Injured hen, suspected raccoon attack- condition update!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Noymira, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    We had a close call last night with what we believe to be a raccoon attack. There's a post on it in the predator/pest section if you want to read it. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=559148

    One
    of my hens was injured it what appears to be a "reach through the wire and grab a handful of bird" attack. Late last night all I could tell was that they were all standing and moving and there was no blood, otherwise they were too spooked to get close to so I left them alone. This morning one of my hens has a wing drooping and is limping on the same side. She is otherwise running around and eating/drinking normally with the others. She did not want to be caught, but I was able to catch her gently. I found a wound above her wing, looks like a tear about 1/2-1" long, but it's not bleeding. I could not find any punctures or tears anywhere else on her and she did not struggle when I felt her side or leg. When I turned her on her side her wing flopped over and she doesn't seem able to move it, so I'm not sure if a tendon or something may have been torn or if it was broken. She can use her leg, but has a definite limp. I could not find any blood on her feathers anywhere.

    This is my first injury with a bird, I'm not sure if and how they show pain but she did not seem bothered by me checking her out. I didn't want to injure her further so I tried not to do much other than look her over. When I put her back down and she ran off with the other hens. Other than a limp and droopy wing she seems fine.

    Is there anything I can or should do? Or something else I should check her for tonight?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Tampa Area, Florida
    I'm sorry to hear your girl was hurt. [​IMG]

    I would put her in a crate for a few days to give that leg a chance to heal. You can clean the wound out with Betadine and apply Neosporin to it. Antibiotic may be needed if it gets infected. Increase her protein by adding scrambled egg and/or yogurt to her diet until she heals up. Aspirin can be given for pain, the link in my signature has the dosage. I wouldn't try to stitch or glue the wound closed, I guess you could butterfly if it does not close on its own.
     
  3. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:Thanks, I've got a large collapsible wire dog crate I'll put in the pen with the others so she can still be near them, but have a little time to heal. I've got some homemade yogurt in the fridge I'll give her and make some scrambled eggs tonight. I'll watch the wound for infection and put some Neosporin on it.

    Is it normal for there to be no blood with a wound like that? I know bird biology is a bit different than other mammals, but I've never kept birds before.
     
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Brooksville
    When one of my girls gets injured, I give her about a 10-minute soak in a sink full of warm water and betadine, diluted to look like weak tea in color. They really seem to relax and enjoy the bath, and the soak gets the betadine into wounds that I might not find under all those feathers. Then I dry them off as best as I can and put them under a heat lamp in a crate to dry the rest of the way. A scrambled egg or mealworms for the next few mornings helps give extra protein. After a couple of days, I introduce them back to the flock.

    I have tried Neosporin or other gels/creams, but in my experience they just seem to get the feathers stuck to the wounds, making the bird uncomfortable, plus it becomes a magnet for dirt during dust-bathing!

    Good luck with her!
     
  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:Thanks!
     
  6. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    I went to check on her again when I got home from work yesterday and she was acting fine. The small tear above her wing is scabbed over and looks good; not swollen, hot or oozy. Her wing is definitely broken, I can feel it, but it does not seem to be causing her any pain and there are no sharp protruding bones anywhere. It almost feels like it was pulled apart at the joint.

    The limp has gotten a little bit better today. I was going to separate her, but she's acting almost perfectly normal. She was dust bathing today and running to me for treats with the others. I've seen her eating and drinking normally. Aside from laying down a little more than the others when out in the run, she acted just fine. She let me turn her over on her side and poke and prod her all over, I cannot find any other wounds or swollen areas and she does not react as though anything hurts when I touch her. I think she'd be more upset to be taken from the others and caged up.

    I think I'm just going to leave her alone and see how it goes. The only thing I can see that will be a permanent issue is that she will not be able to fly up to roost, and she's been curling right up in the nesting box on the floor to sleep at night. That's not a huge issue for me, I can leave a nice little nest on the floor for her. If it seems as though there are any quality of life issues for her over the long term I may decide to cull, but I don't think that will be a problem based on how she's doing now.

    We've spent some time and effort securing the quarantine pen to hopefully avoid a repeat attack, and set a trap for the coon if it comes back.
     

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