Photo credit: Tracy Halladay

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicken Injuries

*WARNING*  This post has somewhat graphic pictures of injuries to my pet chicken.

It's not that Olga is unlucky, but the nature of Polish chicken's head feathers makes it difficult for them to see what is going on around them.  They can be skittish because they don't see things until they are right on them.

This was Olga's second encounter with a dog.  The two encounters were many years apart and not even by the same dog.  Earlier today, I was on the phone with my wife and I hear kids scream, a dog bark and she said "you need to come home, now!"  I run home to find Olga in my wife's arms with most of her tail feathers missing and a sizable bite on her back above the vent.

Ok, time for the pictures...

The injury appears small, until you move the feathers aside.

Moving the feathers aside you can see the wound more clearly
 The first thing I did was to isolate her to protect her from the potential pecking of the other hens.  I picked up a product called Wound Kote (I had read about Blue Kote but it wasn't available to me locally).  I will explain more about that product a little bit later. 

I prepared some warm soapy water and wash cloth to wash out her wound and began cleaning it good as I could.  I found she was more comfortable if I held her head under my arm.  She felt more protected and it was a lot easier to see and work on her hind end.
I read it is a good idea to wear gloves because the medicine spray is sticky and hard to remove.

The injury was mostly on her back but some small cuts under her tail above her vent

Wound-Kote is a anti-septic product that cleans the wound and helps to seal it and prevent infection.  I had read about Blue-Kote but it wasn't available.  I don't know about how they compare but I will write later about how well she heals up.

 Here is how the wound looks after spraying it with Wound-Kote.  She was very calm during this whole process.  With the amount of alcohol in it I expected some kind of reaction.  I read about one guy who tried spraying the stuff on a cut of his own.  He said it burned like nothing he felt before!

 Tonight Olga is resting comfortably in her own private room in the garage.  I will keep her separated as she recovers.

These kind of injuries happen.  Unfortunately.  She was in my back yard and the dog came into my yard.  Same thing happened the first time with her.  My yard is fenced with the exception of one part that I need to put a gate on.  As chicken owners, I think we will always be somewhat down the list compared to dog or cat owners.  It may not be fair, but if we want to have chickens and want to have our communities recognize them as pets, I think it is something that we have to accept...for now.

1 comment:

  1. When we have an injured girl, we paint the wound with pine tar. It has an anti-septic quality. It also discourages the others from pecking the wound.