Rooster rescued from a coyote, using Manuka honey

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sunshine Flock, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

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    I managed to bribe my husband and get some help from him. I made a hammock from a clean kitchen towel and spread it across his lap, with his knees a part, which made a V shape to nest Henry upside down, so his injuries would be suspended between my husband's thighs.

    While he held Henry's wings together, and I snipped sticky feathers from honey and cleaned his underside with a homemade saline solution, Henry decided to take a nap and closed his eyes. Of course, whenever he closes his eyes, I never know if he's going to wake up, but Henry is now safely back on his resting station, in front of the warmer, eating mash and salmon. So the boy lives!

    What I found on his undercarriage was a green/tan wound, a couple of them actually. I think you'd call them superficial: not deep at all but more than an abrasion. Skin is missing in a few places. There's green bruising, but there's also a dull, non-shiny greenish/tan in-fill in the wounds. I'm not sure if it's discolored chicken fat or pus.

    For round one, I cleaned and trimmed. Feathers are messy business. I can't imagine what it would be like working at a down feather pillow factory. I let him rest for an hour, gave him some more arnica, and then for round two I doused his wounds with saline in a syringe, patted it dry (not sure if you're supposed to do that or let it air dry), and then treated with honey.

    I also cleaned his bottom and removed more feathers from that area.

    He bit me when I placed him upright on his resting station. That's Henry for you, a proud rooster even when someone is cutting off all of his feathers.

    And I just have to say, I still don't know where his man part is located, the one that makes baby chickens. Any clue? Because I sure looked.

    The whole day was about Henry's underside, so I haven't recoated his other wounds with honey yet. This has allowed me to observe them throughout the day. No seepage at all on any of them. But they are deep and grotesque, and that's why my husband had such a hard time helping me. I don't blame him one bit.

    He's calming down and eating now (Henry is calming down and eating, I should say), and soon I'll bring in another comfort chicken so they can eat some greens together.

    Oh, I thoroughly examined his lame leg and don't see any obvious wounds. Could he have a break that isn't visible? His feet and toes are warm, and he did very slightly move his leg when I did something he didn't like. I'm just glad I didn't find more wounds to tend to. The poor boy is already half a rooster with all the feathers I've had to remove.

    Okay, that's it for now. Thanks for the constant encouragement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  2. Kjenkins18

    Kjenkins18 In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the update. Watching this thread and pulling for you and Henry! Hope he is feeling better little by little.
     
  3. venymae

    venymae Prairie Wind

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    Pain relief. Use willow bark tea in his water. The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. White willow appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin, but its effects may last longer. I'm not sure how dosing would work with this, but it would be much more effective than arnica. (I've used both!) Have you stitched up his lung wound yet? A lose towel around his eyes and a friend to gently hold him still would make him an easy patient. Sewing thread and a needle sterilized with alcohol (or iodine or hydrogen peroxide) would do the job very well and would not hurt nearly as much as a body cavity full of air! After it heals, pulling out stitches is VERY easy and painless (I've pulled a lot of stitches out of myself!) Hope this helps!
     
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  4. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

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    Hi venymae!

    This is very helpful, thank you. I'm leaning toward arnica for his pain. I can see it's effect on him. But I used to use willow for my headaches instead of aspirin and have been thinking about it lately. Thank you for mentioning it. I'll definitely give this some thought. Willow would be a great addition to my critter apothecary!

    I haven't stitched his cavity yet, but I do think I can comfortably do this. My husband should be fine as long as he doesn't look and I don't narrate what I'm doing, which I have a tendency to do.

    The concern is how uncertain I'm feeling about this step. I'm seeing an improvement: no breathing sounds at all through the puncture, no raspy sounds from his beak breathing, no additional little sounds when he drinks or eats, and no fluid of any kind in the puncture area, and the entire area seems to be healing.

    But this is where I feel quite wobbly. I just don't know. Perhaps it does need a couple of stitches, but what exactly do I stitch? Just the skin? He doesn't have any skin to pull together there and stitch. So I would be stitching fascia. Would I need to go deeper and tuck a few stitches across the span of the actual puncture?

    I think I'll call UC Davis and see if they can put me in touch with someone to talk to. Surely someone who works in medical research for poultry or who practices medicine for poultry can educate me on what to do. So thank you for setting me off on that path. I'll post back when I get some professional guidance.
     
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Calling UC Davis is a great idea - hopefully they can point you in the right direction.

    We all have our opinions on how to do things - so this is mine - if he were mine and the wound is starting to heal, I would not stitch anything together. Some people do have good results adding a stitch or 2 if needed, but with chickens, infection is high if a wound is stitch, best to let it heal from the inside out.

    In your post about treating his underside you mentioned looking for his male parts. The Chicken Chick does a beautiful job explaining about males - hope the article helps:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/06/chicken-mating-how-does-that-work.html
     
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  6. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

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    Well, Wyorp, that certainly explains the absence of a visible bumper unit. :p
     
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  7. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

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    Don't assume an injured chicken refuses to drink water on his or her own. Give him a chance before resorting to a syringe.

    I don't keep a water bowl near Henry from fear of him falling forward and drowning. He's wobbly and unstable right now. When I first tried giving him water, I held a ceramic bowl up near his beak. Nothing. So I dipped his beak, and still no interest.

    It occurred to me that perhaps he doesn't know what's in the bowl, so I held it slightly to one side. He turned his head and showed interest, but no drinking. I decided to try a clear glass dish and held it right in front of him. This he noticed right away, and he suddenly dunked his beak and began drinking. Then nothing for hours. No interest.

    Next came a spoon. I filled a spoon with water and held it up so his beak was dipped into the water. I kept it there for just a second or two, then pulled back. Then I did it again, and he drank water. When I put the spoon down but left the glass bowl in front of him, he quickly dipped his beak and drank quite a bit on his own.

    I've noticed he has no interest in water directly after a honey treatment. He also wouldn't eat for a few hours after treatment. He still doesn't show interest in water when honey has been freshly applied, but tonight, for the first time, he ate immediately afterward.

    Chickens are like the cats I've helped heal. They're curious, and if you can give them time to explore that curiosity, and take notice of the possible reasons for why they aren't eating or drinking, you may discover an easy solution.

    When I brought a hen in for a visit with Henry, she ate some greens I gave her. Then she nibbled on some mash. Henry was very intrigued and pecked at his own food. This was when I was wrestling with his sudden loss of an appetite and only some slight pecking aside from his willingness to eat greens.

    Depression can affect their interest in food and distract them from a basic need such as water.

    I thought I'd share a water tip tonight, gleaned from experience.

    I tucked Henry into bed a few hours ago, with some more arnica to help with pain. I feel like his recovery is still on the fence, but healing does seem to be underway.

    One more quick note: Since he's immobile, I tuck a washcloth under his vent to catch his droppings. I also trimmed way back the feathers in that region, and I'm being very careful to keep flies out of his room. The washcloth is removed when it's soiled and replaced with a new one. This helps keep his bedding clean, but I still have to wash it once a day.

    G'night, folks!
     
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  8. Chickens are very resilient. Seems you are doing a great job. Give him a banana and water melon. They will eat that when they won't eat anything else. Those will hydrate and have good vitamins. Keep the puncture over the lung closed off so no air can escape. Saran wrap works if you have some. Stick it on with your honey it might work. That is most likely why his breathing changed once you applied the honey. But your doing great. Good Luck
     
  9. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

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    Some of the skin is pulling back from the wounds and lifting up. I think eventually it all needs to come off and will do this on its own.

    The opening above the puncture has enlarged. It wasn't like that this morning, so I think his anxious movement when I was applying honey did this. It's really deep. I don't think the puncture has enlarged; it seems to have been big all along but not entirely visible. His breathing has improved, as I've mentioned. When he makes a distress sound, cautious of me near his wounds, I can movement in the puncture and a small amount of fluid. I'm concerned about foreign objects in there.

    Because it's a puncture associated with his breathing, it doesn't seem like a good idea to flush it with saline. I sure hope I can talk to someone on the phone tomorrow about this and get some good advice on what to do. I'd hate to lose him because I didn't handle his puncture correctly.

    Meanwhile, he has strong vitality, he's actively eating and drinking, and he tries to get up when his hens are around. The underside wound is healing nicely. No signs of infection, thank goodness.

    But dang it. That puncture wound is really worrying me.
     
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  10. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

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    I'm going to see if I can post some photos today. We're having camera problems, that's why I haven't posted anything yet.

    Just be prepared. This is day five, I think. The wounds have really improved, but the puncture is the big concern. The skin all has to die, right? So the process involves pulling back and up, which would expose more of the puncture. Someone suggested saran wrap to protect the puncture. Could that encourage the growth of bacteria, since it's a warm, damp environment?

    He can also reach back there with his beak. He pecks at his honey coated feathers a bit, from his frustration that I'm causing him pain. At what point should I consider some kind of a covering in the form of a cross body saddle thing?
     
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