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Unknown creature got one of my hens last night. . .

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LunaGirl, May 15, 2009.

  1. LunaGirl

    LunaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2008
    She had disappeared a day or two ago. My flock is kept in a fenced in area with coop within a fenced in yard but are allowed to roam the fenced in yard during the day. She's a bantam and no matter how hard we have tried, she manages to find a way out. She had dones this before and was waiting at the door the next morning so I was too concerned. Last night around 10 p.m. I heard that awfully squaking and went running out to the hen house and after determining it wasn't there honed in on where it was coming from and saw the bushes moving. I ran around to the gate and down into the woods (now I realize that may have been dangerous but oh well my hen was in danger) and found a spot where she had been sitting on a couple of eggs and a whole bunch of feathers. I kept looking around and finally found her. She's black and brown speckled so it wasn't an easy task.

    She has a pretty serious bite mark on sid and is tore up on the other side. You can literally see where something picked her up. I've put her in an isolation cage and wrapped her wounds. I didn't put anything on them as they're pretty bad and I didn't want to cause her anymore harm/pain than necessary. She lived through the night. I've started antibiotics and go out every hour and nudge her beak into the water so that she is drinking. For the most part she is just sitting there resting.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for anything else I should do? I know folks will say take her to the vet but that's not really an option money wise unfortunately. Also, I'm in central NC so does anybody have ideas of what predators are out there. I've been raising chickens for about three years and this is the first time anything like this has happend to my flock.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most likely a fox or a raccoon. Coyote or possum are also options. You're doing a good job with her. Put neosporin on her, give her antibiotics, she'll be okay. Keep her away from your other hens. If she is really badly injured, with big holes in her, you should probably cull.
     
  3. LunaGirl

    LunaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    She has one significant puncture mark. I can't tell whether or not it hit a vital organ and at this assume it did not because she is still alive. I have to be honest and say when I found her last night I immediately thought to myself if I wasn't such a wussy I would end her pain but I just can't bring myself to do that. In the three years I've been raising my flock that has never come up and I really don't think I can.

    I am planning doing the Neosporin but like I said I didn't want to cause anymore pain than necessary until I have a better feeling as to whether or not she has a chance.

    I went out and looked at the spot again this morning and the eggs are now broken and eaten. I'm thinking coyote or stray dog. I hate to think there's a coyote around. That sends shivers down my spine. Any idea if they're nocturnal or also out during the day?
     
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any one of those predators could leave a puncture mark and will eat the eggs. They are all nocturnal, except a dog, which of course will roam any time. You really can't blame a wild animal though. They're just hungry like the rest of us. You can try live trapping it. Put some meat or an egg in a live trap and see what you get. There are already lots of threads about trapping. Do you live in a wooded area, suburbs etc? BTW-- You might want to get some saline wound cleaner and flush out that puncture.

    Were the egg shells still there? If they were all gone mostly, you probably got a dog or coyote. Smaller animals are more likely to break the eggs and eat out the insides. Dogs just eat up the whole thing.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  5. LunaGirl

    LunaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in a wooded area. I can't really relate the eggs being gone to the same attack as that could have happened anytime during the evening and I don't blame the animal at all. It's all part of the circle of life and as it is a wooded area I don't know that trapping would help because where's the one there's usually more.

    Saline solution is a really good idea and one I will definitely try. Thanks so much. I guess I really just wanted affirmation that I was doing what I can for her. My chickens are all pets and all named and I hate to see them hurt.

    I'm not sure if I mentioned or not but there also doesn't seem to be any bleeding. Well it's 11:00 now so it's time to go dunk her beak in the antibiotics. Wish me luck!
     
  6. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Good luck! If She's not bloody, that's a good sign! I'm glad you feel that way about the wild critters also. I'm in a wooded area too, and I don't really care for the people that get really gung-ho about blasting away at everything.

    Yeah, I thought of that-- about something else eating the eggs. Oh and I had another idea-- since she was broody already, I wouldn't expect her to eat much since she wasn't eating much anyway.
     
  7. LunaGirl

    LunaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    At this point I'm not even worried about food. She actually just took more water into this time than she has all morning. She is just kind of sleeping. I'm sure she's in terrible pain. Awful.

    I'll give her food later today is she comes around a bit. Do you think I should give her something other than just regular feed? I hate to sound stupid but like I said after three years nothing like this has ever happened before.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Just something to keep infection down, you CAN sew her up where the puncture wound is. It seems they cannot feel anything through the skin. I had a hen that OUR DOG got out and got hold of. I sewed up the rips in her skin and she healed nicely. She just laid there while I sewed her up. I just used cotton thread and a sewing needle and it worked slick!

    The only reason I sewed her up was so infection would not just blatantly get in and also to let her skin fuse back together. I never did take the stitches out because they will disolve eventually. She is a laying hen not a meat hen. [​IMG]


    My broody will eat and drink if I put water in with her. She just won't get UP to go eat and drink!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  9. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Scramble an egg for her. that is GOOD protein and will give her some energy, maybe a little teenie bit of honey will give her an extra boost
     
  10. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She might not be in as much pain as you think. I don't think chickens feel as much sensitivity to pain as we do. I've even heard of cutting open their crop to relieve impaction, then sewing it back up, with no pain-killer at all! You might make sure she doesn't have any broken wing bones or anything like that. Just softly press on her around the wounds, and if it's very painful, she will close her eyes and kinda wince.

    I'm lucky I've never had one seriously injured before either.
     

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