Sunday, January 08, 2012

Chicken First Aid

Poor Midge suffered another attack by Rufus. John had let the dogs out and had forgotten the chickens were also out. Maudene and Agnes hid under the porch while Midge took a beating.

While the attack lasted less time than the first it was a lot worse. Her feathers are all gone on the back of her neck, but Rufus also pulled off a hunk of skin from the front of her neck. It's pretty gross. It's down to the muscle and you can see her swallow. I honestly didn't think she'd survive the night.

One of my Christmas presents was Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. This thing is seriously the chicken bible. There's a whole chapter on chicken first aid and it's what I referred to this time around. I considered another trip to the vet, and honestly the amount I spent on supplies it may have been the same, but at least I'll have everything handy. I'll also be able to use it on the dogs if something happens with them as well.

So to deal with the hole in her neck this is what I did/used:

An old towel to wrap the chicken in so she doesn't injure you or herself.

Paper towels to blot excess solutions from the wound.

Scissors to cut away any feathers that may be hanging into the wound.

Sterile saline solution for cleaning the wound.

I found a pretty decent sized bottle at Walgreens, but one bottle barely got the job done. I checked at two pharmacies and they didn't have large bottles, but a friend was able to order me some.

Povidone, an iodine antiseptic for disinfecting the wound.

I found a large bottle at the feed store but you can also find it at the drug store. My large bottle was the same price as the smaller one you get at the store.

Neosporin - I bought the spray kind since it's a bit easier to apply on a wiggly chicken.

Wonder Dust, to help stop bleeding.

I also bought this at the feed store.

Antibiotics - either Aureomycin or Terramycin

I bought feed that contains it. Since I'm keeping her isolated from the others I'm able to just feed her the antibiotics instead of everyone. Isolation also keeps the others from picking at her. She may survive the attack, but the others could actually be what kill her. I have a big plastic dog crate that I'm using since it's colder out. I throw a towel over the holes at night to help keep it warm.

Her wound is pretty nasty but she seems to be doing ok for now. I'm going to keep her on the medicated feed for about two weeks. Isolation may be longer depending on how she heals. I'd hate to move her back early and have the others pick at her so we'll see how long that goes.

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