Reintegrating hen after "hospitalization"

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by homeschoolmama, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    It's been 2 weeks since my dog ripped off a pretty big flap of skin off of the neck of one of my nearly 7 month old GL Wyandottes. She has been reahabbing in a dog crate in my garage. She seems to be doing fine now, altho not eating as much as I would like. She has a patch of bald skin and scabs on her neck from the healed wound. These are my 1st chickens so not sure what to do. I'd like to get her back out with the other (5) girls. I'm thinking she'll eat better with them around. My questions-

    Do I need to reintro her slowly?- I may be able to squeeze the dog crate into the coop and have her in there for a couple of days but it will be tight, if it fits at all. Or can she just go back out? She was the dominant hen before the injury.

    I have some "Rooster Booster" brand Pick No More Lotion to apply to her scabs. How often do I need to reapply? (will be hard once she's back out-she's hard to catch and the least domesticated of my hens). Directions don't say.

    Naturally, we're looking at the coldest temps of the year coming up this week. Should I worry about her getting chilled where she is bald? Should I not get her back outside while she's still trying to recover (altho I think she's doing pretty well)?

    Anything else that I should be aware of (besides watching her and other girls closely while reintro-ing)?

    Thanks so much

  2. pixie74943

    pixie74943 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Adelaide, Australia
    If she's been out for 2 weeks, she's basically going back in as a newbie... they might not recognise her after so long. She definately wont get her spot back at the top of the pecking order if she isnt eating properly, and she might even get reinjured by the other birds putting her back in her place (at the bottom).

    If you can putting the dog crate in with the other birds is a good start.. lets them see her again, and keeps her safe while she builds up her strength again. Personally I'd wait until she had all/most of her feathers back and was eating well.

    As to the lotion.. I dont know sorry. But if it doesnt have directions.. I'd say daily until she looks better [​IMG]

    Good Luck [​IMG]
  3. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Thanks for the info.
    Any one else have thoughts?
  4. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Bumping-anyone else have any input?
  5. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    I had a similar situation many years ago. Only thing was that the injured bird was attacking her old flock mates! It was odd. I actually had to build her her own little coop and run, and she lived there for 2 or 3 months. They could all see each other, and after a while, I let them out to free range together. When she no longer attacked them, she went back to living in the big coop. Normally, I think you would need to worry about the rest of the flock being aggressive to the bird who was injured. My situation was a bit out of the ordinary.
  6. She will probably feel vulnerable (hence the pecking when some are put back=defence mechanism) and the idea of putting the dog crate in the coop is a good one- I've done that twice. But beware of the scabs- not only should they be covered with Blu-Kote when ready, but they need to be healed to a level where pecking will not start them bleeding immediately. Do you have a low dominance bird who can join her in the crate for a few hours when you think she is ready? Sometimes by 'reintroducing' two or even three birds together it confuses the bullies in the flock. And do this when you can be in the flock *with* them. If the first try is a failure, re-crate the injured bird or the bully, you'll have to judge. But be very sure your injured bird is well-healed before you open the door to that crate.
  7. Zoey

    Zoey In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2009
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I would wait until the scabs are gone and she is completely healed, not as important about the feathers re-growing, They may not come back in until she molts, but if there is any pecking / bleeding, the others will go after her. There will be squabbling at first anyway so it could happen.......

    The anti pick lotion works well with chicks picking each other and when fresh blood is present.I wouldn't put it on the scabs as it could loosen them.

  8. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I also like the idea of the dog crate or maybe wire off, part of the coop. Then she can start to become "one of the flock again" and not be lonely. Could you bring her in at night until the temps moderate a bit?
  9. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    I am facing the same situation here, Ive had the bird in the house "hospitalization" and she is completely better so I planned on putting her outside a few hours the first day, all day the next and then overnight the third (to get her used to the weather difference from the house to outside). I put her outside today and she was actually scared of the other chickens! I think she might view herself as "human". But she wouldn't leave the saftey of my legs, so after a few minutes I squatted down on the ground and she leapt up on my leg and then scarmbled up to my shoulder [​IMG] after a few minutes I set her on the ground and two chickens charged her and then she leapt up on me again, poor little girl. I think I will try the dog crate idea. She is such a little pet now, I don't want any "meanies" trying to "put her in her place", I'm hoping they can establish their pecking order peacefully. Everything was fine before she went inside. I guess I'll just have to wait and see

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