Uncle's hen got scalped!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RunningRabbit, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. RunningRabbit

    RunningRabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my uncle has a sweet little hen that got totally scalped. Nearly all the flesh around the majority of the back of her head is absolutely gone. Nothing but some skin here and there, and a LOT of skull showing. This happened today, actually.

    The hen is responsive and she is active (a little over half of how active she usually is. I volunteered to take care of her for him, so she is currently in a nice warm box in my bedroom with access to fresh food and water). She's drinking and eating just fine.

    Since she's eating and drinking, as well as being in a nice clean environment, should I put anything on the wound? I'm honestly afraid of touching her head, since I don't want to do anything to unintentionally make things worse. The bleeding stopped a few hours back.

    The offending rooster has been dealt with accordingly (he's done this before, but my uncle decided to give him another chance).

    Any tips? Am I doing okay with her?
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    You are doing a great job! Since she is in a protected area you can leave the wound alone. Chances are just about anything you put on it will cause her to shake her head and possibly cause more damage. In cases like this I like to observe for a few days and allow nature to do her thing.
     
  3. RunningRabbit

    RunningRabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she's gone quiet and is currently sleeping in a corner. She's not puffed up or shaking, and seems to be breathing normally. I check on her every 30 minutes or so. She's such a sweet heart, that it's utterly crushing to see her in such shape. Her name is Sweetie Pie and she definitely lives up to that name! I'm no stranger to letting nature take it's course (I've hand reared many a kitten litter), but this is going to leave a very bitter feeling behind if she doesn't make it. I'm rather attached to that little Banty and am rooting for her.

    It honestly looked like that roo was eating her alive. Like he got a taste of blood and meat. Guess that's the T-Rex in 'em...[​IMG]
     
  4. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aw, poor thing, but it sounds like she'll make it through as long as the wound doesn't get infected. Keep up the good work Running Rabbit!
     
  5. RunningRabbit

    RunningRabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So she's not really opening her eyes anymore and is having problems eating and drinking. I heard that giving gatorade can help them get through something like this. Is that true? If she makes it through the night, I want to try and give her what ever edge she can get.

    Her ability to walk has declined some as well. I'm lumping that in as a side effect of shock..but I feel like she isn't going to make it. Poor thing isn't even a year old yet. But hopefully her youth will help her pull through.
     
  6. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she can't or won't drink water, feed it to her with a syringe.
    If she can't or won't eat, try and persuade her to eat something like scrambled egg or yoghurt, or her fave treat (maybe mealworms).
    And you're right, the walking problem is probably shock.
    Have you checked her for any other injuries/problems?
    About the Gatorade thing, I've never heard of it before but is it supposed to help because of the sugar or something?
     
  7. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read a baby aspirin crush up into some water is good for pain in chickens. Also may want to look at getting some antibiotics into her system. Tractor supply sells tylan.
     
  8. RunningRabbit

    RunningRabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I woke this morning and she's still alive. She shakes a head quite a bit. I'm guessing that's because it hurts? She seems to like stitting in the water dish now.

    On the plus side her eyes are open again and she looks more alert than she did yesterday. As for the gatorade thing, I read somewhere that the electrolytes in it can help give her more energy. Don't know if it's true or not.

    I work literally next door to a tractor supply, so I'll stop there on the way home.
     
  9. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep us updated. You can also use pedilyte as well.
     
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Yes, Gatorade has electrolytes designed to help keep human athletes hydrated. Tractor supply sells a product designed for livestock that might be cheaper on the long run. With this kind of head trauma you may start to see neurological signs: head tilt, staggering, blindness and so forth. While there are drugs to help this, most folks don't want to spend that kind of money on a chicken. However, in these cases superb nursing can also do wonders. The best thing to do is keep her warm-the fact she is sitting in her water dish might be an indicator of fever or an attempt to relieve pain: similar to humans applying a cold cloth or ice to reduce body temperature. If you note open mouth breathing make sure she is not too hot.

    Remember to keep her as stress free as possible-keep nosy people and animals away from her. In a few days if you feel it is necessary to apply ointment to her scalped area-use something simple-neosporin. I like to use a mixture of _half/half betadine/mineral oil applied with a q-tip to the area-don't have to use much as it will spread on its own. Chickens don't seem to mind this mixture as much as ointment which has a tendency to make them shake their head in an attempt remove the goo.

    If at any time she becomes stressed from handling stop everything. Let her be and allow her to recover. Reevaluate the situation and gauge what you think you should do.

    Good luck with her! Sometimes these chickens surprise us!
     

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