1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Need Advice for Injured Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jenmenke, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. jenmenke

    jenmenke Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    Hi all,

    I looked thru several threads with similar issues to mine, but I want to make sure I'm covering all my bases.

    My hen was attacked by my dog 2 days ago. Initially I thought she would die, but she hasn't. She is drinking water and eating a little. She definitely has an badly injured leg, as she isn't moving around much at all. She can limp a bit. She can stand.

    It is possible she has worse injuries, but only time will tell.

    Should I do anything other than keep her comfortable with fresh water and soft food nearby?
    Do I need to worry about her eggs? I doubt she could lay right now -- will that kill her? Should I put her in a bath?
    Anything else?

  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Jennie, does she have any open wounds? If she does, you should probably put her on a course of antibiotics so that any infection is dealt with. I had a hen that injured her leg someone several months ago; I separated her into a smallish dog crate so she couldn't exacerbate the injury. She ended up staying in that crate for 8 weeks. The first 4, I took her out only to change the bedding. After that, I allowed her into a small chicken run (4' x 8') to stretch her wings & see how she was doing . She was still limping, but I watched her closely to make sure she wasn't running around. Another 8 full weeks of her staying in that dog crate and getting about an hour a day out in the small run, and then I began putting her in the run for half a day (for a week), now all day - she's been alone, all day, in this small run, now for a few weeks and is doing quite well. I'll wait another week just to be sure, but my hen is hopping in & out of the nestbox & up to the roost, so I think she's almost ready to go back to general population. I'm quite sure she had a broken bone, and those take weeks to heal. The slower, the better, in my opinion.

    Your hen won't lay if she is stressed, but I wouldn't worry about that now. If she lays, she lays. If not, don't worry about it. You need to get her healed up first & foremost.

    I wouldn't do anything to stress her (like give a bath) at all. She needs to remain quiet.
  3. jenmenke

    jenmenke Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    thanks for quick response Wynette.

    I did not see any open wounds. I think the dog basically "crunched her" once before I got to her :( I have not ruled out internal injuries as she was "gurgling" and dripping clear liquid out of her beak after the attack. She "vomited" totally clear liquid a couple of times when I moved her later that night. No blood at all though.

    I couldn't believe she made it thru the night. I just got to thinking about her eggs and if she was busted up and not able to lay with eggs in the hopper... I just want her to not be in agony.

    She is an "only chicken". So I don't need to worry about any other bothering her. She, herself, is not moving, but if she does, I will put her in a dog crate.

    As long as you say I don't need to worry about the eggs, I won't. I'll keep you posted on her progress.

    Thanks again, so much.
  4. jenmenke

    jenmenke Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    Lil Red Update:
    She is still alive and doing better. Eating more. More alert, More "normal". Making her chicken noises.

    I have not restricted her to a kennel and I'm conflicted about that because I don't want to make her injury worse. I'm just keeping a close eye on her. She is actually she is starting to move around a bit now and watching her, it's looking like it might be isolated to a broken leg, but possibly higher up, given her improvement in other vital signs.

    I don't know if I have the staying power to put her in a little dog kennel for the last nice days of a MN summer. :( I'm bad at tough love.
  5. jenmenke

    jenmenke Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    Another update: She is doing great! No eggs yet, but she is perky and seems very "normal" other than limp. Chickens are so much tougher than you think.
  6. hyzenthlay

    hyzenthlay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    SW PA
    Thank you for posting the updates on your hen, and I'm glad she seems to have healed! Your updates are very helpful for people who find themselves in similar situations--I had a pullet attacked by a dog this afternoon, so I'm looking for everything I can find. She has a wound on her back, but I'm more concerned about possible internal injuries, since her legs look fine but she has kind of a drunk looking walk, and she's not eating yet. I'm glad your hen turned out ok!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by