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WARNING GRAPHIC HELP chickens pecked this little hen!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lucy Duck, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Lucy Duck

    Lucy Duck Out Of The Brooder

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    Please help!! I am at a loss! I worked for several years as a Vet Assistant caring for small animals, but this, I dont know what to do. Tonight while doing chores I noticed dried blood in the coop. I looked, and quickly found the injured hen, but nothing could prepare me for this! I grabbed the hen, and immediately took her inside. I placed her in the tub and began rinsing the free flowing blood to access the injury. I then gently washed the area with antibacterial soap. She is alert, I have offered food and water and placed her in the warmest room of the house. What next? Please help! I love all my girls.
     
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you've done so far is great. Now you can apply a coat of original Neosporin or similar antibacterial ointment. Just don't use the kind labeled "with pain relief". I would probably not wrap the wound. Keep her bedded on towels or shredded paper so she doesn't dirty it up and make sure she's warm but not hot. If she's in the house that should be fine. I've used some of those "hot hands" hand warmers in a sock nestled in shredded paper or a towel for an injured bird before.

    Keep her someplace dark and quiet tonight. Offer her food and water but don't be surprised if she doesn't eat much. Measure the water so you can see how much she's drinking.

    Birds have had worse and come through just fine so try not to worry too much. Post how she's doing tomorrow. I'm sure others will chime in with suggestions.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Oh that looks pretty bad. The vent looks damaged, so I'm not sure that she will heal so that her vent will function normally. Is a vet possible? Keep her warm, get some Vetericyn wound spray or use plain Neosporin or Bacitracin ointment on her vent. Epsom salts or chlorhexidene warm soaks daily might help in healing. I hope she can heal, but she may always have droppings oozing out. Was she just recently added to the flock.
     
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It doesn't look like the vent to me. Looks like an aerial view of the birds back. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong though. Perhaps a pic that shows a wider view of the whole bird to get a better idea of the scope of the injury.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That's what I get for not looking at the picture well. I was wrong, that is obviously not the vent since the tail feathers are below the wound. It should heal up well and the gash will eventually heal and fill in. You have been given good advice by TalkALittle.
     
  6. Lucy Duck

    Lucy Duck Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all so very much for your replies! She is drinking this morning, and did "go to the bathroom," it is fairly loose, but I suppose that is to be expected. I apologize the picture is not very clear, I took it from my kindle. The major opening is to the left of her tail feathers. She has been with this flock since she was hatched. I live in upstate NY, in the Tug Hill Region, so it has been very cold. They will not venture outside so I suspect the pecking was due to bordem. I have tried a seed block, tied up lettuce, toys and such for them to knock around, but I still noticed some feathers being plucked. I have been keeing a close eye which makes me sad because she was fine yesterday morning. They have sand to play in, and have been dusted. Today I was thinking of giving her another warm bathg, then diluting iodine with saline I got from the vet. Unfortunately the vets here know very little, and do jot treat poultry, but lucky for me I have found a very eduacted group here. Today I also plan to pick up some packets of electrolytes. Do you thinkj I should administer antibiotics as well? And what do you recommend? Thank you all so very much!
     
  7. caw555

    caw555 Out Of The Brooder

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    You should also check that if she was siting on shredded news paper there's non in the wound
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The electrolytes are a good move. I probably wouldn't do an antibiotic just yet. Honestly, unless it's really a deep tissue wound or puncture or I can't keep the wound clean then I personally would not opt for antibiotics. If you see signs of infection (pus, odor) or you notice her behavior isn't perking up or she starts refusing food and being lethargic then you can administer an antibiotic.

    I probably wouldn't subject her to another bath, but I would wash the wound again with the iodine. It'll give you a chance to inspect it. I would want to keep the deep areas moist so continue to apply antibacterial ointment to them. You want to give them a chance to start to heal from the inside out. If they scab over, bacteria can become trapped below and a deep tissue infection or access can occur. Areas that are just surface wounds can be cleaned, treated lightly with the ointment and allowed to scab.

    It's good that she's drinking and up and about. Consider wetting her pellets to make a mash. It may get her to eat. If you have mealworms you can offer those. Even mush them in the mash. It is important that she eat. I personally would hold off on offering scratch just because if she isn't drinking as much as normally and taking in as much grit then she will have trouble emptying her crop. I'd stick to the moistened pellets and ground up dried mealworms if you've got them for now.

    Oh, and breath a bit. ;) You're doing great.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  9. MarcyR1011

    MarcyR1011 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had an injured bird like this once and I just kept it clean and used the neosporin and kept her separated from the flock until it was completely healed and the feathers grown back and she recovered completely! Good luck with her! Love my girls too! :)
     
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, about the rest of your flock. The boredom busters you've added are all good. If you are feeding a regular layer feed at around 16% protein I would consider switching to something a bit higher for winter. Feathers are mostly protein so if the picking started as a way for the birds to get more in their diet then a higher protein food might help stop it.

    Do you have a pen or do you free range? Sheltering the pen from the wind might convince them to venture out of the coop. Plastic sheeting or a tarp as a wind break can help a lot. Even some bales of straw strategically placed can break the wind enough that they may come outside.
     

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