Opossum Attack - Need help with injured hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Knucker Hatch Farms, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Last night, an opossum figured out how to get through our Ft. Knox coop and did considerable damage killing one hen and really injuring another. Her face is quite swollen on one side and her vent is also looking quite raw. It is difficult to tell how badly injured everything is because of the swelling. Is there ANYTHING I can do to make her more comfortable? Should I risk stressing her out more with cleaning anything up?

    Her breathing is raspy at times but she's still got a lot of fight in her. She's bloodied up but I can't see any major lacerations - just a lot of trauma and I'm sure a very injured esophagus. I have brought her indoors for now, but question if that isn't more stressful than remaining in the coop. I hate to lose her - she is such a good mother!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    For sure bringing her in is the right thing to do-she is really stressed right now and I have learned from BYC that when they are stressed, a warm, dark and quiet place is best.

    I would try to clean her up to see how bad the wounds actually are. If you can maybe put some antibacterial ointment(without pain killer) on her injuries. Also, add some electrolytes to her water(for stress) and try to cook her some scrambled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal or something like that to make sure she is eating. There are lots of good threads on here on how to treat injuries.

    Good luck and I sure hope she makes it.
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I agree.......... [​IMG] Best Wishes
  4. HLAC

    HLAC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    Central Utah
    I recently had a 'possum kill one hen and injure two others. One had a very bloody leg (drumstick part) but she seemed to be otherwise okay. She put weight on it and ate and drank as if nothing happened. The other hen was in shock and just sitting there. I brought her in and looked her over. She had a couple of skin tears with a small amount of muscle damage. (on her breast and thighs) I did put triple antibiotic ointment in the wounds and on the skin flaps. I did not attempt to close the wounds.

    I put her back in the coop because I was worried the heat in the house would be more stressful than being back out in the coop with her girlfriends. I set her in a nest box but when I gave the rest of the girls some corn as a treat, she jumped out and joined them. I watched the injured ones closely to be sure the other hens were not picking at them. Everybody got along well and the injured hens healed amazingly fast.

    Having a wound on the vent (and face) is more difficult. I would keep her away from the other birds with a lot ointment on her for at least the first day. If you do put her back with the flock, give the rest of the birds some squash or cabbage.... anything to keep them busy pecking at something other than the injured bird.
  5. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Thank you all so much for your advice and well wishes. I gave my girl a warm bath (never thought I'd give a bath to a chicken) to wash her vent and wounds. That was a good thing to do as it was much easier to ascertain the wounds on a wet chicken then a fluffy one. I realized that she had many more lacerations than I thought. Most of them are relatively minor - unfortunately both sides of the vent look exposed and extremely painful. I did a wash on the wounds and added polysporin. She is still defecating, so I am encouraged by that. I'm also hopeful as I have seen the "trance" that can set in with shock and she's not there.

    She is inside for tonight, however, she's not eating or drinking. I'm hoping tomorrow (if she hasn't passed from shock) she'll be hungry enough to act on it. Thanks again. I may have more questions tomorrow. Needless to say, Fort Knox received reinforcements tonight thanks to my loving husband and son.

    Warm Regards,


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