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My hen was attacked by geese (I think)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DancingRoo, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. DancingRoo

    DancingRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
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    I found her yesterday morning wedged between a metal trash can I use for feed and the wall of the coop, like she was trying to scrunch herself back as far as she could. Poor girl, she was one that didn't even have a name, though now she's Harriet (after Harriet Tubman who had a lot to overcome, too). She's about 2-21/2 years old and she's a Cuckoo Marans.

    She has a few injuries but none that seem fatal. I think it was one of those situations were the geese started picking on her and backed her into a corner (they rarely sleep in the coop but my husband closed things up for me and didn't check). Then, since she was bleeding, the other chickens started pecking at her.

    She's having a hard time standing but since I don't know how long she was wedged in there, I don't know whether it's a break or just a sprain. Is there any way to tell? Should I wrap it and put a splint on it anyway? She can stand up enough to turn around in her tub (it's a large one so she has room to practice walking if she's so inclined.

    Her top beak is gone but her bottom one is still there. About 1/4-1/3 is torn away from her on one side but the rest if fully intact. Her comb is mostly gone and she isn't opening one of her eyes, but she does seem to have a will to live.

    Right now, she's in a tub here in the house (where I figure she'll be for quite some time) with hay for a cushion. She doesn't seem ready to eat on her own yet. As she gets better, I'll put one of those water bottles that attach to cages because I think she should be able to push the little ball in with her beak and have the water roll onto the bottom beak. It's a perfect little scoop.

    I tried giving her a bit of hard boiled egg but she doesn't seem interested in solid food right now. I mixed some yogurt with some ensure, thin enough that I could put it in a syringe. She did eat some of that, though not as much as I'd like. I think she's still pretty traumatized so I'm not pushing it. I've been giving her water with a syringe an we've got a little system worked out where she looks up at me and makes drinking motions with her tongue and I give her as much as she wants.

    I set her on my lap (with the appropriate chicken poop towel underneath her) and pet her and give her water and feed. She sits quietly and looks around and seems content to sit there and be lavished with attention. She's so soft and sweet. It's been a while since I've had a chicken that liked being petted.

    Since I do need to help her eat and drink for now, how often should I give her water? I know her body needs it and I want to make sure she gets enough. Should I give her water every couple of hours? Less? More? My syringe is 6ml and she usually drinks two full syringes at a time. I don't stop until she turns her head away and offer her more here and there while she's sitting with me.

    What about feeding her? Should I try to get her to eat every time I give her water? Are there better things I can be feeding her? Personally, I can't stand ensure but I have a few boxes left from when my dad had cancer and I figured it has vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. in it. Yogurt is good for just about anything than breathes and is warm blooded so I know that's okay. She isn't quite ready for solids yet but would mixing a raw egg in with whatever help? I also have milk, which all my girls (and boys) seem to love. I thought about putting a bit of honey in her slurry because it has such amazing healing properties, but thought it would be too thick and sticky. Any particular vitamins she needs?

    As long as she seems willing to fight, I'll fight right along with her so I'd like to make sure I'm doing everything I can (and doing it right) to help her heal. Since I don't really know if she's got anything going on inside, I'm reluctant to give her an aspirin but I know pain management is important for healing. However, while I'm sure she's hurting, she's not suffering and doesn't experience any pain when I pick her up.

    Poor girl, she looks like she was rode hard and put away wet!

    Cindie
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    The top beak- how gone is "gone"? Are we talking right back to the skull? This is the biggest danger that I can see in all her injuries. If the top beak is completely missing there is a (good) chance it may never grow back. She cannot live a life of quality without it unless you are willing to tube feed her 2-3 times a day for the rest of her life. She may eventually learn to adapt to its absence, but she will likely not be able to be housed with her flock, and that is a terrible situation for a flock animal. They are social creatures who need the company of their own. The company of people is a paltry alternative.

    Neosporin (no -caine ingredients) can be applied to all the injuries even the eye.

    I think I would stop the Ensure. What is appropriate for humans is not the same for chickens. There is a hand feeding liquid formula for baby birds (parrots mostly, I think) that you can pick up at a pet store. This would be a better alternative.

    Water every 2 hours, as much as she will take sounds good. Hold off on the feed until she seems ready to eat. No point in trying to force the issue unless you are ready to start tube feeding her. PolyViSol (baby vitamins) without iron are a good source of vitamins if you don't want to pick up specific poultry vitamins. Either one will work.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Oops, forgot to address the leg. Use your judgement. If it is not an obviously displaced fracture, then I would be inclined to let it be. Splints are often more of a distraction than they are of benefit. If her leg is clearly broken then it will need attention. You can sometimes feel breaks in the bone by feeling along the bone carefully.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Based on her situation and not having bird-in-hand, you may have to consider euthanizing. As CMV said, the injury may require hand or tube feeding for the rest of her life. I believe a hen drinks one-two cups of water a day. That's 240-480 ml per day. And food.
     
  5. DancingRoo

    DancingRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
    Oregon
    You can still see a bit of the top beak but I was looking at her more closely this morning and she's breathing really hard so there may be things going on internally. I really don't want her to suffer so I think I'll put her down today. But thank you for your help. Chickens are such special birds I hate to see anything happen to any of them.

    Cindie
     
  6. hippiecowgirl

    hippiecowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2013
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    Hi Cindie

    So sorry for your loss.... you made a valiant attempt to save her.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    My Coop
  8. DancingRoo

    DancingRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
    Oregon
    Well, we euthanized her. My husband did it while I was in town, but I'm really glad I did. My husband said she had a lot of urine in her bladder. It wasn't really obvious from the outside, though after thinking about it, I now realize it was noticeable. I was so involved with her injuries I guess I didn't pay enough attention. Whether it happened before or she was already having problems, I don't know. I'm sure it was painful for her. Her poops looked like any other chicken's poop. Still, I think I'll spend a little time researching in case something like this happens again. But thank you all for your help.

    Cindie
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I am sorry for your loss, but what you did was for the best. Just out of curiosity, what fluid are you talking about? Chickens don't have bladders. They expel their urine as the white caps in the feces. Are you talking about yellow fluid in her abdomen, like peritonitis?
     
  10. DancingRoo

    DancingRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
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    I don't know. I wasn't home but my husband was curious about why her stomach (abdomen?) was so tight. He said when he opened her up liquid just kept coming out.

    cindie
     

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