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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23790
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a chicken that lost her tail and a chunk of back

Customer Question

Hi. I have a chicken that lost her tail and a chunk of back feathers to a dog 2 days ago. She's moving around slowly but without sign of leg or wing injury, has made it up to the first roost level, but I don't feel like we're out of the woods. She might have some skin injury on her back end, but I don't think there is damage to intestinal track (not sure yet). Someone suggested a tree sap like product for her back, to prevent other chickens from pecking. Someone else suggested a charcoal-like product (maybe called dynamite) for her exposed and possibly damaged back end skin. Do you have standard would treatment product recommendations for chickens?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Unless you find broken skin on your hen, I'd prefer you don't apply anything that she's likely to preen off her and ingest. Superficial wounds can be lavaged with the safe but effective antimicrobial and over the counter chlorhexidine (Hebiclens in your local pharmacy, e.g.) twice daily. If you find bite wound punctures, however, you'll need to initiate a systemic broad spectrum antibiotic ideally prescribed by an avian vet (please see here: but if you don't have such a vet available to you, you can administer tylosin in the form of Tylan 50 at a dose of 20-30 mg/lb intramuscularly once daily for 5-7 days or the injectable solution can be given directly into her beak. Tylan-50 is available in most feed stores.

Bathing her can facilitate finding wounds. This is how bathing a chicken is done: If you need to stop cannabalism, please consider this type of effective deterrent: Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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