Traumatized hen- Mucous

abecca

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
21
1
22
Williamstown, MA
One of my hens had been laying on eggs for over a week. Today I came home and found that she was not in her box. The rooster had somehow been locked inside alone with her all day and she was hiding in a corner very traumatized. I'm sure the rooster must have roughed her up a bit.
The weird part is... after I took her and put her in a separate pen, I was watching her drink water and noticed that she was covered in mucous. A lot of it. It was all over her head, neck, chest. Why now? Where is it coming from? What do I do with her?
I moved her eggs to her new nesting box, but she only stayed on the ground huddled in a corner.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Are you sure the mucous isn't from her nose/mouth/eyes? If you're sure, then perhaps it's semen, the rooster may have been mating with her front end lol. It happens with some animals. Those ones are probably too stupid to be allowed to breed in my opinion.

There's a chance it's egg white from a broken egg, too. I culled out all males who mate brooding hens, that trait can kill your hens. It's not natural for him to initiate mating when she's brooding, and it's not natural for him to persist like that either, that's the sort of rooster who 'mates' dying hens, chicks, and others he should have the common sense to just leave alone. Too stupid to be allowed to pass on his genes if so.

Best wishes.
 

abecca

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
21
1
22
Williamstown, MA
I think that you are right...

Yesterday I went out to the coop and the hen was laying in a mangled heap on the floor. She was gasping for breath and had a badly broken wing. I separated her and put her in a clean laundry basket in my kitchen and figured she would be a gonner by the time I got home from work. She was still alive in the same position. After I wrapped her wing in place, she was able to sit up straight and even stand, but she does not move out of her spot. She's also been doing this constant gasping for air thing.
She seems to enjoy small drops of water from a straw, but when she has more than a drop she makes an awful shrieking noise. This is the only sound she makes. She hasn't eaten anything. I'm not sure what to do.

Anyway, justice has been served and the evil rooster is gone for good.
 

enola

Crowing
11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
13,143
1,466
378
Irwin, Pennsylvania (Pittsburg area)
The reason I ask about the size, if they were bantams this damage/injury sounds like snake attack. That would account for the broken wing, and her gasping to breathe could mean broken ribs or a punctured lung. .....

I sure hope I am wrong and wish you and your hen all the best.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
I think that you are right...

Yesterday I went out to the coop and the hen was laying in a mangled heap on the floor. She was gasping for breath and had a badly broken wing. I separated her and put her in a clean laundry basket in my kitchen and figured she would be a gonner by the time I got home from work. She was still alive in the same position. After I wrapped her wing in place, she was able to sit up straight and even stand, but she does not move out of her spot. She's also been doing this constant gasping for air thing.
She seems to enjoy small drops of water from a straw, but when she has more than a drop she makes an awful shrieking noise. This is the only sound she makes. She hasn't eaten anything. I'm not sure what to do.

Anyway, justice has been served and the evil rooster is gone for good.

Good to hear you got rid of him, your poor hens don't deserve such a life. Hope she makes it but it does sound like she's in dire straits. If a vet visit is not out of the question financially it may be worth it.

Best wishes.

The reason I ask about the size, if they were bantams this damage/injury sounds like snake attack. That would account for the broken wing, and her gasping to breathe could mean broken ribs or a punctured lung. .....

I sure hope I am wrong and wish you and your hen all the best.

You mean a constrictor type snake? The broken wing bit puzzled me for a moment until I realized that's probably what you meant, but why the emphasis on bantams?

It's a regular occurrence for me to haul snakes over 7 foot long out of the coop, 10 feet is the current record, and they don't seem to care what size the birds are, they will take whatever they can reach. I've also had miniature ones, well, small/young pythons anyway, crushing birds they can't possibly swallow. I had a cockerel be 'killed' by a snake once, i.e. stop breathing etc, except we got there in time and revived him, but there's no way that tiny python could have swallowed him.

Best wishes.
 

abecca

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
21
1
22
Williamstown, MA
That really creeps me out! But I live in a part of Massachusetts where you don't find too many snakes besides a garter snake here or there... do youhave any advice as to medicine I can give her? Or how to help with the gasping? I did just catch her eating little while ago. That is good right?
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
That really creeps me out! But I live in a part of Massachusetts where you don't find too many snakes besides a garter snake here or there... do youhave any advice as to medicine I can give her? Or how to help with the gasping? I did just catch her eating little while ago. That is good right?

The part where she's shrieking after having more than a drop is quite concerning, which is why I suggested a vet if you can afford it, because that sounds like a serious issue. I've not seen anything like that before.

If she can eat or drink without obvious difficulties, perhaps she will be okay; that said I haven't seen her, we know she has one severely broken wing and who knows what else --- it could be unwise to suggest much. There's a chance she won't make it, still. I've had to cull a hen for a broken wing before, well really a smashed shoulder. Broken wings can be splinted if you're knowledgeable enough, or strapped, but when there may be pierced lungs as well as enola said, that's very risky.

The gasping is almost certainly due to severe pain. Nothing except painkillers to help that but your options are very limited if it is apparently causing her extreme pain to drink more than a drop. I don't know what's wrong here, that makes it very, very hard to suggest anything in good conscience. Plus, the painkillers we can access legally are often far more likely to cause harm than do good; avians have a terrible reputation for dying under anesthetics or analgesics. I wouldn't give her aspirin, if she's got an internal bleed (which is pretty likely) then that could be the end of her.

If her injuries are physical, as it does appear, medicines applicable to this situation are limited. We can't harvest and use wild opium poppies like our ancestors used to; a vet is about your main option there.

Best wishes. Genuinely sorry I can't be more helpful.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
I wouldn't base too much on her eating or not eating, sorry, generally it's taken as a good sign, and often it is, but that said there's always those chooks who will eat right up until they keel over into their foodbowl and die.

Hope she recovers.
 

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