Severely hen pecked with a torn vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by richey1978, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. richey1978

    richey1978 Hatching

    Apr 5, 2013
    Orange TX
    Yesterday I came home to find that one of my buff orpington hens had been attacked by the other hens in her coop. My birds free range from just before sunrise to right before sundown everyday. I believe one of my older barred rock hens attacked her because she wanted "her spot" to lay an egg. I have 2 buff orpington hens, 2 barred rocks, and 3 rhode island reds. They usually get along quite well, although the older barred rocks are definitely the dominant birds.

    I have isolated her in a spare house away from the other birds. Her injuries are thus:

    major plucked feathers from the vent (it looks like a chicken bomb went off in my coop)

    her vent has been almost completely torn off; there is missing tissue below the vent

    she has another gash to the right of her vent where the skin has been pulled away and forms a "pocket" above the flesh

    there is no bleeding, and fortunately she did not take a dirt bath before I found her; the wound is clean.

    She is eating and drinking. She is also going to the bathroom. She is making normal chicken noises and walking just fine. I have coated the affected area with Vetericyn and sprayed the area with Blu-Kote to discourage self pecking.

    My question is this: Do I remove the loose skin hanging off her backside? Her vent skin is literally hanging just above the vent. Like I said, she is still able to go to the bathroom, and I have not noticed any bad smells. I have dealt with a maggot infected wound with a previous bird, so cleaning and dressing wounds does not bother me. I just am not sure if I should remove the hanging skin, and also do not know if I should remove the area that has formed a pocket to the right of her vent. I know that chickens are resilient birds as long as you keep the tissue from getting infected. If I do not remove the skin, what should be done to help keep it in place? If I bandage the area it will get poop all over it. I wish I had pictures, but this happened close to dusk and I needed to isolate her as soon as possible to keep dirt out, flies away, and other hens from plucking her.

    Also, I isolated the 2 suspected culprits that attacked her into a barn stall. I know that cannibalism is a learned behavior. (Ironically, one of the 2 rocks is named Hannibal.) Am I able to try to reintroduce the 2 barred rocks after a time to the flock, or would it be best just to cull them from the flock?

    Any ideas/recommendations are very appreciated!

    Thank you all!

    Christa Richey
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016

  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Crowing

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    I am not certain about the skin. My first thought is if it is dead it will come off itself probably better then if you cut it, or if it is still alive things might heal. I imagine egg laying might be the biggest issue.
    I have some Barr Rocks, they seem naturally more aggressive. I do not know that what you had was cannibalism, or just a fight that got out of hand. Personally, unless I saw more viscous attacks I would keep the hens. But you know your flock best and would be the best to make that call.

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