Severely Injured Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by heather75, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. heather75

    heather75 In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2012
    Two days ago I went out to check for eggs and found my 16 week barred rock hen hiding in the corner of the coop. I thought it was strange and once I got close enough to get a good look at her I was shocked. She was bleeding and badly injured. The entire top of her head down to her neck was bare and bleeding. It was like she had been scalped. I must admit I didn't handle it well. My little flock are more than just chickens to me, they are my pets. I immediately separated her from the rest of the flock and gave her fresh water to drink and waited until my husband got home to clean her wounds. She is just awful looking. She has exposed bone and isn't eating although she is drinking. I've been cleaning her with with a vet spray and wrapping her wounds with vet wrap that I got at our local feed store. I truly think she is suffering and I don't think she can recover from the severity of her wounds. I've called every vet in our area and none of them deal with birds. We are more than 100 miles from the nearest vet that sees chickens. I think she needs to put down and it's breaking my heart. I have no idea what to do next. I currently have her in a cage in our mudroom. She such a sweet girl...she even still tries to chirp when I talk to her just like she's always done. [​IMG]
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Actually, if this is her only injury, there's a fair chance she will recover. Chickens are remarkably resilient. But you have to wonder if there are other problems such as internal injuries, or whether a leg or hip was injured so she will be unable to walk normally, just as examples.

    That she is drinking is a good sign. She may even start taking bits of favorite soft foods (scrambled egg, etc.) soon. I would put a small amount of a sport drink such as Gatorade in her water, for a few days only, to replace electrolytes lost in fluid loss.

    Putting a bird down is always a difficult decision, and of course we can't really help you make it. So sorry you are going through this.
  3. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Songster

    May 1, 2011
    In addition to the advice given, I would keep her in a quiet, darkened place. She may be in shock. If she is drinking, that's really good. Try mixing her food with water and yogurt. Give it to her and leave her alone. Keep an eye on her but, don't mess with her too much. Give her time to recover in a quiet, safe place. Many chickens on here have recovered from wounds that are very similar to your chicken's. Don't give up just yet. You could use neosporin, without pain relief for a while and see if that works a little better then the vetericyn.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Great advise above. You can also crush 1/4 aspirin in 1 cup water for pain. She's probably in shock. As flockwatcher said, they can heal from horrible wounds. I had a hen hook herself on a nail, and she recovered perfectly.
  5. heather75

    heather75 In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2012
    Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement!!! I got her to take a little of her feed mixed with some yogurt and a few bites of tomato! She's also drinking Gatorade now and seems to have really taken to it. I think she really was in shock in the beginning. That's the best way I can think of to describe her behavior. I'm going to keep doing the best I can for her and hope that she can recover. I adore her so much and my little flock would be lost without her. Thank you all for your kindness. It is much appreciated. [​IMG]
  6. stargirl

    stargirl Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    You're doing a great job! Shock can kill a bird, so it's brilliant that she's come through that. Is she indoors? You want to be sure her wound doesn't get infected. It might be worth checking out where you can get antibiotics, in case you need them at any point.
    Such a good sign that she's taking food and water. I'll be checking back for updates! Fingers crossed! x

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