Injured Hen


Aug 2, 2021
Good Afternoon, I am a new hen owner and love my chickens. This sweet girl was attacked by something and was healing well until her flock sisters got her a few days ago. I have separated them now and she seems alert drinking, not eating much though. Berm cleaning wounds with anti microbial spray, using antibiotic ointment. Yesterday, there was maggots that I had yo remove and just a few today cleaning wounds three times a day. Does look normal? What recommendations does anyone have? I am really wanting to save this sweet hen. We think she got on to of fence and our dog plucked her feathers initially but her flock mates did most injury. We are just learning this process. Thank you again


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You're doing the right things regarding treatment, but you'll need to keep her away from flies (source of her maggots). Is there a place indoors she can stay for a few days?

I'm tagging some folks that have far more experience with injury treatment than I have, but in the meantime you can run a search at the top of this page in the tan bar where it says "Search Forums" and find much information on treating injuries such as this...

@azygous @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock @dawg53
The wound needs daily cleaning, not just spraying with a wound spray. I will assume the wound is on the back unless you tell us differently. A closeup photo doesn't give us context - showing the whole chicken in relation to the wound.

Letting a wound scab over often traps bacteria underneath, risking infection and slowing down tissue regrowth. It's important to wash and debrid (remove dead and damaged tissue) the wound every single day and keep it moist with a topical ointment.

I've had decent luck painting Blu-kote on the cleaned wound, let dry and then smooth on the ointment. This helps to make the wound unappealing to the flock.
Is the wound on her upper back and wing? That is a harder place to give soaks to get all of the maggots off. Saline in a spray bottle could be used, but since maggots can hatch out for awhile after you find them, it will help to keep after them. Homemade saline is 2 tsp or 9 grams of table salts dissolved into a liter/quart of water. Boil and simmer for 15 minutes, let it cool, and place in a clean jar. Vetericyn wound spray or chlorhexidene 2% is also good to use. Keep up with the antibiotic ointment. The lungs are located in the back, so listen for any air escaping. Hopefully she doesn’t have internal injuries.

It helps to have a wire dog crate to use as a hospital crate for ill chickens. As said, keep her away from flies indoors if possible. It may take weeks for her wound to heal, and when it heals some, I would let her have some supervised time back with her flock. I would slowly reintroduce her in the dog crate with food and water, since she may be bullied.

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