Traumatized Hen...Internal injuries or just shock? *Happy Update*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cadillac Jill, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Cadillac Jill

    Cadillac Jill Out Of The Brooder

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    We had a visit from a predator. One hen is missing (presumed dead, based on the feathers and a little blood.) I found our ameraucana about 75 yards away from the coop. She was just sitting in the grass, as if she were resting. When I went to pick her up, she didn't move, but she was obviously alive. I set her on her feet, and she walked a few steps and then fell over on her side.

    We quickly examined her and could find no obvious signs of injury. (We're fairly clueless about chicken anatomy, so this may not mean much.) We set up a cardboard infirmary with bedding and food and water, and she just sat there motionless. After a time, we picked her up and tried to get her to drink by dipping her beak in the water. She didn't respond at all, so my husband opened her mouth while I dripped drops of water in it. She did fine swallowing when we did it that way. I remembered reading that chicks that have had a tough journey should be given water with a little sugar to restore their energy, so we've been giving her a sugar water every hour.

    Her eyes are bright and she seems fairly alert. She isn't shaking or anything, but she's not used to being held, yet offers no resistance whatsoever now. Just now I took her out of the box and set her on a table to try to get a better look at things, and again, she just flopped over on her side and laid there--legs sticking straight out.

    It's only been about 5 hours since we found her, so I'm hoping she'll bounce back. However, I don't want her to suffer. Do chickens go into shock like humans do after a traumatic event? Or is it likely that she has an internal injury? How do you know when a chicken needs to be put down?

    This is very upsetting, but I'm trying to remain calm and rational.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    She is likely in shock. Keep her warm, quiet and dry. Keep up with the water and sugar water. Let her rest. Shock is very dangerous to a bird. She will hopefully snap out of it soon, but I wouldn't hold out hope for that happening today. Later on check her over again for injuries. Bruising in chickens shows up as a greenish cast to the skin, so keep an eye out for that. It doesn't sound at this point like she has any clear injuries, so I wouldn't contemplate her demise quite yet. Hopefully she is just a little battered and bruised, and traumatized.

    I am sorry for your loss. I hope your other girl perks up a little.
     
  3. Cadillac Jill

    Cadillac Jill Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for your response! She really does look like she's in shock, so it's good to know that's a "known" chicken condition. I guess I just need to relax and wait it out.
     
  4. Cadillac Jill

    Cadillac Jill Out Of The Brooder

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    Today is day four. The chicken is still alive, and she is alert. We've been feeding her lay crumble soup and sugar water.

    I think she's partially paralyzed. She can curl her toes and move her lower legs, but she can't get her feet under her body properly, nor can she stand at all. When she's seated an upright position, her legs are usually stretched out in front of her body, and she's resting on her tail. She can sometimes manipulate herself into a normal seated position (feet under body), and if she falls over on her side she can scoot herself back upright. We've tried to help her gain her balance and so forth (chicken physical therapy) but it hasn't worked out. Her legs just jut forward too far. She doesn't seem to mind being handled or manipulated, so I don't think she's in pain.

    We do have food and water in the box with her. She has pecked at the food a few times, but otherwise I don't think she's eating or drinking on her own.

    As I said, she seems plenty alert, so I was hopeful that she was on the mend. However, it now looks like she's getting an eye infection. One eye kept crusting shut yesterday, and today it's both eyes. Also, she doesn't poop a lot, but when she does, it just smears and cakes on her bottom, as she's sitting directly on her vent. We've spent a lot of time trying to loosen and remove dried poop without hurting her.

    If anyone has thoughts on this situation, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!
     
  5. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    I would contact your local vet about the eyes. I'm not sure what to think about that. The lack of poo is also troubling.


    Shock is very dangerous, and if you saw no visible injury than that seems like the culprit. Neurological doesn't seem likely if she's in no pain and can wobble around.


    You sound like your doing good. You might want to offer her scrambled eggs for more protein, and activia yogurt for the good-for-guts stuff. Just make sure she eats and drinks, wether she likes it or not.
     
  6. Cadillac Jill

    Cadillac Jill Out Of The Brooder

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    I wanted to share the happy ending with this chicken. After a week, she was still apparently paralyzed, and we feared she was destined to stay that way. It was a sunny day, and we figured since nothing else was helping we might as well let her have a little sunshine. We took her out to the barnyard and set her down. As soon as she saw the other chickens, she got up on her feet and took several steps. We were in a state of total shock! This was a chicken that couldn't even stand on her own legs five minutes beforehand.

    We stayed out with her for about another 30 minutes, and she made several more wobbly jaunts. We decided to take her back inside that night, because we didn't feel she was stable enough to hold her own with the more dominant hens. The next day we set her loose with the flock. For a few more days we gave her special treatment (hand fed scratch, water from a dropper) when we went to the barnyard, just to be on the safe side.

    She's been on her own for almost two weeks, and she now looks like one of the healthiest, most vigorous hens in the flock!
     
  7. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Fantastic [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    Congrats! I'm glad your girl pulled through. [​IMG]
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Me too what a wonderful story.
     
  10. barb01154

    barb01154 New Egg

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    In reading this story, I have a beautiful wheaton and something also got her, The feathers were missing on the back of her neck along with the skin, I found her in the coop and thought she was gone, I picked her up and she was so limp, make a great kennel for her, got her water and food, Cleaned her wounds and let her rest, quiet area, Came out the next morning and she was standing, had eaten and i thought all was good, Came home from work and she was laying in the bottom of the kennel, opening her eyes as i came by but not really moving, I tried to stand her and the same thing, she just fell over on hr side, Her neck is healing, no sign of infection at this time and I am really worried, She will lift her head when i come to see her, lets me hold her and pet here, Clean her wound, I have started electrolytes, asa and I know she is eating, Mealyworms, lettuce, crumble, , I am so worried about her, It has only been 2 days and I fear something is broken but i cannot tel,,, she was standing in the beginning, so just not sure, thanks for listening,
    Barbara[​IMG]
     

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