29 wk old EE hen with repeated broken blood feathers—Cause?!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Maine_chic, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Maine_chic

    Maine_chic In the Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2019
    D1D6B80E-FB3D-4890-9BFE-A4BF7D0EC85D.jpeg 4CE07ECC-646A-4F72-810C-227B54C7FD37.jpeg Once again, I turn to the BYC community for much needed help!! My EE hen has a large area surrounding her vent that is bare. Last week she had a broken feather and I stopped the bleeding with cornstarch, got her cleaned up and used Blue Kote. She’s partridge colored and the blue kote did a great camouflage job! But now she has more broken feathers, bleeding...quite the mess. Repeated the clean up, blood stop (I hope!) and blue kote. One of my other chickens (the lowest in the pecking order) has some pulled feathers on her chest but this occurred many weeks ago and the girls are leaving that area alone on her. So...I suspect that I have a “mean girl” in the bunch. I have 9 total. They are not free range but have a large coop and good sized run area. I’m sure they’re bored, but I do my best to give them some entertainment. Admittedly I need to step up my game in this department!!! However, I don’t know if this injury is due to a conflict, boredom etc OR if the hen is doing it to herself!!!! If she was doing it herself, wouldn’t the feathers be pulled cleanly out, as opposed to broken? I’m new at this so any input is helpful. It’s my hope that, if I determine the cause, I have a better chance to prevent repeat incidents!!! For now, her hind end looks like a scary diapering mishap—purple stained and cornstarched If the bleeding is not stopped by their bedtime, I’ll pull the feather out. Or maybe should I wait until tomorrow?! I certainly don’t want her bleeding overnight. Bringing her inside isn’t a great option for me due to other pets in the house. ANY and all help, advice etc is appreciated!! Thank you!!!!
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Crowing

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    My guess is that you have bullying going on and this could get even more serious. Once there's blood involved the pecking will escalate. It is very important that all traces of the blood be covered, cleaned. Many chickens are pecked to death once blood is drawn; even cannibalism can result.

    It is unlikely the hen did this to her self. Look for blood on another chicken's face and beak; though by now traces have probably disappeared.
     
  3. Maine_chic

    Maine_chic In the Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2019
    Yikes! I know you’re right and hope I cleaned it up adequately!! Tricky due to the weather (cold here in Maine!) and this hen wouldn’t do well with a bath, blow dryer, etc. Any advice on figuring out who is the culprit here?! I have some guesses. And I didn’t see any blood on anyone’s face. Anything I can do to prevent the bullying once I know WHO the culprit is?! Thank you again.
     
  4. Maine_chic

    Maine_chic In the Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2019
    A thought: these girls are pretty new to laying, esp my EE. The injuries started when laying started. They have 8 nest boxes (for nine birds!!) but only lay in 2-3, with one being the MOST popular. I know this is common but maybe the bullying is occurring over competition for that one special nest box...!!?? I’m going to get some ceramic eggs ASAP and see if I can encourage them to lay in the others. Maybe this will help?
     
  5. nchls school

    nchls school Crowing

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    If it turns out that the hens are picking, more so, on open wounds; blood. Installation of a red light could help stop the problem. Then everything appears red to the flock.

    the others. Maybe this will help? Worth a try.
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Crowing

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    Anything I can do to prevent the bullying once I know WHO the culprit is?! Chickens, for the most part, bully the smaller, weaker, and injured. It can be a difficult problem to deal with when it goes to far. Separation-more space-more roosts and more nest boxes. When I have a bird bully to the point of blood being spilled-she/he is gone; sold, given away, eaten.
     
    Maine_chic likes this.

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