WISDOM WELCOME Injured Hen: Head Trauma/ One Eye Closed/ Won't Eat or Drink

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by davisfarm2016, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. davisfarm2016

    davisfarm2016 New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2016
    After crisis unfolded at our house on Thursday, involving an undetected hole, escaped chickens, and dogs that "just wanted to play", I have a hen I'm trying to save.

    When we arrived home to the mess (THURS), she was still standing, with both eyes shut tight, and blood around her ears/comb. After cleaning her up, she has no other external injuries other that those on her head. He comb has a small separation that I looks like its down to the bone, however is stopped bleeding almost immediately and is only a small separations. That night she was brought into the house, given her own crate, and I started pushing some electrolytes and antibiotic with water, which sh'es allowed me to give her with a dropper. Her ears appear to have no external damage, and I believe the blood is coming from inside her head.

    (SAT MORNING) One of her eyes has opened, and on that side, her ear is still oozing blood. The other side has stopped bleeding, but that eye is still shut tight. I can open it gently with my finger, and it's still in there, but can't tell if it's reactive or not. Still giving her water, and a little food mixture of yolk, yogurt, and honey. Not a lot, but she has pooped once a day, runny, but expected with just water.

    (MON) Little hen laid an egg today, to my relief, as her being egg bound was a big worry. She stands, circles her crate, looks around with her one open eye (although I think her vision out of that eye is still shotty) but does not appear to be eating/drinking on her own. Today she REFUSED to let me feed/water her with dropper, and fought me pretty hard on that. I'm at a loss, as I don't know what else to do for her. I'll gladly dropper feed her as long as it takes, but I can't force her. My next option, if she continues to refuse my feed/water help, is to make her a place in the feed shed where she can move around and (under close supervision) interact with her flock, and have access to food and water... other than that, I don't know how to help her.

    Any advice/wisdom is appreciated.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Sorry about your chicken. You are doing well caring for her so far. Many chickens will perk up and eat better if they are placed with the other chickens in a crate or cage with food and water. If that doesn't help, tube feeding twice a day might keep her going while she heals. Google "go team tube feeding" for a good BYC thread on the subject with videos, and most vets can sell you a feeding tube and large syringe. Bleeding from inside an ear can be from a severe brain injury, but hopefully, it is from the inside of the ear only. Her eyes will eventually go down, but you may need to clean them with saline or water, and apply some Terramycin eye ointment or plain Neosporin inside the eyes. Any wounds can be cleaned with betadine, and Neosporin used. Hopefully, with some rest and nutrition, she will begin to recover. I have had a chicken with no visual injury die, while one with major injuries, recover in weeks. Please keep us updated on her condition.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Depends on how bad the infection gets or if she is in shock...Try what you can, but in most cases birds die or need to be culled...I will not sugar coat the situation for you...

    Best of luck! Hope she recovers...
     
  4. davisfarm2016

    davisfarm2016 New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2016

    Update today. I put her in her crate out in the coop on Monday, and she perked up. Yesterday, she got out and about with the rest of them, appearing to forage and such. A few of my other hens are picking on her. Not very badly, but any tips for that are appreciated.

    Her right eye is still shut. My theory is it's paralyzed from whatever injuries she recieved, so she's a little off when pecking for food. I haven't SEEN her eat/drink anything, so I might still try and tube her later. It's been 3 days since I last gave her anything and she's still up and moving, flapping, improving etc. Do you think that's a good indication that she is in fact consuming something??
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    southern Ohio
    You can feel of her crop in the late afternoon to determine if she is eating. It should fill up gradually during the day, and then mostly empty overnight which would feel flat. You may try putting her in the crate near the others with a fixed amount of food and water, say some water, wet feed, and a bit of egg or tuna. That way, you can see how much is gone. Then she can be out with the others. With her swollen shut eye and any injuries, she may be targeted for pecking. The good thing about the crate is that she can still be with them, but protected. Hopefully, her other eye will eventually open. Sometimes they can become "glued shut" with eye drainage, and opened gently. I have had a couple of sick or injured chickens who appeared not to eat or drink, but they must have been living on something, since they are fine a year later. Keep us posted on her recovery. Here is the thread on tube feeding: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
     
  6. davisfarm2016

    davisfarm2016 New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2016

    Update:
    Tried my hand at tube feeding yesterday. Gave her 10mL of water and of a food mixture I made up (yolk, dissolved crumble, yogurt) because that's the only syringe I had. It went well, so I bought some bigger syringes, 2oz, and tried this morning. This morning, she was NOT struggling, choking, gagging, but the food started coming back up. I don't know if her head wasn't extended far enough, or if husband was holding her too tight, but after we put her down, she coughed a few times and went on her way....

    Last night, after hanging out away from the group most of the day, I found her tucked in with rest of them, next to her worst bully from yesterday. She doesn't look picked at this morning, so that was a relief. I'm gonna try some water with electrolytes later, maybe only 1oz after the regurgitating scared the hell out of me! She's an 8 mo. Buff Orphington... How much volume should I be giving her?
     

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