Open Wound on Tail Area


7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
Hi, I have 3 BO's and one EE, born in April. For the past month I have noticed the EE tugging at her tail feathers but I didn't think anything of it. I could tell that she was losing some of her long tail feathers but I thought that she was molting. Today I noticed that her behind (from right behind one leg, around, and to the other leg) was all down. There are maybe 4 or 5 long feathers left and I could see something black where there seemed to be a complete absence of feathers. I picked her up. There was an area about the size of 2 quarters with NO feathers. The skin was black, crusty almost like a large scab. Between the cracked area it was oozing. There were streaks of blood but mostly it looked dried.
I immediately isolated her. In my kitchen sink I GENTLY used dove soap and cleaned the wound. I did not pick at the area at all, I just wanted it clean, but most of the black came off, leaving a pink/red/clear sore area. I held her in a towel for half an hour, then applied neosporin (no pain relief) and then vaseline. She kept trying to get at her behind (I think trying to preen) and I kept stopping her. I put her in the garage in a makeshift pen and turned off the lights. She is asleep, so I know she cannot hurt herself anymore until morning.

I am fairly certain she's doing this to herself. I feel that I've handled the wound okay, but I don't understand how I'm supposed to keep her from pecking again at it and ruining her healing process. I've read posts with wounds that seem a TON worse than this case, but I don't know how they keep the hens from getting at themselves.

I'm looking for advice! I don't think some kind of wrap would be able to stay on...

Also, I felt her crop and it seems pretty solid and firm and large. It doesn't seem to be a problem but I'll check it again in the morning. It should go down by then, right?

Quick responses would be appreciated, before it gets light out and she wakes and tries to peck!!


Sally Sunshine

Premium Feather Member
Aug 23, 2012
I swear by Veterycin for ALL OPEN wounds on ALL my animals!! Its well worth the cost and it sprays but its a gel and goes a LOOOOONNNNGGG way!!! works miracles on staph (bumblefoot)

Here are my saved links in re to feather picking..... Good Luck and let me know how she fairs!

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