Scalped 2 month old chick! *With graphic pic*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jessupfamily, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    We have no idea what happened to this chick. It is literally scalped! It is a clean tear all of the way around and around one eye. It's eye is looking kind of puffy and it is cpvered witha gel looking pocket (after 12 hours, you can see this in the first picture). It is isolated in our bath tub and has been eating and drinking just fine. It seems to be acting normal, but tired. It's skull is completely exposed and we could not find the scalped skin to put back on. I am giving it vitamins and keeping it clean and away from flies! My main question is will the skin grow back over the scalp? It's a large area and at an age that it is growing so fast. What could we be doing for it now?
    Thanks for any help!
    Amy J.
  2. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Keep her in a cool area with low light. Keep the area clean and put antibiotic ointment on it. You may want to give her electrolytes in her water to keep her hydrated.

    Was she is a coop when this happened or outside?
    Was anyone else hurt?
    Could something get into the coop or run?
    Have you had a pecking problem with other chickens or Roosters?
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Chances are another chicken or chickens did that to her. It happens.

    My suggestion is to cull it.
  4. steffpeck

    steffpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Ouch!!! Poor little thing!!
  5. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    I've had this happen to two juveniles this year when an adult took a disliking to them. Once one draws blood the rest go after it and whole groups of chickens will pick on the one unlucky one. I've never had them survive afterwards, possible brain damage from all the pecking. It's amazing that they can do this in a matter of an hour or so, perfect bird one minute and similar to your poor chickie the next. Now if I get one like this I'll just cull it and spare it the agony since it will likely only die anyway.
    Sorry yours got to be the one picked on. [​IMG]
  6. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    Here's our situation:
    We have two yards (totally by accident). On one side (20 ft x 60 ft) are most of the chickens. Mamas with babies, 13 laying hens, 9 teenagers (3 1/2 mnths), 25 younger (2 mnths), a bantam couple, and (2 standard) 1 1/2 yr roos. On the other side (20 ft x 60 ft) we have the 2 mnth old rebels that think they live there. This chick was one of the rebels and was in that yard with maybe 6 others. They were hatched and raised together and have been on that side for the last month. My sons were out there (around 10 am) and everyone was doing their morning scratching and foraging. Then they went back out around 11 am and came running back in yelling about the chick.
    We have raised chickens for the last 7 years in various situations (Country with coop and run, country free-range, and our current city/free-range type thing with 6 ft privacy fencing). And we have had chickens in this situation (city/free-range) for almost 2 years now. We have only had one problem and that was falcons. We have put rope blockades up and have not had any problems since yearly last year. I've not seen any pecking happening and when we found this chick's head this way it was out scratching and acting normal. No other chicks were paying any attention to it at all. I've experienced the pecking insanity before in the country situation. And this chick didn't have any peck type marks on it, just a clean tear all the way around. The pictures are from this morning and look a little more messy. The tear line around was literally a tear towards the back of the neck and over towards the eye. This is a very bizarre situation. I keep thinking we should just cull it, but how? It's not a large eating chicken and it's not small enough to do baby chick culling things. Any suggestions? And then the nagging thing that it seems to be acting fine. Thanks everyone for the help!
  7. eagletracker1

    eagletracker1 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2008
    Burnt Hills, New York
    I hate to be the odd man out but if the chick doesn't seem to be in pain, you may want to wait and see how it does. I had a very small chick (could sit in the palm of your hand) get completely scalped once. I had made the mistake of putting 2 batches of mothers/chicks in the same small cage and once mother got "jealous" and decided to scalp the chick of the other mother. I saw it happen....reached right down and off came the skin. She didn't seem to be in any pain but sure looked bad. I kept her in the house until she healed (she even slept on my pillow) and the skin and feathers eventually grew back and she was a very friendly bird. Would definately give it antibiotics though and some sort of healing ointment.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I wouldn't cull it either...
    Did you rinse it's eye and the wound out?
    Something like neosporin would help to keep infections there a buddy or a stuffed toy that you could put in with him?

    I'm wondering if a predator didn't try and get him...

    I agree with antibiotics...don't use any creams that have benzocaine or lidocaine in them...they can kill your bird.
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Culling would be the humane thing to do. The same way you would with an adult bird.

    The eye we can see in the photo looks very damaged, and is probably not and will not be visual.

    If the chick has a good eye on the other side, it may do ok long term if you can get it through this immediate trauma.

    Of course it is feeling pain, it is just tolerating it- the power of hunger and thirst is overcoming the pain- so it 'looks like it is doing ok and eating/drinking' but be assured- this is painful.

    The tissue may close up some where there is living tissue, but it is very hard for skin to grow over exposed bone. It is unlikely that the area will ever look anything like normal.

    Keeping the clean and protected, and consider getting someone in the veterinary profession to help you with pain management and more appropriate antibiotics than what is available from Longs or the feed store- if you want to save this particular chick. Antibiotics (oral or injectable) if there is a chance this is a predator wound. If this is a self inflicted- I got my head stuck in the fence type of wound- topicals may be sufficient.
    Good luck, Jess
  10. fushalilly

    fushalilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I would cull it. I know it doesnt seem like it, but look, its in a pain of some sort. Im so sorry.

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