Injured Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hoffmanmama, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. hoffmanmama

    hoffmanmama In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2013
    Central North Carolina
    Hi Everyone!

    I have had chickens most of my life with the exception of a short stent of apartment living while in college. So when my husband and I bought a home with acreage last year, I knew I was ready to have them again! I scoured the internet with dreams of dark brown eggs, feathered legs or the green sheen of an australorp. But when my husband came home and told me one of his coworkers had heard we wanted chickens and was beginning him to come get his (for free) we decided we would go for it. We now have a not so beautiful flock of nine - an australorp in full molt (if I can get a good picture of her backside, she will be entering the contest) two Dominique's, two red sex links, an Orpington, two 'amber whites' (which is not a breed I am familiar with) and a really lovely well mannered Americana rooster.

    The problem... The entire flock is a little worse for wear, but one of our amber white girls came to us with a pretty sever flesh injury on the back if the neck. She is molting, so I imagine that it started a bald patch that got damaged when the rooster mounted her. From there I think the whole flock has been pecking at it. When she came to us it was about the diameter of a Ping pong ball and the skin is completely gone with some mild muscle damage. I seperated her immediately and after giving her a day to settle in (they were pretty stressed from the transport), cleaned it really well with diluted peroxide and have been applying neosporin twice a day. She has a very healthy appetite (I have been giving her the special treatment, meal worms, yogurt, basically whatever she wants...) and I have been letting her free range a few hours a day. She seems very vibrant and does not have any range of motion limitations. She also has an excellent personality. She follows me around and is very gentle when we are treating her.

    It does seem to be better, my questions is: will it heal? With NO skin to cover the injury, what will happen? I don't want her to be isolated from the flock forever, but I don't want to let them make it worse right now. I'm definitely going to give it a good try, but if it seems like a chronic open wound I would rather just put her out of her misery.

    I will try and get a good picture of it tonight. Is there anything else you can think of to treat it with? I have put a good coat of blu kote on it as well and I am leaving it open to air.

    Thanks everyone!

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] It will heal - flesh wounds in chickens generally heal with good results. It may take a while affecting her position in the pecking order. Any chance that you could give her monitored free range time with the flock so that they do not come to view her as a stranger? If so, might be best without the rooster present.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Those kinds of wounds can heal if they are kept clean, neosporin or antibiotic cream put on each day, and no infection present. You can look up a lot of past injury pictures here on BYC where the skin grows together to cover gaping wounds--just search threads on the emergency forum. BluKote is great when the wound has healed more, and will keep the others from pecking it once she is back in the flock. I would keep her crate in the coop and run with the other chickens, so that re-introduction isn't so traumatic. Flies are not as much a problem as last month, but if they are in your area, you have to keep her wound away from flies since they will lay eggs creating maggot infestation (fly strike.)
  4. hoffmanmama

    hoffmanmama In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2013
    Central North Carolina
    Monitored free range is definitely possible! Thanks for the suggestion. And the area that she roosts is right next to the rest of the flock only separated by hardware cloth. So hopefully she won't be such a target when she is back with them.

    Thank you guys!

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