Predator - Comb Injury

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by foxyscrpr, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. foxyscrpr

    foxyscrpr Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Jun 6, 2014
    Fairfield, CA
    In the middle of the night something got in my coupe and attacked my hens. For those of you who are wondering the coupe is a tall standing coupe with a normal size door, it sits on a cement slab and 2 sides are chicken wire. We live in California and it can get hot so we wanted there to be some airflow during the warm months. The door wasn't latched but when closed it sits in the frame of the coupe so a predator would need to pull it open.

    We lost 2 babies and one layer and we have 2 injured layers. My son is determined he can mend the injuries but I need to ask. Can a chicken survive without it's comb? Or is this when I teach my son a harder lesson about being a hen family.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    67,582
    21,001
    886
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Yes a chicken can survive without it's comb, and generally recover quite readily from such injuries given that there is no internal damage. Fortify your coop - the predator will be back.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,411
    3,893
    406
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    X2
    Sourland has given you good advice as usual.

    If you would like to post some photos of the injuries that would be fine. Also of your coop, we may be able to give you some tips to fortify your coop a bit more.

    For general injuries, clean the area and then apply some plain neosporin, vetericyn or something similar (don't use anything with "caine" in it).
    If they seem a bit "shocky" place them in a quiet area and provide poultry vitamins like Nutri-Drench. Hydration is important.
    If they seem perky, then observe that the other chickens don't pick at the wounds, if they do, you may need to separate for a few days until it heals over. A large kennel in the run works well, this way the chickens can still "interact" by no one is getting pecked.

    Watch for signs of infection, pus, oozing, odors.
     
  4. foxyscrpr

    foxyscrpr Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Jun 6, 2014
    Fairfield, CA
    We had already cleaned the wounds and applied neosporin. All the hens, including the non injured ones are just chilling under their favorite tree. Just our only surviving baby is running around the chicken run like nothing ever happened. I appreciate the advice....I often read posts on this forum and have seen some very judgmental comments so I am always reluctant to post anything.
    [​IMG] This is Wing one of our Speckled Sussix....it's not her first time she's been injured. My son did a nice job at treating her old injuries.

    [​IMG] This is Gloria our Americana....she is just a love, always wants to be held when entering the coupe.

    [​IMG] This is the hen house, the coupe door is propped open at the moment so that they can free range in the run. It is hard to see the chicken wire but both sides of the coupe are lined on the inside with wire.
     
  5. foxyscrpr

    foxyscrpr Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Jun 6, 2014
    Fairfield, CA
    I have inserted some pix, thanks for any input you can give.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,411
    3,893
    406
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Poor things.

    Can Wing open the eye?
    You can gently try flushing the eye with saline or sterile water, work on getting it open to see if the eye itself if injured or it's just dried blood. If the eye looks injured apply neosporin or if you can get some Vetericyn eye gel or Terramycin eye ointment to go in the eye (I think Tractor Supply carries them). The comb and wattle will most likely heal fairly quickly.

    Gloria is sporting a new hair style for sure, just keep any eye out for infection, but if no other major injuries, she should heal with a little TLC.

    It looks like you have hardware cloth on your coop, so that is much more sturdy than chicken wire. Any idea what got in?
    Look for any gaps along the roofline and possibly install a latch for the door, raccoons are notorious for learning how to open things even latches, so it's possible he actually opened that door.
     
  7. foxyscrpr

    foxyscrpr Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Jun 6, 2014
    Fairfield, CA
    I will work on Wings eye with a wet cloth, she was very figity the last time I attempted to apply too much presure. My neighbor mentioned he had a fox but I doubt thats it...he would have need a low area to get in and with the coupe being on a cement slab I am thinking that's not it. With your mention of the intelligence of coons I am thinking that is my culprit. I haven't seen any around in along time but that's not to say they haven't come back since we are in a drout. The hens all tend to sleep on the perch at night so whatever it was had to have had a way to climb onto the nesting boxes to get to them. My ex-husband came by this morning to fix the door so the latch lines up again with it's hardware. I may leave my hen run open tonight and just let my German shepard be on guard duty. Those hens are his buddies, he helps my son collect eggs daily and herds them when needed.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,411
    3,893
    406
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    The coop part inside the run, is it open or enclosed with wire as well? It's a bit hard to tell.
    Was wondering since Gloria was scalped if there was an attempt to pull her comb through the wire?
    I don't mean to be gruesome, but the 3 that you lost, were they physically attacked/bitten (?) or did they have similar wounds like Gloria and Wing?
    Raccoons can be around for a long time, but never seen. Also could be something even smaller like a weasel.

    I'm glad you had the latch fixed. My DH has to adjust the latches on ours from time to time. Raccoons can be very crafty and open locks as well, so you may want to look at some of the threads about raccoon proof latches.

    The eye, you can try just holding a warm wet compress on it to see if that will help get it loosen up, if not go ahead and apply some ointment to it while closed maybe that will soften the dried blood.
    Just my thoughts[​IMG]
     
  9. foxyscrpr

    foxyscrpr Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Jun 6, 2014
    Fairfield, CA
    The run and the coop are both enclosed however the coop is placed on a slab close to the fencline between my house and the surrounding houses. I live in a residential area but am fortunate to have a large yard and neighbors who appreciate my sons desire to have hens. Whatever it was actually got in coop and most of the girls got out. One pullet was without it's head, my cockeral and other hen had just comb injury and were lifeless.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,411
    3,893
    406
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    By looking at the predator threads, it could be raccoon, possum or weasel.
    I don't know how you feel about it, but you may want to try a trap. Of course you will have to dispatch whatever you catch.
    I would think whatever it is, it will most likely return.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by