Originally Posted by Latestarter
The first issue was with a black Australorp... she lost 1/2 her tail bulb... one side completely eaten off... I caught it when they started and took her out for a while to help it heal, coated with blukote and they went right back to it. She's now inside in a container. This time I put EMT collagen ointment on it to hopefully completely heal it over. Then today I found the buff orp. Totally separate enclosure... She has an actual hole through her hide down into the meat to bone right beside her tail root... <throwing hands up - shaking head>
Just wondering what comes next?
I haven't been on the BYC forum in a very LONG time, and have not read the more than 2500 missed posts, but I really wanted to address this. Hopefully I haven't repeated someone else's advice.
Latestarter, I don't know how many chickens you have and how big your setup is. One thing I have found, and not many seem to address, is that if you have too many chickens in a space that is too small, they will decide who needs to "go". I have noticed that even though I have provided a bit more than the minimum space according to all the books and advice, the girls may still not feel they have enough space, or a select one or two are invading their space.
While I lived in Parker, it was always easier to separate them into smaller pens. Once I moved out here to my 40 acres, I built a huge run and huge "hen house" area. I was nervous about putting all of these birds....from four different pens in all ranges of age... back together. The only trouble I had was with my new rooster. He terrorized all but the very few girls he was most attached to. He became dinner.
The only other minor incident was my Cuckoo Marans was molting pretty badly, and some of the hens from other pens were pecking at her bare spots. We saturated the area with blukote and had no more problems. They all get along great in the new area.
The reason I'm so positive about the space thing is because I've seen this in so many setups. Many setups I visit have chickens missing many of their feathers and have bare spots from pecking. Most of these are in very confined spaces. Chickens get bored, and they're a bit territorial. If the additional protein isn't changing the behavior, than it's likely something like that.
Sorry for the novel.