Newbie Chicken owner with a wounded hen

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
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I have a hen that I’m currently treating for a large open (older) wound. I have separated her from the flock and have brought her in the house in a “convalescent pen”, she seems more depressed than she was and I’m wondering if she would be more happy near her flock. We live in Michigan and it’s midwinter and I’m wondering if she’ll stay warm enough if I put her “convalescent pen” out in the coop. I’ll continue to flush and treat the wound, of course. I am a first time chicken owner and I would appreciate any advice on the matter. Note: the wound is large (approx. 2 inches) and a larger bald area around it. Additionally, is there a recommended oral antibiotic I should or could be using?
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
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Do you know how she was injured? Can you post some pictures of the wound?
What are you flushing and treating with?
Keeping her in a crate in the run is often recommended to reduce stress, it depends on the birds condition. If she's really not feeling well then she may need to be in a warmer place until she's feeling better. I often keep them in a crate in the run, I cover the top and one or two sides with a heavy blanket to give them a wind break. But a very sick bird could become hypothermic. If she's been inside for more than a day or two you may have to build her back up to condition her to the colder temps before putting her out full time.
In general you can use veterycin spray, diluted chlorhexidine, sterile saline, to flush the wound if needed. Then I would apply either plain neopsporin or plain triple antibiotic ointment 2 or 3 times a day to cover the wound and keep it moist. Many times an antibiotic is not needed, they tend to heal up well if it's kept clean. If there are signs of infection then many use amoxicillin, which you can get as fish mox without a prescription, or injectable penicillin at tractor supply stores and some feed stores. You would need syringes and needles for that.
 

kerbotx

Songster
Aug 29, 2016
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Northeast Texas
Chickens are social creatures; as long as the wound isn't being pecked at, you could try putting a buddy in with her. I'm curious as to how old this wound is because it may not be necessary to keep flushing it everyday... And also, it may be time to try something different in place of the Vetericyn.
 

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
24
25
31
Do you know how she was injured? Can you post some pictures of the wound?
What are you flushing and treating with?
Keeping her in a crate in the run is often recommended to reduce stress, it depends on the birds condition. If she's really not feeling well then she may need to be in a warmer place until she's feeling better. I often keep them in a crate in the run, I cover the top and one or two sides with a heavy blanket to give them a wind break. But a very sick bird could become hypothermic. If she's been inside for more than a day or two you may have to build her back up to condition her to the colder temps before putting her out full time.
In general you can use veterycin spray, diluted chlorhexidine, sterile saline, to flush the wound if needed. Then I would apply either plain neopsporin or plain triple antibiotic ointment 2 or 3 times a day to cover the wound and keep it moist. Many times an antibiotic is not needed, they tend to heal up well if it's kept clean. If there are signs of infection then many use amoxicillin, which you can get as fish mox without a prescription, or injectable penicillin at tractor supply stores and some feed stores. You would need syringes and needles for that.
Thank you for the advice. I do not know how she was injured and I can tell that it’s old and I’m feeling terrible I didn’t notice it sooner. Her wing mostly covers it so I’m guessing that’s why I didn’t see it. It wasn’t until I saw the missing feathers that I realized there was a wound. I am confident in flushing and treating the wound as I’m an LVT but I wasn’t sure about the housing and weather acclimation etc... I want to be sure she can regulate her temperature with open wound and missing feathers. Also worth mentioning is the wound is not purulent. It is definitely contaminated, which is why I’m flushing several times a day, but there is no puss or putrid smell. I have not been doing neosporin, but I will now.
5BA1607D-AE79-42D2-9EBA-44D9FBCCAF9E.jpeg
 

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
24
25
31
Chickens are social creatures; as long as the wound isn't being pecked at, you could try putting a buddy in with her. I'm curious as to how old this wound is because it may not be necessary to keep flushing it everyday... And also, it may be time to try something different in place of the Vetericyn.
Ok, thank you. Do you think I should keep her in the house? I’ve been flushing because there is a “pocket” with some debris where the skin separated from the muscle/connective tissue. Would a chlorhex solution be more appropriate?
 

50-45-1

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Feb 25, 2008
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I would apply either plain neopsporin or plain triple antibiotic ointment 2 or 3 times a day to cover the wound and keep it moist.
2X this!
Had a hen suffer some bad skin tears and puncture wounds last year to a fox, and I kept her in a hutch and coated the wounds daily with Corona (a lanolin rich healing wound salve) .
Kept her in the hutch for a month until all wounds were covered over with feathers so the other chickens would not peck at them.
The sticky creaminess keeps the wound moist so it can heal and flys off.
I've used Bagbalm in the same way.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
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North Florida
If that is under the wing then it's possibly spur damage from a rooster mounting. If you have a rooster I would check spurs and trim if they are sharp.
I think the neosporin will be helpful. You can trim back feathers if they are getting in the wound. It looks pretty good, I would keep doing what you have been and add the ointment.
This thread (below) has some pictures of wounds healing, so you can see what it will look like as you go. It may take awhile since it's a pretty good sized opening. I would keep her separated until it's healed enough that it won't get opened up again and won't get pecked.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/wounds-pictures-of-how-they-heal.1325817/#post-21627607
 

MichelleBB

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2021
24
25
31
2X this!
Had a hen suffer some bad skin tears and puncture wounds last year to a fox, and I kept her in a hutch and coated the wounds daily with Corona (a lanolin rich healing wound salve) .
Kept her in the hutch for a month until all wounds were covered over with feathers so the other chickens would not peck at them.
The sticky creaminess keeps the wound moist so it can heal and flys off.
I've used Bagbalm in the same way.
Thank you, I will do just that! Is it ok for her to be in the hutch in an outdoor coop? If she’s separated and safe? I just worry about the outdoor temps (about 30 degrees F) right now. Or should she stay in the house?
 

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