Post-Predator (Dog?) Attack: Mute Chicken Survivor


In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2018
I regret to say that I attended a wedding last weekend and came back around 11pm to close my free-ranging chickens in their coop. I was horrified to come home and find: first, what I perceived to be a skunk slither out of one of the nesting boxes; second, several chicken corpses within a 20-ft radius of the coop; and third, our beautiful alpha rooster, dead, also within about 20 ft of the coop. All of them had minimal visual damage, heads intact... I couldn't even find the wounds on the rooster. The next day, in the light, I searched the property and found another dead chicken (once again, head intact with minimal damage) far from the coop, which led me to suspect that it was some sort of canine attack during the day, they all fled to the coop, and the skunk was simply being opportunistic and taking advantage of some free eggs.

At dusk on the second day, one of my white chickens wandered out from a bush, dazed, with bite marks on her head and neck area (one eye was completely shut.) I suspect that she had been incapacitated and slept outside in the cold the night of the attack. *My white chickens are the smartest, most resilient in the flock, and I think that any other chicken would have probably died if it had endured the same attack.

I brought the chicken into the house in a large box to make sure she rested and stayed warm overnight. The next day I experimented with letting her outside, but she was obviously not ready and the other chickens started pecking at her. For the last four days she has been kept in the basement with food and water (including scrambled egg for extra protein), nesting area, and some wood ash in hopes that she will bathe herself at some point. I think that she is going to "recover" because she is walking, eating, and drinking (although I don't know if she still has an eye and if that will ever heal.) I am concerned because any time that she tries to make noise, there is no sound coming out. She is very smart (and therefore suspicious of me), so I can't really do a good physical examination on her. Has anyone had experience with a chicken becoming mute after an attack? I assume the predator must have punctured her voice box? Is this just something she'll have to live with, being blind in one eye and mute? Am I wrong to keep her alive if she has these injuries?
I have had chickens seem to go mute after a trauma, instead of their usual noises, you can just hear the air coming out almost as a hissing noise. Often, they will start making regular noises again after they realize they are in no danger. While I can't say for certain she sustained no damage to her voice box, it seems unlikely given that any deep puncture would likely have caused more issues. Hopefully she is just refusing to talk from the stress. Keep us updated on her condition. I also think she will be ok, if her eye is swollen shut, theres a chance she won't go blind in it. You are definitely not wrong to keep her alive, you started this thread, so you obviously care for her and will give her a good quality of life no matter what her circumstance. If she seems to be in horrible pain, baby aspirin (I know the dosage is somewhere on this site) should help.
Yes, some chickens will go in 'silent mode' after an attack. Her silence could be pain related or survival instinct kicking in. Yes, she can survive with one eye but she will be at a disadvantage when free ranging.

So sorry this happened.
Thank you @ChickenGoesRuff and @theoldchick , you have made me feel more optimistic and hopeful :) It will be interesting to continue to watch her progress, I will keep you posted. Here is a photo of her from this morning:


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