Torn Comb


In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 28, 2009
Hello, everyone.

We have a mixed flock of free-range chickens, and last night when we went up to close them up in the coop, we noticed one of the hens, a Buttercup, was very bloody. We brought her into the house and cleaned her up and the injury was to the comb, specifically, where the comb meets the head. It looked like she'd got her head caught in something and yanked it out and torn the comb. It's not detached at all, but was more like ripped at the base. Bled profusely. We kept her in till it quit bleeding so badly. It was running in her eyes and in her nostrils, and I tried to keep the nostrils as clean as I could, being worried she'd aspirate blood into her lungs and get pneumonia. We kept her separated last night and she's separated from the others today.

This morning, she seems lethargic although she's alert to her surroundings.....she just doesn't want to move much and stays fluffed. I've given her water this morning (she's drank quite a bit) and scrambled her some eggs and mixed them with some feed and gave her a plate of that. She bled so much last night that I'm guessing she may be weak from blood loss and perhaps a bit dehydrated, though she did drink quite a bit, as I mentioned, so that may not be a big issue so much now, perhaps.

Is there anything else I should do? Do they recover from comb injuries easily, or will this be a lengthy thing? The only antibiotic I've got on hand is Duramycin-10 (tetracycline/hydrochloride) powder. Should I give her some of that?

Thanks for any information!
the only thing i can think to suggest is some cream of wheat hot cerial to help replace the iron she lost, (my doctor says its high in iron) maybe some vitamin/mineral/electrolite suppliment in her water, and more of the good nurseing care you are already giving her, im always nervous about antibiotics so im no help at all there, just use your best judgement about her owee, keep it clean and watch for infection, hope she gets better, keep us updated
Since they free range, are you pretty sure her injury wasn't predator related? I guess when I first read about her being lethargic, "in shock" popped into my head rather than blood loss. I agree that it sounds like you've done everything right. Depending on when you put her back with the flock, really watch to make sure others aren't picking at the area. Sorry your girl was hurt...
I'm fairly sure it wasn't predator related.......we've a ton of snow here right now and all the chickens are quite.....well......chicken...about the snow and they are mostly staying in the barn and hayloft at this time. Their coop is on one side of the barn, and when we open the door, they all just run around the side of the barn in the little path we made for them and run into the stalls and into the interior of the barn and that's where they stay all day, lol.

Despite being the smallest hens, the Buttercups can be quite feisty and will even dominate the other hens in a standoff, so it's possible she got in a bit of a tussle with another hen, I suppose.

Dust Bunny,

I think I've got some cream of wheat around here, I'll make a bit of that for her, too. Thanks!
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Well, she went back out with the flock about three days later. She was trying to get out of her box in the house, so we figured she was feeling fine again. Took her up to where the other hens were hanging out, and she (a Buttercup, which is a very small standard breed) promptly jumped on one of the Brahmas
and started a fight and several others jumped into the fight and pretty soon there was a chicken riot going on.....
Eventually, they all settled down.

But yeah, I think she's fine now.

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