Is this more than I can handle myself?-Big wound from hawk attack on 6 week old chicks head


7 Years
I just found my 6 week old chick, and it looks like she was attacked by something (I’m assuming a hawk, since the dogs would have caught almost anything else). From what I can tell she must have tried to go through the run door (which is slightly ajar) in trying to escape and got her foot stuck. She came in to eat around noon, but I hadn’t seen her since (I have a large flock that free ranges on 6 ½ acres and it’s hard to keep track of everybody during the day). So she’s been stuck for awhile.

She has a large wound on the back of her neck and head. There are no feathers, and it looks worse than anything I’ve seen before. I can dress small wounds, but I’m worried this is more serious than I can deal with. I am the only one at home with any experience with this sort of thing. I am a minor, and can’t drive to the vet, or pay for it either. Our neighbors are cattle ranchers, and I’m sure they have had to dress some serious wounds before. I think they are home, so I could call them and ask for help, or for a ride to the vet’s office. Our vet doesn’t really know much about chickens, but he’s experienced with large animals. Do you think he would be any help, or worth the cost?

My parents will be gone for awhile, and are probably slammed at their restaurant right now. They will not be able to help.

So, do I call the neighbor’s for their help? Or for a ride to the vet’s? Or is this less serious than I think and could I do it on my own?

Here is a picture of the chick (I have since separated her):

Thank you in advance!

~~Ms. B :)


7 Years
Oct 13, 2012
Racine, WI -
My Coop
You are very intelligent and a good animal Stewart. Clean the wound with warm water if you can. Make sure you have removed any dirt. Be as gentle as you can. Blot it dry and if you can find antibiotic ointment or NuStock apply that.
Do you have pictures of the injured foot?


T.K.'s Farm
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
Oregon City, OR
My Coop
Ok take a deep breath, I have large wound experience. One of my girls had a 3 inch tear in her skin from mating. DO NOT COVER it with guaze. This will trap any bacteria into the wound. Apply some neosporin( without pain reliever in it) or other antibiotic ointment. If it is a loose wound you can use super glue to glue the wound shut. Keep her seperate until the wound has completely healed so no one pecks at it( in a dog crate in the coop/run is best so she can see the other birds, or a tractor if you have one). Increase her protein intake to help with making new skin and feathers. She should be good to go in a couple of weeks. Good luck and I hope this helps. If you can get some I used Vetricyn spray( most farm supply stores should have it) it helps keep wound moist and fight infection.


7 Years
Oct 26, 2012
Eastern Wa
My moms horse had something like this on his knee. We just put ointment on it, wrapped it up, and changed it every night after cleaning it. Of course, since this is a chickens head, I wouldn't wrap it. ust clean it every night, and put a little bit of the anti-bacterial ointment on it you get in a tube in the drug store.

Hope this helps!


7 Years
You are very intelligent and a good animal Stewart.  Clean the wound with warm water if you can. Make sure you have removed any dirt. Be as gentle as you can. Blot it dry and if you can find antibiotic ointment or NuStock apply that.
Do you have pictures of the injured foot?


I can probably get pictures in the morning. It's swollen and a little messed up, but she wouldn't really let me get a good look.....


7 Years
Jul 6, 2012
Funabashi Japan
My Coop
Impressed and curious.
Good treatment and amazing reaction for any minor.
EDIT: Honestly, good reaction for anyone, not just minors

Good things await you if you have the skills to keep cool in a pressing situation, dont lose that.

On a different note I remember being told that after proper wound cleaning a bit of sterile plastic is good for odd wounds like this. Keeps the enviroment out and doesnt damage the healing process.

I only ever tried it on myself for wounds that bleed too much for gause (nothing like this poor chick). After day one I went with open treatment, it just helped with the clotting and seepage.
I know clotting sounds counter intutive as it requires air, but trust me a little extra time is worth 100 times what removing crusty gause costs.
Still I may have been dumb and only complicating matters.
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