By Danielle Hanosh.
Danielle is the co-founder of Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary.
In June we received a phone call about a chicken who had been the victim of a dog attack. Sweetpea the hen (who had been allowed to roam the neighborhood without protection from predators) had been snatched up by a small dog and shaken, resulting in a gruesome, life-threatening wound. The tissue on her head had been ripped open, exposing her skull beneath and causing extreme pain.
The kind neighbor who found her called us for advice and immediately took her to the nearest vet. Out of town at the time, we spoke to the vet over the phone who insisted her wounds were too uneven to stitch up and advised us to put her down.
Not willing to give up on her without a second opinion, we contacted expert avian specialist, Dr. Brian Speer at Medical Center for Birds. He agreed to try the surgery and cared for her for the next several days. The surgery was incredibly successful and thanks to our incredible donors, more than two thirds of the cost was covered by donations. Sweetpea was eating, drinking, and walking around just one day post-surgery!
This brave hen is now living with the rescued chicken flock here at Blackberry Creek, and looking at her, one would never suspect the ordeal she has been through. Her stitches were removed and the feathers on her head have completely grown back. We are forever grateful to Dr. Speer for seeing the value in her life and working tirelessly to save her, and we will continue to educate the public about respecting the lives of these brave, sweet, and resilient animals.
Did you know?
Lots of chicken illnesses and injuries are treatable if caught in time and properly cared for. Don't hesitate and go see your vet when your chicken is not doing well.
Find a local vet. Here is a list in the San Francisco bay area. And if you need specialist care, we highly recommend Dr Speer at the Medical Center for Birds. Not only did he save Sweetpea, but he also saved Lucie, one of our turkeys.