Monateru

Chirping
Jun 7, 2017
14
26
66
Today I walked out to the coop to find Val, my eight year old hen, limp in a pile of dirt.
From what I can tell, it looks like her comb was pecked at and ripped off by the other chickens. Crusted blood is all over her face, and coming out of her nose... She is also having balance and vision problems. She is extremely underweight and has poop stuck all over her butt.

I cleaned her wounds with a 3% peroxide solution the best I could. The blood is stuck in her feathers and the wound is very painful. She is in a wire cage stuffed with hay and covered in towels to keep her warm and secure. She has water and food. The only thing I've gotten her to eat is strawberry and watermelon. She drank quite a bit of water too.

My plan is to clean with the hydrogen peroxide again tomorrow and cut or wash the large chunks of poop off her bum.

If she isn't looking better tomorrow morning, I have a vet who has offered to euthanize her free of charge.

Is anything else I can do for her? Anyone know a better way to clean her face? Is there even a chance she will make it through?
 

BigBlueHen53

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Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
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I'm sorry this happened to your hen. Do not clean with hydrogen peroxide. Use warm soapy water. Dawn dish soap is very good. Rinse well but handle her gently. When you refer to a wound, do you mean the comb, or is there another?

You should be able to put her in a dishpan, tub or sink of warm soapy water with Epsom salts and clean off the poop encrustation* under her tail, again, gently. Wear rubber gloves if you have them. I use paper towels. If it's really crusty, soak it with a little baby oil, olive oil, or coconut oil but put some in a separate dish so you don't contaminate it.
I'm sure others will chime in with more good advice. Once wet, keep her from getting chilled. Wrap her in a towel and keep her in a dog crate till dry or gently blow dry her on low. She may need NutriDrench. Good luck!

*misspelled
 

Monateru

Chirping
Jun 7, 2017
14
26
66
I'm sorry this happened to your hen. Do not clean with hydrogen peroxide. Use warm soapy water. Dawn dish soap is very good. Rinse well but handle her gently. When you refer to a wound, do you mean the comb, or is there another?

You should be able to put her in a dishpan, tub or sink of warm soapy water with Epsom salts and clean off the poop encrustation* under her tail, again, gently. Wear rubber gloves if you have them. I use paper towels. If it's really crusty, soak it with a little baby oil, olive oil, or coconut oil but put some in a separate dish so you don't contaminate it.
I'm sure others will chime in with more good advice. Once wet, keep her from getting chilled. Wrap her in a towel and keep her in a dog crate till dry or gently blow dry her on low. She may need NutriDrench. Good luck!

*misspelled
Thank you! I'll give a gentle bath tomorrow if she's still doing well. Her wound is where half of her comb used to be. The back half of her comb is missing and there is a crater where it used to be. Thats the only wound I can see. I'm worried she has a brain injury because of the bleeding from the nose.
 

BigBlueHen53

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Mar 5, 2019
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How is her behavior? Can she walk okay? Is she listless, just wanting to sleep or keel over to one side? Is she eating and drinking, pecking and scratching like normal?
 

FowlWitch

Songster
Jun 11, 2019
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Please be very careful when cutting the poop off her bum. It's very easy to accidentally cut an animal (which happened to me a long time ago when trimming a knot from my dog's fur). Warm water and soap should be enough to remove the poop. Good luck! I hope she does better!
 

Monateru

Chirping
Jun 7, 2017
14
26
66
Nature can be so cruel. Sounds like Val has had a good life with you. If she recovers, are you planning on keeping her separate from the other birds? Best wishes.
She is separated . She's actually in the very same wire cage that she was kept in the first week of her life with me! If she recovers, I will probably build a mini-coop (LOL) I have another senior chicken, Norma, who could benefit from being in a separate coop will Val.
I'm just glad I got her out before the flock killed her. At least now she is safe and has water and food.
 

Monateru

Chirping
Jun 7, 2017
14
26
66
How is her behavior? Can she walk okay? Is she listless, just wanting to sleep or keel over to one side? Is she eating and drinking, pecking and scratching like normal?
She is sleeping normally, and also preening herself this morning! But she is having extreme difficultly walking and balancing. I've check out her legs and nothing seems broken or injured. I'm hoping it will go away if she heals. But I worry it might be neurological and permanent.
 

Monateru

Chirping
Jun 7, 2017
14
26
66
Please be very careful when cutting the poop off her bum. It's very easy to accidentally cut an animal (which happened to me a long time ago when trimming a knot from my dog's fur). Warm water and soap should be enough to remove the poop. Good luck! I hope she does better!
i think I'm going to follow everyones advice and just put her in a shallow tub of warm water and wash it off. I don't want to cause anymore injury.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
7 Years
Feb 12, 2015
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You can use plain neosporin or plain triple antibiotic ointment on the comb. Comb injuries bleed a LOT (you can use corn starch or flour to helps stop bleeding if neccessary) but generally heal up well with time. Unless she was pecked severely then I doubt she has brain damage. I've had birds completely scalped and survive and heal up fine. The poopy butt is a concern as are the balance and vision problems along with the weight loss. It sounds like something else is going on with her health wise and that may have drawn the attack by her flock mates. 8 years old is getting up there for a chicken. Has she ever been wormed or had a fecal to test for internal parasites? Having her droppings tested would be a good idea. Also check her abdomen for any bloating, hardness or water balloon like. And make sure her crop is emptying after she eats. If she's eating and drinking on her own then check first thing in the morning before she has access to food or water and it should be empty. If she's not eating, then it will likely be empty anyway.
I would not bathe her just yet. Use wash cloths, etc to clean her off as best you can. Since she's not feeling well, you don't want her to get chilled.
 

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