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To quarantine or not quarantine?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MissusFoster, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. MissusFoster

    MissusFoster Hatching

    Aug 7, 2014
    Morrison, Colorado
    Hello all,

    One of my New Hampshire Reds survived a hawk attack five days ago--she got a nasty cut all down her neck and back that required some stitches and had her acting shocky for a couple days. I made sure everything was as clean and sterile as I could, and on the advice of My Aunt The Vet I left about 3/4 inch of drainage space between each stitch. So far, everything is looking and smelling good. There are some feathers out of place on her neck and back, but once I got the cut stitched closed, you cannot see that she's injured unless you pick her up and nudge the feathers to one side.

    While she was initially recovering from the little surgery, I had her in the little 18" by 24" brooder cage with all the food and water and fresh veggies she could want. She's been improving steadily, and these past couple of days has been very active and restless. I converted my 30" by 48" bean tunnel into a little temporary pen for her, hoping to keep her quarantined for at least another week.

    Now, here's the thing: the only places to put my larger pen are within sight and earshot of the other 5 hens. As soon as she heard her flock, the injured hen started pacing and pecking at the fence and trying to flap her way out of the new pen. Then, the other hens got excited, and the dog got excited, and all I can think of is that she's gonna bust one of her stitches and worry herself sick if this keeps up.

    So, I opened the gate and let her back in with the flock under supervision (I had to winterize the coop today anyway). Everything went really well--her two broodmates remembered her, and the three older hens left her alone. I think it kind of helps that those three are in full molt right now and don't really want to risk getting their ouchy new feathers plucked out. Nobody's noticed the wound, and she's boppin' around the garden mulching leaves like nothing happened.

    Do y'all think it's safe to continue like this? With some time and patience I might be able to get her into a decent-sized enclosure where she's not stressing out over her buddies, but right now she seems to be content and comfy, and I want to keep stress at a minimum so her little systems can focus on healing. In addition, I'm working from home these next couple months, so I can keep a close eye on her and the other girls. Any thoughts?

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I agree that you should keep stress at a minimum. Since your stitched up hen has mixed well with the others, I see no reason to remove her unless something goes wrong. All you can do is keep them under observation for about a week and if all goes well, everything should be fine. Good job!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014

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