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Injured Pullet - do you think she'll make it?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by driver, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. driver

    driver Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    So we had 2 chickens happily for 3 years until one died last weekend. On Monday evening, we picked up a young pullet (almost full size height-wise) from our neighbor and put her in with our remaining chicken. When I got home from work on Tuesday, she had gotten pecked a bit on the head and neck, but I thought maybe that would be all, and they seemed okay when they went inside for the night. Today, she was a bloody mess. Her head and the back of her neck were really wounded, and her skin on the back of her neck was split open, leaving about a 1.5" x .75" hole. Since the edges of the skin were so far apart, I gave her two stitches to pull the sides closer together. She was acting normal, and I separated her from the big meanie. She was eating and moving around fine. Now, she still seems okay, but has some bruising/blood under the skin of her face on one side (she's white). The pecked area on top of her head was dripping a little bit just now. Not pure blood, but a reddish liquid - blood mixed with something.

    Can a young chicken recover from an injury like this? How can I get the two of them to get along? Any ideas for my situation?



  2. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Quote:Hi Susan,

    Sorry to hear about your new baby [​IMG]

    Can you post pictures?

    Also, did you clean the wound out prior to stitching with betadine solution? Did you put some neosporin on the wound? Lastly if you have a feed store near by and you think the wound might be infected you may want to seek out advice about putting the bird on liquid antibiotics.

    Best Wishes,
  3. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Songster

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    She will be okay, I had a girl get all the skin and meat pulled off her head down to the skull by my other birds, she grew her muscle, skin, and feathers back. Chickens are pretty impressive healers. I hope your girl recovers quickly!!
  4. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I think she might have a chance if you make sure her wounds stay clean and you give her time to recuperate. Hope for the best, good luck [​IMG]
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Sorry about the death of your chicken and the traumatic introduction of the new one.

    We have a hen who was practically scalped who recovered. We used lots of neosporinl, the kind without the pain reliever. The fact that she is eating is promising.

    Once your new pullet has recovered some [​IMG] then maybe you can try putting her in a pet crate or carrier within the coop so that bully hen can get used to her without abusing her.
  6. DickGJ

    DickGJ Songster

    Apr 8, 2011
    Sumter, South Carolina
    I've seen some posts here on BYC that I swear you would never believe the poor chicken would survive. Skin was removed to the muscle and even part of the skull/cranium was exposed. I definitely would have thought it was a hopeless case, but some of the experts here on BYC coached the owner through the ordeal and trust me...they may be scarred, but they did survive! I have seen some amazing veterinary skills here on BYC that I didn't think was possible by the "layman". If you have the time, patience, and determination to save the bird...it can happen, but you must separate this bird from all others...total isolation. If I find the threads, I'll add to your post. The one person who had their poor chicken pecked apart...had to cut the remaining cape off the neck and then added Blu-cote to the wound along with other medications and antibiotics. He/she said they kept the bird with another bird that seemed to be its best friend...but after a week or two, even the friend attacked the injured bird to the point that the owner had to start from square one. From what I hear on BYC...once they get the taste of blood, they'll go nuts over it. I never would have thought that would be the case from a bird...but trust me, I read it hear on BYC from folks with first hand experience. I'm going to start looking for that thread! Good Luck!
  7. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Well, she might survive. I had one that survived having a leg chewed off by a racoon! But I had a silkie die after 2 polish hens pecked her a couple of times and I took her right out. I would keep her warm and maybe give her some warm electrolyte mix. I think your other hens have been in charge of their area so long it will be difficult for you to add any, unless maybe you had a different coop and the new birds were there first. Good luck

  8. DickGJ

    DickGJ Songster

    Apr 8, 2011
    Sumter, South Carolina
    Preventing infection is the most critical component to recovery from serious injuries. The fact that one bird can survive a terribly traumatic injury over one that suffered what most folks would consider a minor injury...is usually because of the initial health of the bird and your ability to prevent infection.
  9. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Crowing

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    She should be ok with some TLC. Keep her separated, in a warm, dry, quiet place. Put antibiotics in her water then switch to vitamins/electrolytes in her water, never both at the same time, and make sure she's drinking. Also make sure she eats her layer ration, and supplement with foods rich in protein and vit. A & K, esp. A.
    Some foods high in vit. A are: broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes & tomato juice.
    If you have any of these veggies, boil them up until they are soft & chop them into bite-size pieces or mash them with a fork.
    And DickGJ is correct: preventing infection is critical. Keep the wounds clean. Irrigate with saline often and keep neosporin on them.
    Hope this helps her! [​IMG]
    Link to protein for chickens:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
  10. DickGJ

    DickGJ Songster

    Apr 8, 2011
    Sumter, South Carolina
    I'm so frustrated I can't find the post that I came across the other day! [​IMG] The injured chicken had almost its entire neck cape tore off. It was just hanging there and forced the chicken to hang its head to one side and low. The owner was debating on whether to remove it or not, but by the time they made the decision to intervene...mother nature and "Murphy's Law" kicked in and the poor chicken's hanging flesh got caught in the fence, or coop, or something that tore it off. My point is that the injury was so severe and the pics were so graphic, I would have written the chicken off as heaven bound! Amazingly, the owner posted follow-up photos to show that the skin grew back over the muscle and then later feathered out. It took quite some time, but the dang thing hung in there and survived. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself! Don't give up your efforts and hope... [​IMG]

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