1. Ricky Rooster

    Ricky Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2012
    Chesapeake, VA
    I posted earlier about my rooster injuring one of my hens...I really want to know if I'm doing all I can for her. All of her feathers across he back are gone and he cut her pretty badly (it looks like) on either side under her wings. I think this happened late Friday and noticed she had secluded herself in the coop away from the others. She let me pick her up (unusual) but I didn't see any blood in the coop. I brought her inside and am keeping her in a large dog crate. I rinsed the area last night with warm water and put bacitracin on her wounds. I picked up some betadine at the Tractor Supply store today, diluted it with some water and sprayed her wounds really good. She's eating, drinking and pooping but not moving around much. She seems content to let me hold her, but she's still shaking a little bit. Is there anything else I can be doing? From everything I've read, chickens heal pretty good, infection can be a problem. I'm a nurse and have done lots of wound care on people but not chickens! I'm afraid of hurting her if I really get down into her wounds too much but don't want them to get infected. Argh...I'm a first time chicken Mom and want to give her the best care...BTW, I did put the rooster in the "time out" pen until I can get rid of him, not willing to let him do this again to any of my other girls. Again, any advice will be much appreciated.
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    It sounds like you are doing a good job of keeping the wounds clean. I'm glad she is eating and drinking. I'm not sure how deep the wounds are, but if you see any signs of pus or a bad smell then you may want to consider giving her a penicillin injection which you can get at Tractor Supply store. Hopefully with this type of wound just keeping them clean will be enough to prevent infection.
     
  3. Frucat

    Frucat New Egg

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    May 20, 2012
    Urbana, Ohio
    Your instincts are spot on. I'd trim the feathers away from around the wound so that you can have a better view of the wound and have easier access as you apply whatever ointment you're using (my choice is to cleanse with a saline solution and then dress with Neosporin). As for the wound's size, chicken skin is quite thin, so it may not be as big as you suspect. Looking between a hen's wings and her body might give the impression that the wound goes down her sides, but it might not be that bad.

    Eating, drinking, and pooping are all very good signs. Her shaking and hesitation may be caused by pain. After all, in addition to the open wound she may be a bit bruised. If you don't feel good about her progress tomorrow, then you may want to take her to the vet. However, keep in mind what the vet is going to do: probably trim and clean the wound--they're not going to suture, and the dead skin will eventually fall away--and they'll probably inject an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. They'll then send you home with an antibiotic and directions to keep cleaning the wound.
     
  4. Ricky Rooster

    Ricky Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2012
    Chesapeake, VA
    Thanks for the advice, how much of her feathers can I safely trim? Told you I'm new at this!
     
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    You can just trim back what is near the wound and sticking into the area that you are trying to clean. There is no real risk in trimming the feathers other than stressing her out and discomfort from handling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  6. Frucat

    Frucat New Egg

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    May 20, 2012
    Urbana, Ohio
    Since you're probably going to be treating the wound for 7-14 days, you'll want to trim back as much as will allow you easy access to the wound. (Imagine that there will be times when you're cleaning the wound by yourself and you'll need to hold the bird with one hand and apply treatment with the other.)

    Be aggressive with your trimming. You'll at least want to trim the feathers around the wound so that they don't get matted into the wound or foster infection. This will also allow you to establish the wound's size (and be relieved that it's probably not that bad--it almost never is). As the skin heals, it will tighten up around the wound, and the area that you trim won't seem as big in two weeks. You won't be hurting the bird at all. She'll just look funny. There will be a bald spot, but don't worry, they'll eventually fill in.
     
  7. Ricky Rooster

    Ricky Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2012
    Chesapeake, VA
    Again, thanks for the advice! I'll have a helper in a little while, so I'll trim feathers then [​IMG]
     
  8. Ricky Rooster

    Ricky Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2012
    Chesapeake, VA
    Ok, so I trimmed some feathers last night...poor thing, her wound goes from under one wing across her back to under the other wing [​IMG] she's just missing feathers and some skin on her back, but I can see where the roosters spurs gouged her sides. She stayed relatively calm for the whole procedure and still seems to be resting comfortably. I've been reading through some posts about using crushed aspirin in the water (5-325 mg to 1 gal of water) to help with pain, she doesn't act like she's in pain, but that has got to hurt.
     
  9. Ricky Rooster

    Ricky Rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2012
    Chesapeake, VA
    Just an update...Mother is starting to move around the dog crate a little more today, eating and drinking. Have not irrigated her wounds yet tonight, will do so with saline and betadine mixture. She's also starting to fluff out her feathers and preening, looks like she's combing out her feathers with her beak. Still planning on keeping her in until she's completely healed. Cats are not happy there is a closed door in the house, driving them nuts!!
     
  10. Frucat

    Frucat New Egg

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    May 20, 2012
    Urbana, Ohio
    Sounds like she's heading in a good direction. And, as you mentioned in your first post, infection is the main concern now. In my opinion, you're doing everything you're supposed to. If you haven't before needed to look out for infections in chickens you may want to do some searching on this site. (Or not, as searching for infections tends to lead to graphic pictures and unfortunate stories.) As with humans--and here I'm sure your experience outweighs mine and will come in quite handy--you're looking for discoloration and a funky, rotten smell.

    Best of luck.
     

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