MY poor hen


12 Years
May 29, 2007
New York
So I just got a call from my mom telling me that my hen had been attacked by something. She brought her in (is keeping her in our garage until she heals)... she had deep lacerations and scratches everywhere including under her wings. She told me that she gave her food (mixed 2 hard boil eggs and crushed the shells and added bits of apple and rice to her regular feed.) and gave her some luke-warm water with some Gatorade. The hen appears to have an appetite and still seems chipper...she eats drinks, talks, and walks around - so I don't think she's in shock. My mom told me she cleaned out her wounds and put some peroxide (ouch!) and some antiseptic cream on them.

My mom told me that those are the worst wounds she has ever seem - "you can see right into her flesh." Granted, my mom is a bit "weak" when it comes to injuries and tends to over exaggerate quite a bit; I'm still really worried. I seriously love this little hen so much (she just laid her 1st egg last weekend).

I'm away in college and feel absolutely helpless in this situation... I don't have pictures or anything... but can someone offer me some advice? Did my mom do the right thing? Do you think my hen will be ok? What do I have to look for/check in order to find out how bad she really is?

Anything would be appreciated...

(Thanks in advance)




* Updated "explanation" 4th post down....
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She seems to know and have done all the right things. The fact that the hen is eating and is alert are all really good signs. Hang in there... I'm sure it's hard being far away from her.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that all is well.
Just isolate her, and put her on a broad spectrum antibiotic like terramycin. You might be surprised how much a chicken can deal with injuries. Good luck!
You might suggest to your mom that she pick up a bottle of betadine and use that instead of the peroxide (good in a pinch, but kills live tissue as it disinfects).

- pictures added to original post (this is want was sent to me via camera phone today), so it's been a couple days since she was attacked... she's still eating, drinking, walking around... etc...

- Note: that gash/hole is actually exposing her muscle...the skin is completely ripped off. Her bareback-ness is a result of the roosters trying to over breed her (I posted about that earlier and the issue has been delt with).

Although, she has been separated from them until we get new hens...I guess my mom still lets them free range together during the day (she keeps an eye on them to make sure they don't try to mate with her)...

My mom claims that the roosters did this to the hen, hence she is wanting me to give one or both away (hence the other post under the give away topic)...

I know trying to over breed a hen will result in a bareback and possibly scratches... but a hole that was totally gouged out? I honestly think it was something else... it's just weird... she's only with the roos under supervision, she was put back in the coop but blocked off from the roos (currently she is moved between the garage and the mud room depending on how cold it is out)... so I'm not sure what it could have been, unless she got caught on something?

Anyways, anyone have any suggestions? My parents are still cleaning her wound out (now with betadine)... it's too late for stitches which she obviously needed... but did anyone have some sort of the same of issue? Anyone experienced with deep wounds in general? Will she heal and get feathers back?

If I was home I would have taken her to the vet...but since I'm away in college all I can do is worry, pray, and ask...
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Comfy quarters so she can get some good rest - maybe nestled in wood shavings or fresh straw.
Great quality food with little treats (e.g. small cut up pieces of fruits or veggies, black oil sunflower seeds, scrambled egg, oatmeal...) to lift her spirits, keep her appetite strong.
Fresh water with aspirin for pain (if she's not bleeding badly!) - 2 regular (325 mg) aspirin (NO substitutes) crushed per HALF GALLON water would be okay. If the wounds are as deep as has been described to you, she is probably in pain. (photo doesn't look too dreadful though)
Topical neosporin if she has surficial wounds.
Oral antibiotic as noted above, for deeper wounds. I've seen various opinions on best one to give.....
If serious infections can be avoided she will likely do well if she can also stay out of shock.
Fresh plain yogurt or probiotic powder from capsule sprinkled on a treat - to restore the important good bacteria that will be destroyed by oral antibiotic.
I've been told by an avian vet to use betadine in a mixture with water - 9 parts water to 1 part betadine - and not to use it "straight".
Others wil have ideas on how to repair wound with exposed muscle.
I hope she will heal well and quickly.
Man! That had to be a scary message! You are so blessed to have your mom take good care of her. I am glad CUDA and jjthink responded to your post, and my own experience with a mere peck wound on a Serama bantam roo's neck makes me believe antibiotics are important if that wound is very deep. My vet gave me 7 syringes of antibiotics to be given one a day for 7 days right in the breast alternating sides each day. My roo is fine. I flushed the wound with warm water each day, then cleaned with diluted hydrogen peroxide. (would use betadine instead next time) and applied triple antibiotic ointment every day as instructed by my vet who was once the state of MS vet for Tyson Chicken. Once the wound was healed over, I dusted the featherless area with food grade DE which promoted faster feather regrowth. Pocket roo is alive and well today. (He is also an expectant father!) Oh, and during all this treatment time, he was isolated in a separate pen in the coop.

Best wishes for you hen's full and speedy recovery. She seems to be in tender loving hands. Your mom deserves flowers and candy IMHO.
Thank you for you response... I'm so lucky to have found this website with all these experienced "chicken people" (lol). I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for parents to take the time (and actually spend the time) caring of her. I just feel so terrible not being able to help her myself... I raised her from a tiny little chick... I just wish "momma" could be there for her.
That looks like rooster damage to me from being topped excessively. It should heal, I have seen them heal up from wounds like that just fine. If you have roosters out there with her, don't put her back until she is completely healed, and trim those spurs! Good luck!

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