This time, it was a nail in the coop door that tore out a bunch of neck feathers and made what appears to be a 2"-3" vertical skin tear on the right side of her neck. She also has what appears to be a pocket infection at the top of the tear. Altho it looks like it is a week old, i am really clueless on how to help. Vets are out of the question right now. I'd rather spend the $150 bux on some really good vet books that deal strictly with chickens and some supplies. Not that i am looking to become the county free/reduced $ ranch vet, but i don't know where to begin on what i need to learn. Has anyone else decided to learn how to stitch up and doctor their own birds? Since it looks like i will be doing this a while, it seems to make perfect sense that i simply learn what any good chicken vet knows, minus the millions of hours on any other species. I looked at vet school and it looks like 30 to 36 credit hours of everything else before they even discuss avian. i don't want to learn how to manage a vet practice, don't care about statistics, my english is good enough for the hens, i just want to learn how to fix THEM. I've looked at vet books and i don't know what i am looking for. i figure i need to learn some anatomy, how germs work and sterilization hows and whys, then infections, ect... it's just amazing how there is just SO MUCH one needs to know in order to address every situation. Right now, i just want to learn the proper way to clean and stitch up a wound and deal with an abcess. Back to my poor hen. last night i noticed a semi bare spot near the base of her neck. it was getting dark in the coop so i turned on the light for a better look. at first i thought it was another possum attack, grabbed her up and headed into the house. after looking more closely, the would was maybe a week old. feathers were all stuck into the wound. it looks like the skin split and tore with about an inch to inch and a half apart and has already started healing. the very thin membrane looks like it is still intact with little feathers all melded and stuck into it. at the very top is a bluish bulb of possible puss. last night i stuck a little tylan 50 into it and today it looked quite a bit bigger and darker. as soon as i get the pics out of the fone i'll attach them. I noticed a little patch of feathers last week in the back of the coop door and didn't think anything of it until today. it was a downward bent nail holding a lot more neck feathers then it looked from afar. so probably not a possum. i think she was pecking the ground, got up quick and got caught by this stupid nail. She was a real trooper while i tried in vain to clean the feathers out of the wound. Almost 2 hours of keeping a water/iodine soaked wash cloth on it and i was able to get very little of the feathers out of the mess. i was afraid to get too aggressive as i didn't want to tear the membrane. i don't have any suture material and didn't want to risk hurting the membrane so i stopped when she had enough, covered it with triple antibiotic ointment and brought her back to the roost. The biggest worry is the abcess right now. i have no idea what it is or even how it formed. I'm just stumped. i already lost 4 birds since feb and i really don't want to loose any more. She's a good gal. Thanks for reading.