Wound Care Questions- Hen Probably Hit by a Car

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LeezyBeezy, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I guess it's inevitable when you have free ranging chickens... One of my BO hens was missing when I went to shut up the coop tonight. I went and searched, thinking she may have been snatched by a predator. I found her across the street, in the ditch (where they like to scratch) in a little nest of leaves. I thought she might have gotten separated and just settled in at dark. I went to get her and she got up, was quite verbal and active, and she went across the road back to our property. She ran/trotted about 200 feet to our barn. I noticed her feathers looked odd on her back. Once in the barn I picked her up, it was too dark for her to see and she was bumping tinto things. I put her on her roost, but the feather thing was nagging at me. I brought her in the house, and noticed a 2x4 inch area in the middle of her back that was obviously scraped up. I removed all of the loose feathers and washed the area. I dressed the area with bacitracin, gauze, and made a dressing out of an old t-shirt ( head through the arm hole, wing sat her side, wrapped underneath and pinned).

    She is now resting in a dog crate. All in all, I got off lucky. Her wings aren't broken, and her feet are a bit scraped and bloody- but no broken legs.

    I will give her a few days rest. She is quite alert, at some feed when I brought her in. Tomorrow I have to work, and will check on her in the a.m., give some scrambled eggs with aspirin laced in, and fresh water.

    The area isn't really all that noticeable (as in bloody and peckable), but (1) should I wait until the area is scabbed before I put her back with the flock? The area would remind you of being plucked- the follicles are red and oozy, but not grossly bleeding. No exposed muscle or anything.
    2. Do I have to wait until her feathers come back? Is there a possibility she will be bald there- I don't think she'll molt this year, she's just about 6 months old.
    3. Do the open wounds on her feet make her susceptible to bumble foot?
    4. Also- is it more stressful for her to be alone, recuperating, or can I put her in the coop (in the crate) so she can see the gang. I have 5 other hens and two roos.
    5. I also have a minicoop that she can go in, and could be put into the big coop too. It has wire on the sides, so she can see better.

    Thanks!! Lee
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  2. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Thank you for taking such good care of her. Everything you have done sounds good. I'd be cautious about putting her in with the others until she is better, or maybe just put a friend in for company.
     
  3. anderson8505

    anderson8505 Peace, Love & Happy Chickens

    Aw! Sounds like you knew just what to do! Hope she heals fast. I'm not sure how to answer your questions, but maybe a cage inside the coop where she won't be alone.
     
  4. AV Brahmas

    AV Brahmas Out Of The Brooder

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    Bumblefoot....nah, I doubt it. Bald she might be however. That's OK...she is a survivor and scars are just trophies of life.

    One thing. Putting aside my absolute abhorrence of chickens inside the house. If you have not already done so, get her inside and keep her there for a day or two at the most. She will be fine without her friends, no worries. I have found the most likely cause of death in chickens with injuries is maggots in the wound. You have done everything right in my opinion but if it is wet at all it will draw flies. They can cause infection and their maggots will revel in it. Once they are inside the bird it is pretty much all over and is not a pretty way to go. She can go back out when the wound is dry and scabbed hard.
     
  5. Uniontown Poultry

    Uniontown Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like you are doing a great job on her. If her foot wounds are open ones, some powdered sulfur or blood stop powder might be a good idea. The sulfur is an antibiotic and helps in healing (it's a stinky bright yellow powder), the blood stop powder (I think is easier to find these days) makes a black, tar-like seal on the wound, kind of like an instant scab. I think it's a good idea to keep her isolated, secure, out of the elements and warm - sounds like you've done a good job of that. If she's seeming antsy in the crate, I'd give her something to work on, like part of an apple, cabbage, lettuce, etc. My silkies respond to shiny cage bird toys, so I have a few on hand (even though hearing them ring the bell constantly makes me crazy!)

    The no exposed muscle on the back is a good thing - much faster healing. When she's recuperated enough to go back with the gang, I would suggest a hen saddle. There's a nice lady who sells them on ebay for like $3 - $4, and will make it whatever size/color you ask. If you send your girl back with a saddle, the other chickens won't see any exposed skin to pick, and the feathers can grow back underneath. That's what I did with my BO who was attacked by something that yanked all the feathers off her back and took a few bites out for good measure. Betty had some injuries (where the bites were) that went into the muscle, and the skin was gone on those areas. She lived indoors for an unhappy month until those deep wounds healed and I made her a saddle & released her. Once outside, she was her old chicken self. If your girlie didn't sustain deep damage to the skin (in other words, if the skin just looks plucked), then she should get the feathers back just fine.

    I don't know a great deal about bumblefoot, but the susceptibility of a bottom-of-the-foot wound to infiltration by dirt and droppings can't be good. You may want to see if some blood stop powder in those wounds can help them seal, or else wait until the feet look like they are healing before you let her join the gang. That's my 2 cents anyway.
     
  6. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank yo al. My plan is to keep her in for 2-3 days then back out. I like the idea of a chicken saddle. I'll keep you posted.
     
  7. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
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    I put Vanilla Heart (named by my 5 y.o.) out with the gang yesterday. Her wound is completely hidden by her feathers- so no pecking. I can tell she isn't herself, and she's a bit slower and fluffed up, but she is eating, following the flock, and roosting. I just need to give her time.
     

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