Raccoon!! Emergency!

henmomma

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
13
0
22
Hi there! I am new to the forum and desperate. Lurker for years. I have 5 Rhode Island Reds in a very secure pen with large run. Night before last a HUGE raccoon literally ripped the wire apart and got in. Coop is close to the house so we got out there quickly and DH took care of the nasty thing. One of our hens - the only one that could melt my tough guy hubby was laying out. We thought she was dead.

We went to go get some things to take care of burying her and came back. She was alive and had gotten up! We didn't think she would make it through the night. She did. We didn't think she would make it through the next day (vet closed on Wed). She did. Holy cow she laid an egg!

Got a good look at her injuries. Coon ripped off all the skin around her neck. Left eye is either gone or so swollen shut it isn't open, we can't tell. Worst is both top and bottom beaks are shredded. Only 4 long spikes sticking out. Tongue is fine though! One of the nostril tube thingies is sticking out but she can't breathe through it. She's breathing through her mouth. Some infection is coming out of her mouth.

I tried to clean her up a bit but am afraid she will shock too much. Vet this AM as soon as he opens. Got 1 drop of Polyvisol down her yesterday, some very diluted aspirin water and some clean water. She goes from looking like she is minutes from death to standing up and ruffling feathers. Like she is saying "don't give up on me!"

I feel so darned bad for her. I'm afraid vet may say euthanize due to the beak. PLEASE HELP! What can I do? She just seems too tough to give up on. Only a year old. She is so sweet and actually cuddles up with DH. I have never ever seen hubby so sad.

Is there any hope with her beak so badly damaged? I'm sure vet will do antibiotics and clean her up good. If anyone can answer now or very soon I would appreciate it as I have to leave in 2 hours when he opens!
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
45
274
New Jersey
I'm afraid I can't offer much help re: the beak as I haven't run across this situation but am sending lots of good wishes for your hen. Poor dear girl - I can't even imagine how awful it was for her, or how grizzly the moment when her beak was getting 'shredded" - from raccoon ripping at it with teeth? I know some hens do just fine with beak deformities and such - lots of accounts here on BYC - it will depend on her specific situation and whether she can still get food.

Electrolytes for shock, btw. There are poultry formulas on the market, recipes here on BYC, or use a bit of Pedialtye or gatorade in a pinch. Can spritz on bits of any of her favorite fruits, if she'll eat them. If you should have any handy, a drop of Rescue Remedy in her water for stress (or mixed with water [to dilute the taste but no specific ratio needed] and gently dribbled along her beak line with dropper), ideally before the trip to the vet but if you don't have it handy, I imagine stores aren't open yet. The hardest thing initially is stress/shock. Keep her warm and in quiet 'stress free zone'. Pain reliever may lift her spirits and help restore any lost appetite - see what the vet can give her for that.

Hoping this works out for her. Thank you for being so caring.
hugs.gif
Keep us posted.
JJ
 

henmomma

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
13
0
22
Thanks so much for the quick reply. I have some red gatorade so will do that before we go. Bless her heart, she is trying to lay another egg. My biggest worry is her beak.

No matter what the vet says I am going to ask him to clean her up, antibiotic shot, give me something for pain (her pain, I can take Advil lol), something for stress and let me take her home. She's made it almost 2 days now. Obviously there is a reason for that so I'll do whatever I can and see what God has in store. I will feed her however I can.

I could use a little info on force feeding and how to do it. I'm so afraid of aspiration. Do you put a tube down throat or what? I'm also really afraid she will stress at the vet - I hope he's in a good mood and didn't drink too much coffee this morning!

Will let you all know how she's doing. Hubby named her Cookie because she is "one tough cookie" :)

Oh! One more thing. I have her in a pet carrier in the warm house so she isn't out with the other girls. Also thought the traumatic events the other night would stop the other hens laying for at least one day - nope - got 5 eggs including Cookie's !
 
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Barry1963

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 2, 2010
39
0
22
Madison, Tennessee
You may have no choice but to put her down. If you killed the coon, Id put it in a garbage bag and beat feet to the vet to see if its rabid . MAKE SURE YOU WEAR GLOVES while handling the coon. If her beaks as mangled as you say,she wont be able to feed herself and putting her down is more humane than starvation.
 

jjparke

Songster
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
371
6
141
Boise
Doesn't sound good. Don't let her suffer too long. How long could you survive with half of your mouth missing?
 

henmomma

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
13
0
22
Oh Barry, you just bummed me out. We didn't touch the coon - used shovel to pick him up and put in box that hubby got rid of - no idea where or how. Coon wasn't hissing or foaming or doing anything weird but I know there aren't always obvious signs of rabies.

I sort of felt bad for him trapped in the coop, looking at our flashlights when hubby fired. He would have come back though. There was no choice. The girls were just terrified and screeching and all huddled in the corner. Poor things. It was worse than some horror movie nightmare.

Deep down I know that putting her down would be more humane. I guess I'm just trying not to think about that. Sigh. Will let you all know in a couple of hours.

Thanks again.
 

Barry1963

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 2, 2010
39
0
22
Madison, Tennessee
Hen momma,

I understand how you feel. I once had a duck when I was younger (about 10 or 11yrs) that got its side tore out by a dog, I tried to bandage him up and save him. My grandfather let me try, the duck slid into a comma after 12 hours of suffering. Grandpa then gave me the speach.

Raising chickens is a job that can bring great joy and tough choices, I wish you the best.
 

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