Roosting wounded hen: what to do for tonight?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AwesomeFacer, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. AwesomeFacer

    AwesomeFacer In the Brooder

    May 5, 2011
    Hi, all:

    I just went out to secure the coop for the night, and our 6-month old Lakenvelder had been attacked. She was roosting with the other hens when I found her, and there is blood on the shavings under her and on the rung of the roosting box below. She appears to have a wound to her chest/breast and maybe her face - she was tending to the feathers near the wound so I couldn't tell where the blood on her face had come from. The other 12 - all Orpingtons - were fine.

    The big question is what do I do tonight? Do I leave her be for the night and plan to treat her wound in the morning, or do I try to wrangle her and bring her in the house for the night?
    And if I bring her in the house for the night, what do I do with her and where do I keep her? My fella thinks she's gonna want an enclosure tall enough to roost in -- I was thinking a cat carrier should work.

    Thanks for your advice!
  2. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Separate her from the flock for sure - if they see or smell blood they will peck at it and make her wounds even worse.

    She does not need to roost for the night, she just needs a warm, safe place to sleep. A laundry basket lined with towels in your bathroom would be fine. So would a cat carrier. Or if you have a separate pen outside she could stay there, as long as she was safe, warm, and had a nice soft bed.

    Tomorrow once she has calmed down, assess her wounds. Clean them well with a saline solution and then dry her off. Keep her well fed - scrambled eggs are good if they refuse to eat anything else - and check her wounds for infection. You might also be able to get some sort of antiseptic cream for her? Just steer away with anything with 'caine' in the name or ingredients.

    Good luck!

    - Krista
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    It would be best to bring her in-house and inspect the wounds. Then post what you observed. Betadine is a good wound cleanser. Provide a warm area of the house in a safe crate like you mentioned. Too much confinement will cause more stress so have enough space for the bird to stand, eat and walk around. Provide poultry vitamins-electrolytes in water and keep the hen separate from the rest of the flock until wounds heal.
  4. AwesomeFacer

    AwesomeFacer In the Brooder

    May 5, 2011

    As a (late) follow up and thank you, this is Lake today. She recovered just fine. :)
    I brought her inside in the morning and cleaned her feathers and her wounds, which were minimal. She's white underneath, which made the wounds look like a complete horror show. In reality, what was probably a possum bit too shallow to cause much other than a flesh wound. Some betadyne and TLC and she's fine.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

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