Our silver duckwing bantam was attacked by a hawk. I need advice on caring for wounds please.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chem, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. chem

    chem Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Space Coast, Florida
    Hello everyone

    Today a hawk attacked and tried at carry away my 1 1/2 year old bantam hen. She's really tiny and so very sweet. The other 5 (full size) hens freaked out and alerted us to the problem. When my spouse flung open the back door the hawk had just lifted off the ground with my bantam in its grips. I guess it was startled by a sudden human flying out the back door that it dropped my chicken and took off. She has a ton of boo boos and I want to make sure I am doing my best to care for her and the wounds. My poor baby has a small scratch across her face but its not deep. She also has an eraser sized wound on her leg. Its wide but not too deep. The skin is missing from it but the bleeding has stopped. She also has 2 small wounds under her left wing. I had a hard time getting a good look at those but I dont think they are too deep. They could be more like scratches. She also has a wound on her right wing, again its hard to tell. She is missing a TON of feathers however. So many were ripped out and broken off. Her poor right wing is almost empty of feathers :( I would say at least 50% of her feathers are ripped or broken off. Probably more than 50%.
    Even after this horrible ordeal she is still being very sweet and loving. She is used to us and often comes inside the house with her little diaper on. She thinks she is a house pet lol
    I cleaned all her wounds with peroxide and i took a q-tip and rubbed a small amount of antibiotic ointment on them. She was very calm and didnt mind at all. She did feel warm to me as I held her to do all this. That makes me nervous. I dont know if she is normally that warm and because she is missing most of her feathers thats why I could feel her body heat?
    I just want to make sure what I am doing will be alright. Should I try to clean with peroxide once a day til she heals? What about the antibiotic ointment? Can I use that on her everyday? For now she is going to stay indoors where she can sleep in a warm clean pen. Im afraid to ever put her back outside. My other major concern is her feathers, or lack there of. She has so many tiny broken shafts hanging out of her skin, dozens of them! She also has a ton of naked spots where there are no more feathers at all. Plus her right wing is mostly gone :(
    I dont know what to do and it makes me nervous. I love my chicken, she's my baby. Thats her name, Baby. She was eating and she was talking to us so that gives me hope. She can stand and walk just fine but she is tired. I figured when I go to let her out of her mini pen in the morning I could give her some egg? She can just wear her diaper and hang out in the house indefinitely. Im nervous she will be attacked again. I dont know how these hawks do. The dirty bugger is probably hanging around stalking her for all I know. I will take some pics of the damage in the morning if anyone needs to see it to give me advice. Any ideas or suggestions on what I can do I would greatly appreciate. Especially her feather loss and damage :(
    This is my favorite chicken. She is my pet, a member of my family and I love her and dont want anything to happen to her. Im sorry if this is a ton to read but she is very important to me and it breaks my heart she is hurt. Thank you all in advance for any help you can offer!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Okay, relax - you have done all of the right things. I would not use the peroxide anymore. Apply antibiotic ointment until the wounds heal. Right now, I would allow her to be quiet and calm. Hawks kill as much by impact as with their talons. Right now it does not sound as if she is suffering from the impact of the strike. Keep her eating, but as long as she is eating I would not change her normal diet. Given her small size there is a strong probability that she will be targeted again by the hawk. If the wounds are more superficial than deep punctures that is in her favor. Flesh wounds on chickens heal quite readily. Good luck!
     
  3. chem

    chem Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Space Coast, Florida
    thank you sourland!

    ok so starting tomorrow i will stop the peroxide use and continue with the ointment. my fear is that she will be targeted again also. im just shocked, ive never had this problem with hawks before. i feed all my chickens the normal layer food but i also spoil them with treats. my bantam is used to eating her food plus table scraps, fresh greens and popcorn. is it ok to still allow her to eat like a pig? what do you make of her feather issue? do you think she will be wingless for long? my poor girl looks real rough.

    i really appreciate the words of encouragement! thank you so much for your help :)
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: As soon as she is out of the woods use a small pair of needle nosed pliers each day to pull a few of the broken feathers out, shaft and all. She will grow new feathers or quills to replace any that are missing, but the shafts of broken feathers will remain until her next molt.

    The only other thing is to wait for her to molt again at which time she will replace all her feathers. When hawks first catch a chicken the hawks first action is to begin peeling the feathers off, like the poor chicken was a tangerine. This is done so that the hawk can begin feeding before the chicken is even dead. Hawks expend a lot of energy capturing a prize as large as a chicken and therefor hawks are keen to begin feeding.

    I hope that this is not to graphic for you but it is the truth. You have a very lucky chicken, I wish you both well.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    How is she doing?
     

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