Need advice on chicken wound care, possible gangrene.


10 Years
Oct 7, 2009
On Saturday Suzie, a 7 month-old Speckled Sussex, was attached by a dog, a small area (2 of skin was ripped out but the skin was torn, creating an area of bare muscle a bit larger than the size of my palm.

With help from a neighbor I trimmed feathers away from the wound, cleaned it with saline rinse, and disinfected it with betadine, sprayed it with polysporin and replaced it. I closed the wound with a sterile medical skin stapler, sprayed more polysporin, and covered the area with gauze bandage.

The chicken was given tetracylin and electrolytes in its water. After overcoming the initial shock she began eating, pooping, and acting normally. I have changed the bandages and applied more polysporin daily. Now, 5 days later, she is still in good spirits but a small area of her wound has a light green tint. I don't know if this is gangrene and, if it is, I don't know how to proceed.

What I cannot justify is spending over $100 on our overpriced vet so I need to continue with home care. Suzie does not appear to be suffering but I am prepared to have my neighbor cull her for me as a last resort. I welcome your advice.
Is there any way of trimming away the green skin and revealing the healthy skin? Did you leave a drain area in a corner when you stapled it?
Is there any chance it is either the betadine or the metal in the staples that is discoloring the skin? How bad and does it smell?? If it is gangrene- it will smell- bad!
I have had some nasty nasty wounds on birds and sewed them up in less than ideal sterile situations and they all have healed fine.
If you can get some more neosporin under the staples with a syringe I would do that.
I had always thought stitching up wounds was best until an incident happened on here and everyone told her not to stitch it. She didn't and it worked out fine.
If you can get the skin trimmed. more neosporin in there, try to find a product at Tractor Supply called Alu-Shield. It puts a skin like coating on the wound, yet lets it breathe, and keeps all the nasties out.
Are the wound edges well-approximated(sealed evenly)? If they are and they seem to be healing, I would leave the bandages off so that the wound can get some air. Is there any drainage from this green portion? Is there a bad smell?
poor thing.

I don't have experience with this, but a chicken of mine was attacked in May.

I kept her inside for a month, she had a hole in her chest of skin missing about the size of a quarter.
I cleaned it once, and put on some neosporin only the once and left it open to dry out etc.. I kept her in the dog's crate, and cleaned up twice a day so she was in a clean area.

The wound started to turn black around the edges after a couple of days, and in one spot the skin started to turn yellow around where the feathers were - I plucked out a few of those feathers, they came out really easily and the yellowing went away.

Anyway, my point is, check perhaps that there are not any feathers growing around that area, and give them a little tug and see if they'll pull out.
I have left the bandage off this evening and am watching to see if she pecks at herself. The greenish area is not seeping and does not smell (other than the normal chicken smell) so I will keep my eye on it. I am not comfortable with engaging in any surgery, the stapling was as much as I could handle, so I won't be trimming any skin off. I will apply copious amounts of polysporin, continue the antibiotics, and hope for the best.

Is there any use to topical application of tetracyclin? If yes, at what concentration?
Here is an image of part of the wound. You can kinda see the light greenish area that I am concerned about near the top of the bare area.

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