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Blood all over nesting boxes

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

This morning I went out to do my chicken chores and I noticed that a couple of my hens had small scabs on their combs - and two of the girls had significantly more than the others. One girl looked like she had a scrape and the other had scabs on the tip of her comb. They have had these scabs before - the first time I saw this I thought it might be frostbite (but finally determined that they were more likely small pecking wounds.)

 

When I opened the nesting box lid I was horrified to find blood scattered all over the ceiling and walls of all three of the nesting boxes. It was like a crime scene. But no blood anywhere else in the coop and not much on the actual nesting pads either.

 

I inspected them all (or the ones I could catch) and they are all behaving like normal - eating, taking dust baths together, and no one is acting injured in any way.

 

Could two of them gotten into a fight during the night or early morning? They observe the pecking order like normal - but I have never witnessed any really severe bullying. It was almost like one was trapped in the nesting boxes while one or more of the others attacked it.

post #2 of 7
Sound like it was a bit of a tiff - my chickens argue over nests but generally one has the sense to yield to a dominant hen. Maybe it was a one off in the sense that they have sorted who's boss.

Guess it could be fowl pox - a small lesion can encourage relentless pecking from the rest of the flock. I'd suggest considering isolating the affected chickens to prevent aggressive pecking and see how that goes.

Ct
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks CTKen! I'm hoping it was a one off thing. If I see any more blood tomorrow I'll look into separating them. Of course when I let them out this morning they were all hanging around in their normal group like nothing had happened. I was chasing them around to catch them for close up inspections and they all stuck together like staying together in a group would help discourage crazy Mom from trying to pick them all up! 😏
post #4 of 7

I've actually had one hen get her comb ripped off a bit because she refused to vacate a nest. The more dominant birds can be pretty territorial when it comes to 'their' nest. 

post #5 of 7


Boy howdy!! big_smile.png
Just look at these gals! This went on for over an hour and started with Buffy (laying) and Leggs, waiting patiently on the roost for her turn. It's interesting how they will all wait for the same nest. We have 7 boxes and 10 girls roll.png.

Hopefully this was just an isolated incident that doesn't repeat itself. If it does I would "discipline" the culprit by seperating her for a short time each time it occurs. Good luck!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
That is crazy Junebuggena! I would have totally freaked out. This is my first year with chickens - so still learning the ropes! May be the dominance roles are shifting a bit...
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Howdy Mr. beaks,

Yes they are crazy with the nesting box thing! I have four boxes and five hens. When they are ready to lay they check out all the boxes and then go for the usual one or else where they see an egg already laid. I have had one sit on top of another like - oh well even though you are in here laying I am going to lay my egg here now too! Hopefully this was just a one time thing - if not your suggestion might be spot on as long as I know who the culprit is!
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