Severe pecking attack of a silkie hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kathiej4455, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. kathiej4455

    kathiej4455 Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Nov 12, 2010
    I have a 9 month old Silkie hen who got water-logged in a sudden rainstorm, couldn't get under cover, and when I found her, she'd been badly attacked by my geese, and I assume, the rest of my chickens. All the feathers other than literally maybe 2, have been pecked out of her head, as well as the one side of her neck, and parts of her underside. Her head was terribly swollen - eyes swollen shut.

    This happened night before last, and I bathed her well (she had a lot of sand/dirt in her mouth, which I cleaned out as best I could with a tiny syringe), dried her, and put Neosporin Triple antibiotic all over her head (there didn't appear to be any actual open wounds, just some surface bleeding which I assume was from the feathers being plucked out). She was in shock, and I gave her a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy, mixed in a tablespoon of water - only administered about .05 ml - but it made her very sleepy and she has basically slept the time away - although I have been feeding her syringes full of Exact extra fat formula, and water every few hours.

    Although I would like to know if anyone has a hen who has lost feathers in this manner (especially a Silkie), and if they ever grew back or not, my main concern is any suggestions to make her more comfortable and see if she survives. I managed to pry her eyes open today, and the eyeballs are still in them, although I don't know yet if the severity of the pecking by the geese has blinded her or not - I am putting in some Rx ophthalmic ointment that I had for the chickens that I nursed through Avian Pox (and she was one of them, the poor thing). Once I got them open and put the ointment in them, she actually did blink her eyes, which seemed like a good sign.

    I've been just cleaning her off (she IS continuing to urinate and defecate), and keeping her in a soft towel on an old pillow in a laundry basket in a closed off room in my house - she is too weak to try and get out at all at this point.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    125
    176
    Jul 29, 2013
    Wisconsin
    I'm so sorry to hear that she's been injured. Chickens are very resilient and can recover from pretty bad injuries. Keep doing what you are doing, and keep her warm and comfy. Try to get some food into her as well. We had one pullet that was just mangled by our bossiest hen, she was nearly bald and bloody. She did recover just fine, it just took time. She did grow all new feathers.

    Keep us posted as to her progress please.
     
  3. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,290
    286
    208
    May 9, 2013
    MB,Canada
    Keep her warm chickens cannot regulate their body temp when ill/injured,feathers will grow back,but will take some time. You can give her a baby aspirin 81mg or a reg 325mg aspirin for pain/swelling. Dose is 25mg per lb of body weight,safe for silkies(i have given it to a 5 month old silkie)crush and place in water(my preference)or sprinkle over feed. Make sure she starts to eat,if she does not within a day or so,start with the tube feeding,occasionally when a chicken is injured or in shock they will not eat,no food to fuel their body and they go down hill very fast. chickens require a constant source of food to meet the demands of their high metabolism,no food means no energy,they become lethargic and just sleep(they are trying to conserve energy,which is not a good thing when ill/injured).
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. kathiej4455

    kathiej4455 Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Nov 12, 2010
    Thank you for the information and concern. I had been feeding her every few hours, as well as hydrating. She kept jerking her head (like a twitch) to one side, and could not hold her head up. She just was absolutely miserable and I could not bear to see her suffer so any longer, because due to the severity of it, as well as the fact that it was from geese that will leave a bruise on my leg if they nail me - and these were her tiny head - I could see that she was getting worse, not better. Her breathing was very slow and very labored, and even though she was trying to swallow, she had goo just running out of her beak. It was about the hardest thing I have ever done, but I decided the most merciful thing for her was to put her down. Honestly, if I had put a picture of her here, or even a brief video, I think that anyone could have seen that she was beyond help. But, there are lessons learned here - even though I got the geese and the Silkies at basically the same time, once they get grown, it's not a good idea to keep them in together - although I must admit, this one was the only one they bothered - the other ones can stand right under them and they ignore them - who can say why?

    We will be moving soon to a much larger piece of property, and I intend to have a BIG house for all my birds with separate compartments for the geese, normal sized chickens, and bantams (I have Silkies and Mille Fleur d'Uccles). The bantams will have a separate enclosed yard area and I will keep them in there at all times.

    Again, thanks for the support.
     
  5. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    125
    176
    Jul 29, 2013
    Wisconsin
    I'm so sorry, but you did the right thing. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by