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Q: How do I care for a wounded chicken?

A:

It is stressful to have a hurt chicken because an avian veterinarian can be hard to find, but don't panic. If you can't locate a vet, simple first aid for your chicken is easy to give.

Separate your wounded chicken from any others in your flock first thing so she doesn't get picked on by the other chickens. Make sure she is in a place that is warm (to avoid shock) and that she has access to plenty of food and water. You can wash the wound out carefully with sterile saline solution, and apply an antibiotic ointment. (Do not use anything on your chicken that contains the suffix -caine, like benzocaine, for example).

Keep an eye out for infection, and take her to a vet if you can. If she only has a small injury , she will probably recover quickly; the big danger is infection. Even larger wounds often heal with no problems if you give your chicken good care. Chickens are surprisingly resilient! In fact, if your chicken has been bitten by a dog or a raccoon and you are worried about rabies, stop worrying. Birds can't get rabies; only mammals can.

If she is in a great deal of pain, you may dissolve 5 aspirin per gallon of water and let her drink that--it should reduce the pain. Make sure she is no longer bleeding since aspirin thins the blood and can increase bleeding. If she is eating, drinking and pooing, you can probably reintroduce her to the flock again as soon as you think her wound won't be pecked by the others.



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