Hen Hospital

We were out feeding the chickens tonight, and realized one of our hens has a wound on her back. She is now in our makeshift “hen hospital.”

hen-in-a-box
The hen when we first brought her inside, until we could figure out what to do with her for the night. You can see how she’s missing lots of feathers, even on her head.

She’s one of my Production Red hens from our first batch of chickens, so she’s almost 3 years old.  She has historically been one of the roosters’ favorites, so she tends to look a bit beat up, missing feathers from too much male attention.  She happens to be molting right now, so with the roosters jumping on her, she developed a sore on her back, and then someone else started pecking at it.  Chickens have a habit of pecking at anything that is red, which isn’t good if someone has a wound.  I just noticed the sore tonight, and it looked really bad, so I figured we would take her in at least to clean it up.  After taking a better look I decided we will keep her in for a few days to let her heal up and rest for a bit.

ouch-and-molting
Here you can see her back – she’s missing a lot of feathers, both from molting and from the rooster attention she gets.
sore
Here is a closer view of the sore before I cleaned it. It was pretty deep so I cleaned it with water, then used some hydrogen peroxide and then put on some antibiotic ointment.
013
I put her in an old indoor rabbit cage, in my art room so that the dogs won’t bother her. Our cat Wizard has been visiting her though, but he’s pretty much the same size as she is.
014
Another view of her in the cage.
015
A view from above.

I’ll let her stay in for a few days, at least until she heals up. Then she’ll get to wear a chicken apron if it doesn’t seem to hurt her – sometimes with the molt it hurts them to wear one, or be touched at all.  An apron will prevent the roosters from digging their claws into her back. She is a little small for the aprons I have, so I may have to resize one to fit her.

 

 

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One thought on “Hen Hospital

  1. pobept January 25, 2017 / 11:33 am

    I have an isolation cage in the hen house, a place for hens or pullets needing a little special attention.
    Good luck and Happy gardening

    Liked by 1 person

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