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Seriously beat up hen--how to treat?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Daisy8s, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2011
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    I brought in two new hens from different farms and one nearly killed the other. I was checking on them often so in just a few hours one of them pecked a patch off most of the back of the other. All feathers are gone or broken off near the base. Her skin is--well, the only word for it is--raw hamburger. Plenty of blood--this is not just a flesh wound.

    The injured area extends from her tail all the way up even to the top of her wings. It is about three inches wide.

    I brought the injured one inside and put on a salve that is for humans. It is for burns and cuts but it's not an antibiotic. It's the only thing I had on hand last night when I discovered what had happened. Now she is attempting to clean her feathers--from all the spattered blood--and I'm sure she's ingesting some of that salve.

    I did not clean the wound off and I did not bandage it. She was in so much pain all I could do was get the salve on and I don't know how I could possibly bandage it.

    What should I do now? Is there a topical medication specific to chickens I should use? Should I try to bandage it somehow? Should I clean it off with soap/water to prevent infection or is it already too late for that? What about the quills broken off near the skin--should they be pulled or left alone?

    And, finally, what about the hen who did the attack? Does she need to go?

    I'm desperate for help--thanks for any advice you can give.
     
  2. chick-among-us

    chick-among-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2011
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    I am new HERE and I can only tell you what I use on my farm ALOT! Buy it at the feed or tack store...Vetricin Vetrycin? Crap dont know exactly how to spell it.Blue bottle! You can actually go to your vet and buy a stronger kind (in a white bottle)than what the tack store sells and it is a gel...safe for dogs cats horses cattle poultry just about anything. I have wounds around here of all kinds EVEN poison ivey I had my daughter get into it,it was on her face i put vetricin on it and in less than a week the poison ivey peeled off like a sunburn! Amazing stuff.IMO! hope this helps. it never burns it contains hormones designed to enhance healing...you just spray it on so you dont have to rub the hamburger areas...also on MY chickens leaving it open helps them heal I have had my roos open up six inch gashes in my hens that went at LEAST an inch deep. They dont even have a scar...they heal amazingly also. Dont worry she will be ok!!![​IMG]
     
  3. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    What I would do is fill a sink full of nice warm water with betadine added (about the color of weak tea), which you can get at the feed stor or the drug store, but it's cheaper at the feed store. Put a washcloth or rag down in the sink for her to stand on so it's not too slippery. Slowly lower her into the sink. She will probably relax and enjoy it. I use a cup and pour the betadine over her neck and back if the sink is too shallow. Make sure you hold the chicken with one hand - there's nothing worse than a flapping wet chicken! I have had a few chickens survive dog attacks and hawk attacks and even a couple that were sliced open by clumsy roos and always use this method. It is gentle on their wounds, cleans without irritating, and will disinfect any wounds that might be hidden by feathers/down. After her bath, wrap her in a towel and pat her dry, at least until she stops dripping. Then put her in a box, dog crate, or brooder with a lamp over it to help her dry and stay warm.

    I don't put any cream medications on my chickens. In my experience it just helps to stick the feathers to the wound and creates a mess.

    Good luck with her!
     
  4. chick-among-us

    chick-among-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And no I would not bandage Again if someone else knows better....just trying to help...I would not pluck those quills..I would wash it off in warm water, no soap. Be careful with topical things for humans it can cause problems in birds if it has lidicain (need to find out how to spell that!)[​IMG] and lastly yes I would have the other chicken outta there! She would be in a stew pot or what we say "she'd be driveway" in other words heading down it!
     
  5. chick-among-us

    chick-among-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ohh cool wasnt sure about betadine! YAY:ya love this place for advice!! one thing wonderful about vetricin it REALLy isnt sticky it is almost like sprying water on them I bet after that nice betadine bath it would work wonders! Just a thought. GOOD luck!![​IMG]
     
  6. chics n more

    chics n more Out Of The Brooder

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    After washing with warm water and drying, I used blue kote to cover entire area of pink showing. It worked great-the other girls didn't peck at all. I also used the chick vitamin/electrolyte package to water to boost immune system and fed yogurt a couple of times. This worked great for my hen who had a horrible gash from a dog attack.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  7. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for the advice, everyone. I am heading out to the farm supply store to stock up on supplies. I really like the idea of the warm bath with betadine. I can see how that would be so much gentler than trying to wipe/swab.

    And, I think she will like the bath. She's the sweetest thing--keeps climbing up in my lap for comfort. I've got her in the house now and will be able to keep her separated from the others while she heals.
     
  8. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    How's your girl today?
     
  9. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hen is doing much better. I am amazed at how quickly she has healed. I gave her the Betadine bath and she seemed to enjoy that. (It was the only funny moment in this episode--because I was trying to wash away the salve I had put on I was gently fluffing her in the water. I told my mom I had added "agitating my chicken in the laundry room" to my list of skills!). The bath cleaned up her bloody feathers and seemed good for her skin. I really wish I'd never put on the salve. I ended up cutting off some down feathers because they were just gooped up too much for her to get clean by preening.

    So, the hen is still in the house in a small room. She is really enjoying the family interaction. We bring her out once of twice a day and she sits on our lap while we watch TV or take a break from chores. I've never had such a calm chicken before and I'm sure this will bond us even more. My coop is unheated so she'll have to regrow feathers before I can put her outside which means we're in for a long recuperation period. Thank goodness she likes people.

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I now have Betadine and Vetrycin in my arsenal for any future injuries. (I got the Vetrycin but didn't put it on the chicken--I sprayed it on a sore patch my dog had been scratching and she stopped scratching and it's healing up nicely now.)
     
  10. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Great news - thanks for the update!
     

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