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Hen with Bleeding Comb?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

My rooster is 16 months old, and just now I went out to give him and his hens fresh water before bed.  It was in the low 20s Fahrenehit here today.

 

I saw him try to mate with one of the hens.  I haven't seen him try to mate for weeks; it has been so cold here.  The mating didn't seem successful, he kind of rolled off her back.

 

I suspect that when I went to get them some food he tried again...

 

When I came back I was horrified to see that it looked as if the hen's comb had been severed at the back!  The rooster and hens have been together since they hatched, and there have been no problems of this sort in the past.

 

On closer inspection, I'm not sure the comb is ripped.  It may just be bloody.

 

It is dark now, and I can't go in the coop to inspect things.  The rooster is always too feisty when I am around.

 

Do you think the other chickens may peck at the bloody comb?  I have 5 chickens total-- the rooster, two half leghorn hens of the same age, a 3 year old Barred Rock hen and a tiny Bantie hen.

 

How early should I get up in the morning to let them out, in order to prevent pecking at the bloodied comb?

 

Do you think the bloody injury will cause the hen to get bad frostbite in her comb tonight?  It is to be below freezing.

 

Always something new and horrible to worry about when you have chickens. And things were going so well.  I had just bragged about how the rooster has never injured a hen before.

 

Could her comb have been more susceptible to injury due to the cold weather we are having?

post #2 of 25

I wouldn't think that a bloody spot would make frostbite worse...and it will probably be scabbed over enough by morning that the other chickens won't bother her. 

It could happen. Just remember, Pluto used to be a planet.

And when things go wrong, always remember, even geese cheat sometimes.

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It could happen. Just remember, Pluto used to be a planet.

And when things go wrong, always remember, even geese cheat sometimes.

Reply
post #3 of 25

OK, take a deep breath.  She is going to be alright.  The comb is probably bleeding excessively because of the cold temperatures.  My guess is that it has stopped bleeding already and that all will be fine in the morning.  If it will make you feel better, go out there with a flashlight and check on her now that they are settled down for the night.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #4 of 25

My girls started pecking the comb of another chicken of mine. They pecked it worse when the blood was fresh, so I wiped it off as best I could. I have only three hens so I separated the bullies and her comb has healed. You could separate your wounded hen for a night or two so it can heal and put some blue kote on her comb and they won't peck anymore.
 

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well, I would like to separate her from the others, but I have no place to separate her into?  Just the one little chicken coop, and I suspect she needs the warmth from the other chickens around her on this cold night?

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Sourland,

 

I hope you are right.  Maybe, if my theory that the rooster hasn't mated lately during the cold weather, is correct, it is the cold weather that caused the hen's comb to start bleeding when he mounted her?

 

Do you think it is possible that it was a misjudgment on my rooster's part, maybe he had kind of forgotten how the process worked, or he was overly zealous due to not having mated for a while?

 

I hate to think it was intentional on his part, that has suddenly turned mean?

 

Like I mentioned, the attempt I saw was not very successful.  He kind of just rolled off her back without much happening.  I hope this didn't infuriate him or something?  I didn't hear her squawk when I was getting their food, though I might have missed the commotion if I was in the house.

 

Has anyone ever heard of a rooster accidentally ripping a hen's comb, and does it tend to happen more in winter with cold temperatures?

 

Someone in another group said he should end up in a stew pot, and I can't bare this idea.  I love him and the hens!

 

I could build him a bachelor pad.  That is really the only solution.  I'm not sure how that would go over, though?

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

I wonder whether I should consider getting more hens?  I'm happy with my 5 chickens, and I'm afraid of introducing disease by bringing in new birds, but would this be a better solution than a bachelor pad for the rooster?

post #8 of 25

My guess would be that he inadvertantly grabbed her by the comb rather than the back of her head.  I do not think that it was an intentional injury on the part of the rooster.  Just a blunder by an inexperienced boy.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Oh, thank you, Sourland!  That is so good to hear!  That is what I am hoping, too!  

 

When he was just starting to mate last year, this hen would always squat for him, in invitation.  She's always been the sweetest of all the hens to him, encouraging his advances.  I am so sad that she got injured.  She didn't seem to be too distressed by it, though.  I just hope she's not bleeding to death.

 

I can't get in the coop without moving all the bales of pine insulation, and it would stir up the rooster.  He's vigilant, even at night.  I could shine a big lantern in the other end of the coop, the one I have to crawl in, to get inside, just to make sure everyone is nestled together.  I hope it doesn't make the rooster crow.

post #10 of 25

lol.png She is not going to bleed to death.  lol.png  My mother used to say, "That injury is a long way from her heart."

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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