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Newbie and rushed mistake! = 6 week old chicks with pecked head wounds!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

OK I made a big mistake today!  I got three chicks (pullets) in the mail that I really wanted - 2 Cuckoo Marans and 1 Golden Laced Wyandotte to add to my urban flock.  I got them home from the USPS and made sure they hydrated and put them in my coop with the other hens I have (about 7 months old) and observed for about 20 min.  All seemed well and I decided that I could go to work and leave them be. MISTAKE! Fortunately, my daughter is home early from school and she checked on them about 2 hours later. 


One of the Cuckoo Marans had a huge wound on the back of her head and the Golden Laced Wyandotte had a dime sized wound on her head.  The other Cuckoo had a very few missing feathers, but no blood!


I have separated them from the other hens and I have put some antibiotic ointment on them, the one that has no wounds is by herself since she wants to peck on the wounded ones.  The wounded ones are eating and drinking so I think they will be OK, but I want to make sure I am boing what I need to do to help them heal.


Can I do anything else for them?  Re-assurance is welcome.  I am now kicking myself for not spending another 30 min with them prior to leaving them and figure out that I should have keep them separate for a while to get them introduced to the flock!

Edited by abqchicken - 10/22/15 at 3:14pm
post #2 of 13
I'm no expert. I really have no idea what you should do, but I think they will be fine. Sorry this is no help at all, but, if it counts for anything, I hope everything gets better with your flock.
New at this. First ever chickens are now four months old.
New at this. First ever chickens are now four months old.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

From What I have read, It seems that you are correct.  I found some much worst cases of the kind of wounds my new chicks have and they pulled through with the current course of treatment I am taking so I am hopeful.  The fact that they are eating and drinking is encouraging to me. 


Thank for the kind words!

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Chicks are doing fine so far.  Eating and drinking a lot so I think they will be OK.  I am keeping them in a large box inside until they heal and figure out what to do and how to introduce them into the flock.  The wounds look OK and the antibiotic ointment is keeping them from infection.


I will probably buy/build a smaller coop and let them grow and mix some of the older hens with them so that the flock get unified.

Edited by abqchicken - 10/23/15 at 5:48pm
post #5 of 13

You are very lucky your daughter didn't come home to find them dead.


Can you buy some Blu-kote?  It covers wounds and hides the blood, that will probably let you keep all 3 chicks together.  Poor little third chick won't be happy by itself, maybe you can set up a brooder that let's the chick see the other two.

post #6 of 13

There are lots of threads on here about integrating new birds you should check out. Just do a search up top. There's a product called Blu Kote that disguises wounds so other chickens won't peck it. Good luck!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I will buy some Blue-Kote.  I don't know where I can  find it locally (will check the feed store), but can always get it through Amazon in a couple of days. the three chocks are together now and seem to be leaving each other alone.  I keep a close eye on them to make sure.  I don't want to make matters worse.

post #8 of 13
If you have a TSC OR Rural King you can find Blu Kote
Good luck!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I did not find Blue-Kote this morning, but did find Blue Lotion that seems to be very similar but comes in a bottle with a dobber instead of a spray.  Has the dark methylene blue dye that masks the wound color very well.  I liked that the bottle came with a dobber that made it easy to apply to the wound.  Glad I wore gloves to apply it.  That stuff would have stained my hands pretty bad!


The wound now looks a dark, dark blue/purple and seems to really not attract attention.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I think the chicks will be OK.

post #10 of 13

Glad they are doing better.  Any new chickens should be isolated for about a month to be sure they aren't carrying a disease they could give your existing flock.  Read the posts, and elsewhere online about introducing new members to the flock.  It can take awhile, and I've found it best for the new ones to be about the same size as the older ones.  It's inconvenient, but best in the long run.  The new ones shouldn't be eating the same food as the older hens, anyway, too much calcium, too young is really bad for pullets.  They shouldn't receive layer feed until they are close to 20 weeks.  I've had to start some on it earlier than that, because they started laying at 15 weeks.  Most studies which found problems have been conducted feeding layer feed as early as 7 weeks.  I found one that looked instead at the minimum age that caused no problems, and that was 14 weeks. 


Keep reading!  There's SO much to learn, and the people on these forums are very knowledgeable.  We couldn't get our first chicks right away, so I spent 3 months reading these forums as an outlet for my frustration.  The education has been very useful, very nice to have stored in my head, as problems often happen as crises, with no time to research until the immediate crisis is over.  

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