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My hens tail has gone scabby, swollen and bloody

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nickeyo, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Nickeyo

    Nickeyo Songster 5 Years

    E9A657CB-6907-4E24-BB1B-0C1616BD5558.jpeg F7B56936-9099-4D92-BFD5-EAC486364714.jpeg

    My hen is a 1 year old Wyandotte bantam cross friesian fowl. She lives 100% free range and sleeps in an old oak tree at night and forages in the day. She hatched chicks last year in a bush and they all survived so she lives with lots of other chickens and guineafowl in the tree. However after her moult at the end of summer I noticed her tail was held permanently pointing down, touching the floor. Other than that she seemed fine but I caught her and she had some scabs on her tail which I put down to rain scold as we had recently had a storm. I left her out but that was back in October, she didn’t improve but didn’t get worse however now she has taken a turn so I brought her into a run but it hasn’t helped, she’s very quite and spends most of her time lying in the coop, she struggles to fly up onto a low fence where she was once able to fly into the top of the tree from the floor and she’s now very easy to catch. Her tail bone is no longer distinguished from her body it’s just one mass of scab, blood and puss and her feathers are all falling out, it is spreading along her back and around her vent. Any ideas as to what it could be, no other birds are exhibiting this issue.
    Lauren Kim likes this.
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Maybe some pecking when she was molting that has continued and is now infected.

    You may need to confine her and treat the wound.
    Antibiotic ointment without pain killer in it is a starting point.

    I will call a couple people in that are good with wound care. They surely be along once they are up.

    @aart, @azygous, @Wyorp Rock

    I do know there are lots more people that could help but am hoping you all may have some info for this OP.
    Nickeyo and Lauren Kim like this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A long infected wound maybe,
    hard to say what made the wound (doesn't really matter)...
    ...tho I see fresh blood?
    I'd confine her to a clean cage, clean wound with copious amounts of saline flushing, let it dry then put an antibiotic ointment without pain killer on it.
    Might even use hydrogen peroxide for a first(only) cleansing, then the saline.
    Let her rest, feed her good feed and clean water, see how she's pooping.
    Will take time for that to heal.
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    @Eggcessive ?

    What view are we seeing the photos from - is that the vent or is her back?
    You mention that this is spreading? (more photos if you have them)

    If you have vet care, that is always best.

    That oozing does not look good to me. You mention pus - does it have a foul odor?
    Give her a good cleaning up - I would use something like Clorhexidine (hibiclens) or diluted betadine. Some of the tissue/scabbing looks like it may be dead, hard to tell, but either way, imho, the scabbing needs to be debrided - I suspect there is pus under there(?) You can debride by using a rough wash cloth and gently scrub to help loosen that up. It may take several soakings/flushing etc. to get that off.

    Apply a triple antibiotic ointment or Vetericyn to the wound. Since you mention pus, I would say it's infected, so consider administering antibiotics. You can find Penicillin at most Tractor Supply stores - look in the refrigerated section. Alternatively, you could order something like Amoxicillin online, but I would try to get the antibiotics started asap.

    Do what you can to keep her drinking - if you have poultry vitamins add those to her water for a boost. 100% Free range is great when they are well, but I would offer a balanced poultry feed for her at this time - chick starter or flock raiser (18-20%protein). If that's not possible, then make egg, tuna or meat available along with some fresh greens, oatmeal, etc.

    Let us know how she is doing.
  5. LoveseedFarms

    LoveseedFarms Chirping

    Feb 27, 2017

    x2 I hope you girl gets better. I don't have any input here, but I absolutely Agree with everyone else. My throughts are with you. Good luck! You can do this!!
  6. Nickeyo

    Nickeyo Songster 5 Years

    Thankyou so much for your responses!

    The fresh blood was because when I moved her from the external run today to a indoor run in my hay barn she got loose and a Cockerel chased her down and pulled a feather out before I could intervene. It could well be feather pecking from her moult gone bad so I’ve sperated her now and she’s on layers pellets and mixed corn now she’s in and I’ll work on removing her scabs and cleaning it up.

    The first picture is looking down at her back/tail, you can see her feet below and the large feathers are what remains of her tail. The second picture is from behind looking up at her tail/bum.
    Thanks again for all the help
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Please don't pull scabs off.

    That will open up bleeding and chance more infection.
  8. LoveseedFarms

    LoveseedFarms Chirping

    Feb 27, 2017
    Definitely don't pull the scabs off! Just let them heal on their own, all you gotta do is keep it from getting infected, or picked at :)
  9. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging 8 Years

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The instructions @Wyorp Rock has provided are exactly what a vet would tell you to do. Debriding is absolutely necessary in order to clean a wound that has begun to heal with infected tissue under the new tissue. It's a recipe for nightmares if left to heal with the pus and bacteria underneath.

    I will tell you that I experienced debriding first hand years ago when I was instructed to debride my own very serious burn wounds on my legs daily, scrubbing away all new tissue as it formed over the oozing burns. It sounds counterintuitive, but it's necessary to battle infection.

    I also second the advice of an oral antibiotic. The behavior of the hen, holding her tail down, indicates she is experiencing the physical distress of systemic infection. If you do not wish to lose her, an antibiotic, amoxicillin or penicillin, would be the best thing.

    It goes without saying, you need to confine her to a "hospital" crate for a period of around two weeks while you tend to her treatment. You will only need to debride the one time. After that initial cleaning, a daily flush of saline and dressing of the wound with a topical antibiotic (which will not replace the need for an oral antibiotic, should suffice.
    Nickeyo and Wyorp Rock like this.
  10. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I stand corrected. I retract my minor freak out at the scab removal. BUT my fainting stands.


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