Bleeding Comb

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by branagh, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. branagh

    branagh In the Brooder

    Dec 2, 2007
    Nova Scotia
    One of my girls has been the target of pecking from the other 9 ever since they started laying eggs on Christmas Eve. There were no problems with any of them until the first eggs started arriving.

    This morning I went out to the chicken shed and one of them was bleeding from the back of the comb. She has marks on her comb and has what looks like bruising around her head and eyes.

    This afternoon I separated her from the rest of the flock, keeping her in the front of the shed. Although only a few feet from the rest, she was not happy with my decision.

    Question: Am I right to separate her for now? Do the "eye goggles' work?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm new at this. :cool:


  2. ella

    ella Songster

    Hi Robert, welcome to BYC!

    That's a pretty common problem you're dealing with, it can be really distressing to see pullets going after each other and they can cause serious damage in some situations. It's all about the hormones right now.

    You'll get different opinions on if you should leave her in and let them work it out or seperate her. But only you can know what's really going on.

    The problem with keeping her seperate besides the distress it causes her is when you put her back in she'll be straight back at the bottom of the pecking order and it can be worse than before.

    On the other hand in extreme cases young hens can be killed or seriously injured by the flock.

    If your flock has enough space that this hen won't get cornered, it should be ok to leave her in with them. Things will settle down eventually.

    Having more than one feeder and waterer will help as will having someplace she can go to be safe. I have platform roosts where the lower ranking hens hang out and stay out of the way of the bullies.

    If you do decide to seperate her take another mellower hen with so she has a buddy, it'll make re-introductions easier too.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I've had some problems with bleeding combs this winter. One of the problems was frostbite -- my rooster and one of the hens was bleeding on the very tips of the comb the morning after a very cold night. I got a heat lamp for the frostiest nights and that seems to have solved it.

    I've also had some definite bite marks with bleeding on combs, but never on the same hen twice so I think it's random aggression, and not a bullying thing.

    Before I isolated anyone, I'd make sure they didn't have any other problems: I'd make sure they had plenty of protein, no mites, clean bedding, etc. I know my chickens get cranky when something's bugging them.

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