PLease HELP!! Pullet w/hole in her...possible rat attack??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BaGAWK!!, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. BaGAWK!!

    BaGAWK!! Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    2
    89
    Oct 25, 2011
    Philadelphia, TN
    OH NO!!!! I just got home tonight from work to a pullet with a hole in her, very near where her crop should be. She has no idea she has an injury, she is ready to eat and very alert, normal in every way, except that she has been limping and losing balance for a few weeks now. I suspect it was a rat attack, I caught a rat in my live trap either last night or tonight, I;m not sure since I leave for work very early and didn't check it before I left. Will rats eat a crop of a chicken?? If so, that is so wrong, WHAT DO I DO? I am fully prepared to perform surgery, I have sutures and most everything I might need, I'm a vet assistant.

    How do I know if it's her crop? How serious is this if it is? Can it be stitched up and she can eat again? Can I feed or water her to see if it's her crop, like will it fall out through the hole so I'll be able to tell? This is so terrible, I've had to keep them locked up in their coop b/c of a hawk killing my birds, how I can't even let them be safe in their coop b/c a rat is eating them alive???

    Following are pics, sorry they are graphic but I didn't know what other way to explain it. I guess I"ll try...it simply looks like a hole in her skin. There is no organ visible, no edges of an organ visible, however how do I know, I don't know what a crop looks like from the inside! It just looks like a hole in the skin exposing muscle. There is no pathway leading anywhere....the skin is attached to the layer underneath it. In other words, I do not see the esophagus emptying into the hole.

    I am freaking out, this is a pullet I hatched here, I am very attached to all my chickens and I want to try to save her if possible. I am devastated, my poor poor poor Esmerelda! I've been trying to nurse her back to health from the stumbling and then this! Please if anyone can help!

    Photo of her laying in my lap on her back:
    [​IMG]

    The dark spot is not a hole, it's just a little blood clot.
    [​IMG]

    The pen is marking her keel bone. It's directly underneath the pen.
    [​IMG]

    Pen pointing to the tip (start) of her keel bone:
    [​IMG]

    Pen pointing to the spot where the hole is.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  2. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

    894
    16
    143
    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    No one has responded yet with several views so I will respond to give a little help. I would clean the wound as best you can, if she does have a crop injury you should be able to see it soon. Yes a rat could have done this, most likely when she was sleeping. If your coop is otherwise secure from predators I would blame the rat. The hole looks a good size so you should be able to see in there and see if the crop is damaged. I would say you will probably have to isolate her until the wound is closed enough to not draw the attention of the other birds or they will peck it open again and again possibly.
     
  3. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    No advice, but I'll give ya a bump. Give Esmerelda a little pat on the head for me.
     
  4. BaGAWK!!

    BaGAWK!! Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    2
    89
    Oct 25, 2011
    Philadelphia, TN
    Quote:Do you know what the crop looks like from the inside? I've been looking for a description or photo and i can't find one. I don't see a place on her where her crop would be (from the inside), so I suspect the crop is just plain gone.

    Do you think I should let her eat to see if the crop fills up? She is really interested in eating.
     
  5. BaGAWK!!

    BaGAWK!! Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    2
    89
    Oct 25, 2011
    Philadelphia, TN
    I am planning on giving her an injection of penicillin here in a minute.
     
  6. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    438
    0
    89
    Nov 28, 2011
    NE Alabama
    The hole looks like it might be below the crop. I would give antibiotic shot and clean the wound out either use the spray antibiotic spray or pack it with neosporin. Chicken usually heal pretty quick. I would leave it open or if you stitch leave a small opening for drainage.
     
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    4,445
    17
    213
    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    It looks like the hole is below the crop. I am no expert though. I wish someone who processes birds would chime in. [​IMG]
     
  8. BaGAWK!!

    BaGAWK!! Chillin' With My Peeps

    228
    2
    89
    Oct 25, 2011
    Philadelphia, TN
    Ok folks, I decided to let her eat so I could figure out if the crop was intact
    ...and it is! OH THANK GOD!!! The hole is partially over the top of and underneath the crop. It was too superficial to hit the crop. But I feel certain it was a rat and that's what he was shooting for. He must have gotten interrupted. So I intend to take a previous posters advice and partially suture it and leave a hole for drainage. Thank you all so much for all your help!
     
  9. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,988
    18
    191
    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    You said in the first post that she's been limping and losing balance for a few weeks now? I wonder if there is something else going on. Maybe the other chickens started to peck her and made a hole in her breast??
     
  10. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    6,024
    246
    316
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Just saw your post, and I agree with what others have said about sutureing the wound closed with the exception of a small drain hole. Penicillian IM... YES/ neosporin on the wound- and keep the drain opem. LOTS of goodies, bananas/protien/electrolyetes/ [save-a-chick is good] vitamins and TONS of TLC. Keep her in the house so she is warm and clean.
    SO glad that her crop isn't damaged! Keep us posted. and hugs to esmirelda [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by