Chicken Triage

The foster dog attacked one of the chickens Friday. She chased it all around the coop and into the fields before she caught it – and we caught her. At first we thought the hen was dead, but once we got Susie to open her mouth and drop it, we realised she was alive. It turns out the lucky duck (or chicken) just has a few tooth-holes in her, one in her back (very shallow) and a couple in her rear (which could be serious or minor). We’ve got her in my bathroom right now, all cozy and away from the crazy dog.

Some tips for caring for injured chickens:

Take them inside. The flock will peck them if they see blood. Also, the hen (or rooster) needs to be kept warm. Keep it in a dark place for a while so they can sleep. Offer water every so often. Getting them to drink is a good sign. If your chicken is used to being handled or likes close spaces, wrap it in a towel. You can leave it on top of the towel (which makes a great chicken hospital bed) or wrap it up, depending on what makes your chicken feel safest. Our hen liked being all wrapped up for a while, so she could hide.

Once the chicken is calmed down a little – and you’re sure they’re not going into shock – carefully examine them. Take off any feathers that have been torn out and are just hanging. For light wounds, antibacterial cream works. If it was a dog, you have to clean the wounds gently; doggie spit is bad for chickens. Be careful; there might be internal issues. Check for broken legs and wings, especially if it was a dog that attacked her. Keep her warm and safe and watch her for a couple of days.

Feed them scrambled eggs; it’ll help them get their strength back.

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About Emily

I'm Mrs. Kim's daughter, a sophomore in high school right now. I love to read and write. I enjoy working on computers and cars (did you know that an air bubble in your hydraulic brakes can ruin your braking completely? - until a mechanic bleeds it out, anyway). I also love dogs and horses.

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