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Old 08/29/06, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 21
injured chicken/predator

I came home from work tonight to find one of my two pet chickens injured. I think I scared whatever it was as I was opening the gate. She got bit on the back end pretty bad. I took her in the house an wrapped her up in a sheet. I put some diluted hydrogen peroxide on the wound and wrapped her back up again. She is barely opening her eyes and looking at me every once in awhile. She seems to be getting worse. I have 4 dogs (border collies) they were penned while I was at work. They were barking in their pen, like crazy, while I was tending to the injured chicken. I started to go out to put the other chicken in her pen when I heard that chicken squawking outside. My oldest female border collie (who has never broken out of her pen before) broke out and went tearing after whatever grabbed my other chicken. It was gone so fast I couldn't see what it was. I am a bit nervous because whatever it was watched me as I took care of the other chicken, went back and forth from the house to the shed a couple of times before it grabbed the other chicken.
Question #1 - is there hope of saving my chicken (any remedies)
Question #2 - Any ideas of what would not only do this during broad daylight but also watch me before attacking again.
I have lived in the mountains my whole life. This is the weirdest encounter I have ever had.
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Old 08/29/06, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: near Abilene,TX
Posts: 5,323
I hope your chicken makes it, sometimes they do and othertimes you are not so lucky. She is probably in shock, and it depends on how deep the wound you have any kind of antiseptic spray to put on her? I would just keep her warm, keep water and feed within reach if she will eat tomorrow. I have had an injured chicken to just be still for several days, then recover. You are doing everything you can. Think it was a coyote?
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Old 08/29/06, 11:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 21
She is sleeping alot and opening her eyes every once in awhile. She is breathing really slowly. I didn't think a coyote would be so bold as to come after something during the day. My friend said maybe a fox but these are big chickens and whatever took off with the second one was big enough to scoop it up and take off without it even leaving a feather behind. I guess my biggest fear is that it was a mountain lion.
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Old 08/29/06, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: near Abilene,TX
Posts: 5,323
Were there any kind of paw prints or signs? That is a scary thought !
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Old 08/29/06, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 28
I've had bobcats take full grown geese that broad daylight and not a feather to spare. About all you can do is cleanse the wound(as you said you did),keep her in a nice quiet and comfortable place to eliminate stress and you can give her vitamins and electrolytes if you have them. I also give apirin in the event of an injury to help with the works.(5 plain or 5 grain per gallon of water). If you have any topical ointment like neosporin you can put that on her too..Good Luck!
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Old 08/30/06, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 21
That's interesting because I thought about a bobcat but my friend said they tend to be very skiddish. The dogs were barking and just 10 feet away from the chickens. I looked for prints but I have gravel in that whole area so it was hard to see. Someone else said maybe a large hawk but my chickens are pretty big.
I have tried to give her water, just a little, but she isn't interested in anything
at this point. She is just sleeping. I will hope she makes it through the night. They are going to have a chicken in my office at work tomorrow because I don't want to leave her alone. Good thing I have a nice boss.
I will try the aspirin if I can some water down tomorrow.
I can't believe how angry I was. I usually like all animals but I can tell you that it was the first time I wanted to use my gun with whatever this was.
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Old 08/30/06, 05:38 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 9
I used to work in a rehab center, and birds that were just slightly scratched or bitten by a cat would often die within a day or two. It turns out that the bacteria in the mouth (and on the claws) of most predators (canine and especially feline) is pretty potent against most birds. They usually need treatment with antibiotics to overcome the following infection. You may not see much inflammation at the wound site, but frequently the bird will get a systemic infection bad enough to cause it's demise.

Most modern poultry breeds are pretty tough birds, with good immune systems, so if any bird can survive an attack like that (and possible infection), a lot of times, it'll be a well fed, healthy chicken or turkey.

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Old 08/30/06, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,159
I have had a couple of chickens recover completely from nasty racoon attacks. One had half its back torn off: the other, the top of its head & back of neck. I kept each one separate in a box crate and kept the pen clean & dry. Just kept feeding them, adding a little cracked corn (they love it) and put electrolytes in their water. Just let them rest until they recovered. Sometimes I notice one of the hens in my flock looks lopsided on her back and I wonder what's wrong, then I remember that she's one who recovered. Hope your hen will be okay!
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Old 08/30/06, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 21
Hi everyone,
Well my hen didn't make it through the night. She was injured pretty bad. My neighbor, up the road, said he has had a fox that is pretty bold around. The fox has been coming right up to the house, and he has a dog. He said he went to shoo it away and it looked at him like, "Who do you think you are."? He had already bought a trap as he is afraid it is to used to humans or is ill. He is going to try and trap it if it stays around anymore.
Thanks for all the advice to try and save her. Funny how attached you get to chickens.
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Old 08/30/06, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,553
Sorry for your loss, everytime I loose one of our chickens I tell myself I'm never getting attached to another one. So far I've failed

It is the one with persistence and determination that brings great ideas into being.
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