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Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › mauled chicken

mauled chicken

Angela L.
user 14721511
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 30
Hi all,

I really need advice. I came home today and my 2 silkies were attacked. The three large hens were fine and I am wondering if they were the ones who attacked the silkies. One only has small wound but the other poor silkie has huge gashes over her back and rear end, broken skin and blood. I can see muscle, half her feathers have been plucked. Could the bigger chickens have attacked the silkies? I did see a possum last night but the attack happened during the day. Do possums come out to attack during the day?

I washed them in soapy water and put betadine over the wounds and they are both now in shock and in a box inside the house. Should I take the badly mauled one to a vet? what first aid? I already aren't getting enough sleep and have a huge exam on Thursday and now this. I can't go to the vet until Friday am. What is the best first aid to make sure they don't get infected? I am due to leave for the Bay area for my clinical rotation and may show up with 2 bloody chickens in a box. I myself am in shock right now. I can't believe this has happened. Everything has been fine for the past year.

thanks for listening

Laura B.
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 331
hi Angela,
so sorry about your silkies... silkies are so sweet, I have two (mixed with seramas and I adore them)...

As I have stated before in many threads, chickens have an amazing immune system. If I were you, I would not put anything on them and definitely, I would not take them to the vet. You will see that in a couple of days, the skin will be totally different and healing already. Others will suggest what to put on... but again, no need. I should post pics of how badly some of my chicks have been mauled and I put nothing on them - I actually believe they heal faster letting nature do the work.

I will be in my San Dimas office on Thursday and you need me to take care of your two silkies, I will be more than happy... (call me if I can help, 909 994 5701)

Now, I actually believe that the perpetrator may be other than your hens. Unless your hens are that aggressive, I doubt it. WHen hens attack each other is on the head, not the back... this is strange... Could be hawks in a failed attempt and any nocturnal animal if hungry will do the rounds during the day too... not the norm but it could happen... I would protect them because if the attacker is other than the hens, it will be back, probably...

How does your enclosure look like? is it safe from predators? give us a bit more info and see if we can figure it out... again, I'm more than willing to help in anyway I can...

keep us posted,
Roberta K.
user 10948851
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 223
Oh so sorry for them. I think Laura has a good guess as to a hawk. I'm not sure how dirty their talons would be. For dog bites, i washed the whole chicken and then blow dried. Good to keep the wounds dry. Once dry you can then tell if they are getting infected which they shouldn't if they are dry. I had chicken who had an injury to a her crop. Now I would know that requires sutures so that it doesn't dribble water.

If a hawk could have been the culprit, consider the predator aprons that Susan mentioned from Crazy K farms. I just ordered from them and they were shipped the next day.

I hope they are better very soon. Oh and lots of treats with high protein to help with healing. Scrambled eggs, sunflower seeds (sprouted), yogurt, etc.
Marie M.
user 45254602
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 18
Hi Angela - I just wrote about my barred rock being attacked by what I believe was a raccoon a few weeks ago. I heard my hen literally screaming, the sound will never leave my ears. She had terrible, terrible gashes under her wing, flesh exposed, little fatty areas, too and I just felt that it was only a matter of time that she would die. The day after I was at the local pet store and they suggested a vet grade spray called Vetercyn. I was like you, didn't know if I should go to a vet or not. Well, the Vetercyn is fabulous! The skin is healing well and a lot of her feathers have started to grow back. Everyone here was very helpful and let me be "hopeful". Laura is right, chickens have an amazing recovery rate. My hen back to her spirited ways letting the chickens know she is back at the top of the pecking order. I hope your girls recover. Keep us posted. Thoughts and prayers to you. Marie
Elaine J.
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 130
Hi, Angela ...

I hope your girls are better by now. Just a note about raptors, I live in Laurel Canyon and I see hawks all day long. I don't have much trouble with them because it's hard for them to get a sightline on my deck unless they perch very close. I've seen them swoop down in the middle of the day and fly off with a dove in their talons, but that doesn't happen much anymore. The only raptors I haven't seen during the day, are owls. I have seen them at dusk, though. My owls are pretty small, but raptors are really resourceful, so I don't trust any of them. Luckily, my enclosure is entirely enclosed with hardware wire, so nothing can get them except a really determined bear, and we don't have bears -- yet. Again, I hope your girls are okay.
Angela L.
user 14721511
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 31
Laura, thank you SO much for offering to take the chickens. I am grateful that there are people like you who are willing to make such an effort to help out complete strangers.

I took both silkies to the vet last week. By the 2nd day maggots had settled into both chickens even though they had been washed and subsequently kept indoors as soon I discovered the injuries. I just felt I didn't want to be alone in taking care of my chickens. After I took them into the vet, I rushed to school to take a midterm. The vet fees bought me peace of mind while taking the exam and attending classes the next day knowing that they were well taken care of. They stayed at the animal hospital for 2 days getting their wounds flushed of maggots.

I drove up to the Bay Area with the silkies and my parents chicken sit while I do my hospital internship during the day. I do chicken wound care twice a day. Rather ironic as I am in physical therapy school and wound care is within our scope of practice. I never thought I would start out practicing on my chickens first.

So thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and sympathy. They really do heal amazingly fast. Something entered the coop and run during the day as that is where all the feathers were. I've gotten complacent about leaving the door to the run open during the day but from now on, they free range only when I am at home.
Laura B.
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 339
hello Angela,
So good to hear the good news. I'm so happy all worked out so well for you and that your girls are doing well... and yes, it's kind of interesting how you are practicing on them first... hope your exam went well...

If you don't mind us asking, how much you paid for all the treatment and two days of vet hospital?
and... what type of wound care are you having to do?
hopefully none of us will need this info, but it's good to have it, just in case...
Angela L.
user 14721511
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 32
Hi Laura,
the cost at Pt. Vncente Animal Hospital was just under $500. The 2 chickens stayed 2 full days, had their wounds flushed, got meds such as metacam for pain, antibiotics, something for maggots that the vet said worked well for dogs and several flushes of the wounds for maggots. I came home with antibiotic cream and oral antibiotics for 10 days for both chickens. there was a discount for bringing in both chickens at the same time.

I cleaned their wounds when they were first injured then tried to flush out the wounds when I noticed maggots but the birds were in pain and hated having the wounds touched. After the vet, I've had to feed them oral antibiotics as well as clean the wounds with sterile saline and apply topical silver containing cream into the wound. One of the birds had a small cavity in her wound which required some poking with a Q-tip.

I liked Dr. Micco at Pt. Vincente. She seemed really conscientious and caring. I got her name from recommendations on this message board. expensive? very. but I didn't really have the time, energy, or expertise to take care of them properly. and the silkies sit on my lap when I study in the garden. so they are no longer farm animals.

ironic that chickens are categorized as exotic fowl at the vet.
A former member
Post #: 128
I have just started using Dr Micco at Pt Vicente, (my vet was on vacation) when my budgie had a undiagnosed issue from which she recovered and one of my hens got a fungal infection in her crop. I thought Dr M. was great!! Very accessible by cell phone all weekend and by email. She has been a bird owner for many years, which is reassuring to me, as many vets do not have birds or rabbits (my two animals) but see them as doctors. I thought the bill for both birds was quite reasonable, for all that was done and a stay overnight in the hospital for the hen. I am looking into pet insurance, though, as I have so many animals and I think the insurance will be very well worth it for evening out expenses with checkups and unforseen issues. VPI is the only plan that insures "exotics" which is everything BUT dogs and cats ----of which I have neither and am unlikely to ever have. There are lots of dog/cat plans. I may seldom buy myself clothes, or other goodies, but I really like my pets to have good healthcare!!
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