My hen survived a raccoon attack!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by pigcoon, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2009
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    The other night my husband heard one of my hens screaming and went outside. She was in the mouth of a raccoon, there were feathers everywhere and her neck looked limp. My husband frightened off the coon and the hen lay limp for a full 5 minutes. He was looking for a place to put her until morning and getting ready to give me the bad news (I was asleep already) when suddenly the hen jumped up! She was alive! He put her in a safe place in the coop til morning.

    (Backstory: this one has been doing this weird thing going up on top of the coop at night; there is a giant tarp over the coop and I thought she was inside when I went out to check on them ; alas she was up on top and I didn't know it.)

    So she is pretty badly wounded and her tail feathers are completely gone. She lost a lot of downy feathers on the sides. The worst wound is right at the base of her 'tail.' I cleaned it up and put antibiotic ointment on it. She's eating, drinking and even (I think) laying! I have her in the pullet run with a friend that was missing her (they are a duo) until she heals up.

    I am so thankful my husband heard her and went out!!!

    I am curious if folks know how long the tail feathers take to grow back. I know chickens wounds heal pretty quick but I would imagine the tail feathers take awhile. Does anyone know if the rest of the group (6 altogether) will reject her without her tail feathers after the wound heals? She is already pretty low on the totem pole!
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    WOW Lucky your hubby heard the ruckus.

    I do not think they will reject her BUT they will want to peck at new feather growing in. You can use some Peck No More or Blukote on her to keep them from pecking the growing feathers. It can take a while to grow them back in. I would expect that to take at least a month possibly two months.

    If she is out of the flock for to long they wont recognize her so best to get her back in as soon as possible.
     
  3. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    That's great! I agree with 21hens-incharge.
     
  4. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well she's Never been accepted to date. I had 4 barred rocks (age 3)and introduced these two pullets (first years) in the winter. My old grumpy girls have never accepted these two new ones. They still peck at them and they have bald heads. The two little ones hang out all the time together and get picked on together. That is why I put them together in the small run yesterday so at least they could keep each other company; they are very close as a twosome.

    I imagine when she heals and they go back with the older ones they will still get picked on terribly. But I honestly don't think it can get any worse than it HAS been since the beginning!

    That is a good idea to put Blukote on it after it heals. I think I still have some around here.

    Has anyone heard of a chicken appearing dead for a full five minutes??!!!
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a close call with a hawk a while back and I think my hen actually fainted. Yes she appeared fully dead then popped back up like yours did. Mine has not laid one single egg since the attack but then it was a really close call for her.

    Bummer the others never accepted the newer ones into the flock. I bet that is why she chose to sleep on top of the coop instead of in it.
     
  6. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2009
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    That's interesting about the 'fainting'. I'm sure it was shock, but never knew that could go on for 5 minutes!

    Yes just recently she started going on top of the coop. She had been going in like all the others from January through last week, but suddenly she started going on top. It's hard to tell who is where late at night, but when she recovers I'll be making sure from now on.

    I feel like with everyone else's flocks that the older girls eventually accept the newer birds, but it just hasn't happened here, and I did everything to try to do it "right."

    I may get some chicks and then there will be more 'complexity' to the pecking order after they grow a bit.
     

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