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Very badly injured hen - no help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by babyblue, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    one of the hens got sneeky and tried to sleep in the barn instead of the coop. something got her and ripped her up pretty bad. there is a huge open gash that comes pretty close to loping off her whole tail. dh found her out hiding in the snow last night. big problem is she is extremely active and alert. she is not taking being messed with or held down for anything. it was all I could do to hold her down in the sink and wash the wound well myself. dh has an extremely weak stomach and cant/wont help me. last night if I could have stitched her up myself I think her chances of a fairly pain free survival would have been quite good. I even tried wrapping her in a towel to stitch and there was no doing that and I was only pissing her off and stressing her more.

    currently she is in the basement in a dog cage, she is eating drinking and complaining up a storm when I mess with her. I have her on paper towels and this morning put a heat lamp (chained to a beam, no chances of falling) above her because it is extremely cold down there and she was shaking. some warm water and warm scrambled eggs and the heat lamp and she was no longer puffed and shaking after a few min.

    what should I do? can she heal and survive a huge gash without stitches? I am willing to let her live in the basement for as long as needed. the would is now getting dried and starting to scab over, the chances of stitches working is dropping drastically. and no, no one I know either has the stomach or is "farmy" [​IMG] enough to hold a chicken down for me. is this survivable and is it fair to make her try? dh wants to know what I can sedate a chicken with [​IMG] I am fairly sure nothing and if I tried it would only kill her.

  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Horrible, sorry you are dealing with this.

    I had a BR a couple years ago that had a huge gash across her back, the opening in the skin was as wide as my outstretched hand. I washed it with diluted Betadine, applied some Neosporin without any pain killers and started her on injections of Pen-G the next day. She healed beautifully, I was amazed at how the skin regrew. I gave her a 1/4cc Pen-G, (from TSC) twice a day, alternating the breast sides.

    No stitches at all. It took several months to get back to her usual self, she's lovely now. Keep her warm, contained, well fed and quiet and there is a decent chance she'll be okay.

    My DH is not real good in messy emergencies either, so I can sympathize. But if I get the situation under control and then give him specific instructions he does okay.

    Best of luck to you!
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I know nothing about sedating or stitching a chicken so I can't help you in that regard.
    I would give her an injection of PenG Procaine to ward of possible infection.
    I'm sure you cleaned it up really well so I would put Neosporin without pain reliever on it.
    If you cleaned it out with peroxide, make sure you don't use it again-it can cause new, healthy tissue to die(I believe that is what it does).
    Keep her warm(which you are) and make sure she's eating and drinking.
    I wish I had more help for you.
    Good luck with her!
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    I'm sorry I'm not going to be much help. I have read that chickens can recover from some horrible injuries and your girl sounds like she might be one of them. Also I wonder if you covered her head so it was dark or waited until she went to roost and tried then if she would be quieter.
  5. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    If she is that feisty I would certainly let her try to heal.

    Stitches would be best, but, as you say that is not possible, perhaps someone will be able to stomach watching you super glue the edges together?

    Yes, cover her head and use Neosporin without pain relief. Not Hydrogen peroxide as stated earlier.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  6. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Songster

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    Cover her head with a black sock so that she cannot see any light and she will sleep through any sutures. Use Betadine to clean the wound before sewing her up and keep her in a pen where she can heal. You don't need to use any special thread, just regular sewing thread, white. She will be back on her feet in no time. Keep her in a pen until she heals. You don't need to remove the thread. It will dissapear eventually.
    Good Luck!
  7. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    I first washed it well with beta-dine surgical scrub, not peroxide. she struggled and threw a fit, but I could hold her down in the sink with one hand while I used the other to wash her. dried her with a towel then gooped it up with the pain free neosporin. I'm a little hesitant to keep gooping it though because it is starting to look more dried out and scabbed, which if I cant stitch it is a good thing I believe. dh put some sort of chickeny antibiotic in the water, have to run and find the pkg but shes drinking fine so shes getting some sort of antibiotic.

    I'm keeping her as clean dry and warm as possible. well the clean part is a little more for me because chicken poo under a heat lamp stinks.

  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Unless internal organs are exposed, allow the wound to heal on its own from the inside out. At this point if you close it up you risk the chance of her developing an abscess. Healthy chickens have extremely high recuperative powers. If she is eating and active she will survive barring systemic infection.
  9. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    Quote:that sounds great, well not great, but at least she has a good chance then. no organs seemed to be poked and her vent is just fine. she is a going on two year old buff orp and the older girls have barely been laying so I dont expect that to be a problem anytime soon.
  10. MrsPinkKitty

    MrsPinkKitty Chirping

    Oct 25, 2010
    poor baby.....[​IMG] I use that kickin chicken stuff

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