Scalped Speckled Sussex! (with a gash in her lower chest area as well)

Jamie Stone

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 9, 2014
Hello everyone, I'm emotionally drained, tired, and hoping that somebody out there thinks that there is hope for my 3-4 month old Speckled Sussex hen.

I'll start from the beginning: Last night, I was sitting at my computer and my sister came out and told me that she heard squawking. We rushed outside to find that 3 of the 5, 3-4 month old pullets in their make shift coop were missing. As I had come up to the gate, a raccoon was skurrying away as I had yelled at it to leave. I searched around and found two of them hiding in a black berry bush, not a scratch to their body. I went back over to the coop and further down from it, found an abundance of feathers... ripped from my speckled sussex! I had thought the raccoon finished her, but deeper down the run I found her, scalped with a gash in her lower chest area. I'm not sure exactly what creature was responsible, my sister saw it as I started freaking out and yelling at her to get mom, and she says it looked like a raccoon. We first put neosporin on her head, as well as the gash area... there was NO skin left to connect the head back together and protect the exposed skull. We put her in a large plastic box with towels, included food and water, covered her, and hoped for the best.

Up to speed to today, she has been eating bit by bit, drinking, and of course, pooping. We tried reapplying neosporin on her head, but even the lightest touch made her go woozy and droop, probably due to exposed nerves. So instead we sprayed saline on the wounds and sterilized them with a betadine and water solution that the veterinarian recommended. We also put an antibiotic powder in her water, and made a special food that is supposed to tempt her to eat (both are also veterinarian recommended).

We had our neighbor come over the look at her, hoping that she could do something as she is a nurse, but she thinks there really isn't anything more we can do and have to take it day by day. We're calling the vet again tomorrow.

I can probably post some pictures once my brave little hen wakes up tomorrow morning, right now I feel that rest and cleanliness is key!

Do any members have any input or suggestions about what we're doing/about what you think we should do? Thank you very much!
It sounds to me like you are doing everything possible, but you probably ought to get started on a predator proof run for your remaining chickens. Preventing flies and maggots is very important in wounds, so keep her inside or away from them. Feed her some extra protein from eggs or tuna, along with her regular feed. Hopefully her wounds will heal and she will regrow her feathers soon.
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It's sort of a complicated set-up, where we have two separate coops but they basically share this entire fenced off back area of our yard. We need two coops because one flock is 1 year old, and the other is 3-4 months old, but we're planning on moving them into the big coop because they're pretty integrated, and it would be safer. The raccoon people told us that trapping them and such wouldn't do much good, and that we had to make our yard unattractive. As for keeping her inside, I keep her in my bedroom with a large plastic tub, towels on the floor, food, water, etc. she's also covered with a sheet for a good portion of the day, because it was recommended by people. Yes, I'm, very much hoping that she heals and will regrow her feathers, thank you for your tips and input!
I recently posted the same thing about my 8 week old Australorp. Her brooder mates did it to her. She is healing up just fine. I used vetercyn spray and E.M.T. gel, it has worked wonders. Her skin is growing back, but not sure if there will be feathers on her head so she may be a special case forever, sunscreen lots of sunscreen. I'm just worried now about reintoducing her to the flock when she is completely healed. She is glued to me now and follows me everywhere. Prayers for you and your feather baby
For us, our main hope is that she just gets to live a long life. We don't care if she lays eggs or anything, we kind of just want to do ANYTHING but euthanize her, but if she's suffering in vain, we might have to. We fear that it hurts to open her jaw to eat, so we're having a bird vet come over to check it out, hopefully she will bring us good news.

Thank you for your input on the matter, it's good to hear about so many chickens surviving injuries like this.
Attached is a photo of her head wound, it looks pretty bad if you ask me. (the orange parts are less yellow than they appear.)
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Mine was worse than that. You could see the tendons/muscles move when she opened her mouth they were literally sticking out, and her scalping was all the way down her head to the back of her neck. I think you can see the pics of you go to my info page (not sure how to post it again). SHe looks like she will be fine, it will just take some time.
Hi everyone, the gash in Dellie's chest was much deeper than we thought, and the raccoon had cut into her abdomen... there wasn't any saving her. I loved/love that chicken very much, and she died painlessly while she was in a deep sleep. I'm currently grieving for her, and am deeply sorry that there wasn't anything more that I could do for her. My baby is now resting painlessly, right by her sisters.

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