dangling wings and wonky gait each time he mated one of them.

He was a wonderful, very calm and caring, extremely protective rooster that even had the 5 other roosters on a string, making them work together to chase hawks off etc. The hens loved him and threw themselves at his feet begging for him to mate them.

It's like a moose trying to balance standing on a bowling ball.
Great analogy! :gig
 

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