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Injured hen. Being bullied by the other girls?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello.

 

I have a flock of 5 hens, mixed breeds.  This afternoon i went out to the coop to bring some cold weather treats and I noticed my favorite girl had blood on her head and foot.  I brought her inside for a closer look and it looks like her comb has been ripped and is bleeding and her foot has a bloody gash on it.  I cleaned her up and put some veterinary balm on the injuries.  She is favoring the injured foot and limping/not putting weight on it.  

 

I do have her separated from the other girls now.  I am hoping that keeping the wounds clean and infection free will keep her healthy, but i'm not sure.

 

What more can I do?  Furthermore, if her sisters did this to her, how do I prevent this from happening again?

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 3

Welcome to BYC. Sorry about your hen's injuries. Are any of them new to each other? How much room do they have in their coop? Sometimes when they are cooped up during bad weather, they can get restless, and start pecking each other. There could be a bully, or this one may be very low in the pecking order. Once a chicken starts to bleed, others may join in pecking them. Her wounds should heal up in time, so just put some plain Neosporin, iodine, Vetericyn, or BluKote on them. BluKote is gentian violet and alcohol  that is good to hide wounds with it's blue color. If it is possible to cage her with food and water inside her coop, that would be a good way to let her remain part of the flock, and to force her to rest her hurt leg. Or if you bring her inside your house, you can take her outside every day for supervised visits. Watch for any bullying. Make sure they are getting at least 16% protein in a well balanced feed (and you can increase the protein to 20% with high protein snacks like eggs, tuna, liver, and gamebird feed. Flockraiser feed is 20%. Each hen should have 4 square feet of room ideally when they are kept inside. Letting them out to free range can relieve boredom, and I always make sure that there are a least 2 food and water sources so there is no bullying. Good luck.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice!

 

None of the hens are new to each other.  They have been together since i got them at 2 weeks old.  This would be the first instance of bullying among them.  This hen was what I thought actually the head hen of the flock.

 

It has been cold here the last few days so they haven't been out free ranging.  They normally free range daily. The coop is a 4X8 enclosed space, and the run where they have 24/7 access is 8X12.  So it should be plenty for 5 hens to be cooped up in every now and then.   

 

I will definitely look into getting some BluKote.  It would be good to have for any future bloody injuries.

 

Right now I have her in a large dog crate in my garage, separated from the pack.  I will give her a night to herself and move the crate to the coop until she is completely healed up, then I think a few hours of supervised time together would be appropriate and might help me pinpoint the bully.  I do also only have one food dish and one water dish.  I will add second dishes.

 

Thanks again.

I'm new to chicken but loving every minute of it!!!   

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