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Bleeding Comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ntjpm, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    Let me start by saying we are new to chickens in fact we have only had them a week today. And so far they have been a dream, lots of yummy eggs and funny behavior.

    Normally my son leaves for HS at 6:30 in the morning and that is when I open the pop door and let them all out for the day. This being the weekend my youngest let them out this morning at 9:00 when he woke up. When I went out and checked on them like a always do I noticed blood drops all over in the coop. So off I went to try and figure out what was going on.

    I think I have narrowed it down to my Brown Leghorn, I think they attacked her head this morning. (we have 4 Barred Rocks, 2 Speckled Sussex 1 RIR and the Leghorn) The coop is 4x8. So my question is what do I do now? The run is as secure as the coop is so we are going to just leave the pop door open from now on so they can come and go when they wake up. So if it was boredom I think I have that problem solved. But what do I do for this little gal. Do I clean it, medicate her, watch her??? I have no idea??? OR is this someone else (my two little Sussex came with out tails and we are working on getting those back) could she have been pecking at someone else and this is why she is covered in blood??
    Thanks for the help. Tracy in WA

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  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a feed store nearby that is open... call and ask them if they have Blu-Kote spray.... of course, you would have to be careful not to get it into her eyes at all.. maybe put a papertowel or handkerchief around her eyes, isolating her comb.. It stains very badly, blue... stains everything and everyone, but it is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, etc... good for injuries. I don't know why any one chicken would bite or attack another chickens comb. You are new to chickens, but have or were these chickens been raised together before you got them?
    Could a predator have tried to scratch or grab or bite her during the night through the coop fence?
    Use the search here on BYC for "comb injuries" and see what comes up. Combs heal pretty well, from what I have heard.
    I have not had a pecking problem at all... I would be sure these chickens are getting good "laying" food, so that they are getting enough protein.. i.e.: laying pellets, laying crumble, laying mash... I like the pellets, less waste, less mess, more into the chickens.
    Does everyone seem to get along well?

    Good luck.
     
  3. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for replying. I will call now for the BlueKote. There is no way anyone could have grabbed at her as she was in the coop which is completely enclosed and the only windows are covered in Hardware cloth. AND there is blood everywhere. On the roosts and in the corner where it looked like she tried to get away.

    As for them being together here is the story on that, we got them all from the same lady. The 6 (4 barred rocks and 2 Sussex) where together in one pen and the leghorn and RIR where together in another one. They shared a fence of their respective runs but not the same coop. SO when we brought them home we separated them. The 2 where in the coop and the 6 in the run. We then swapped them out and let the other 6 go to sleep in the coop and then brought the 2 in so they all woke up together. They have been doing great all week and I have been watching really closely. She is really my only one with a full comb and I am guessing they were bored waiting on us to wake up and let them out.

    They are eating Scratch and Peck food and also have free choice oyster shells and lots of extra yummies I can find to give them.

    Thanks again for your help, Tracy in WA
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I think your theory that it was a mix of borebom and frustration at not getting out as early as usual is pretty good. I leave the pop door open too because I have a secure cover run. You could wipe on some blu kote as suggested (use glove to prevent blue fingers) and you might want to put it on the bare tails of the sussex as well. The blue color covers the red scabs and the pink skin that can tempt other chickens to peck. In the mean time you could just clean it off with water and put an antibiotic ointment on it like neosporin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  5. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If these chickens are pecking each other... I found some ideas when I "searched" ("chickens pecking each other")... some said to brush on Pine Tar onto areas being pecked.. that it tastes terrible and they will stop...
    Others said it was from boredom.. that they pick on and peck at each other because they have nothing else to do... or if they are overcrowded. Suggestions for reducing boredom...
    Whole heads of cabbage... my chickens love raw cabbage and you leave it whole so that they have to work at it... no time to peck at others.. (cabbage has not been cheap this year).
    Good Alfalfa hay.. not cheap also.. has gone up a lot... if you peel off a "flake" and lean it up against the wall in the coop.. don't take it apart.. don't lay it down.. let the chickens work at it.
    One post said an old man had said to hang a piece of "salt pork" in the coop.. I assume from a light chain and blunt (safe) hook of some sort... or a string... having made a hole in the salt pork.. hang it in the coop and the chickens will peck at that instead of each other. That is from a post here after searching...
    So.. cabbage, whole.. flakes of alfalfa hay... alfalfa is good for them and the whole flake leaned up agaisnt the wall will keep them busy scratching and pecking... Pine Tar brushed on the come and butts or anywhere else being pecked. there is a "lotion" called "Peck No More".. it has pine tar in it.... it is dark purple, blue.. it seems not to stay on long enough for me... rubs off too easily to do much good.
    Salt pork, hung in the coop?
    And, Blu-Kote spray for the injuries to the comb or any other injuries.
    Hope some of this helps.. you can get the cabbage and salt pork at the grocery store today... be sure to look at the quality of the alfalfa hay before you buy it at the feed store... you want "soft" leafy alfalfa for the nesting boxes and for "play". (At least I do).
    And, mine pecked each other when they were younger, and before I started letting them freerange everyday, all the time. Mine go back into the coop at night, on their own, when it starts to get dark, dusk... they are closed in to prevent predators from getting them... I let them out in the morning, and close the coop up after they go in at night.. I leave the door open during the day when I am home... and when I am gone for short periods they are still free to roam. Wings are clipped on those who like to fly up and over the fence.
    The book.. "Raising Chickens for Dummies" is a great investment", easy to read and reference... great information.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your very welcome.. all the best.. it is fun and exciting and there will be scares and worries too..
    A neighbor tells me I should spend less on chicken food and feed them "scratch"... I explained to him that scratch is like feeding your kids candy and white bread... no vegetables, no vitamins... yes the kids like the candy better, they choose candy over brocolli and white bread over whole wheat... but it's not as good for them... has less nourishment.... they may live and grow... but, not as strong.
    Laying takes a lot out of chickens... and "laying feeds" were made to be sure they get enough of everything they need to lay more and better, with less drain on them and their system. If chickens are freerange and are eating grass, bugs, worms, plants, etc... then, maybe, just maybe they could eat some scratch -- but, if they are confined in a coop and run... I would give them greens (cabbage, alfalfa hay, romaine, etc.) and laying feed, oyster shell on the side... and maybe even some crickets now and then (Petsmart / Petco).
    How old are your chickens? You said they are laying. Did you ask the lady you got them from if she ever wormed them? And, when she wormed them, so that you can worm them when it's time... twice a year or every eight months if they are not freerange. Use the search here on BYC to get the best information on each thing that comes up...
    Welcome and Good luck.
     
  7. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok here is an update and request for more help.. LOL

    I got the Blue Kote and painted it on her comb, I then put her back in the run with the rest. I also grabbed the two Sussex and sprayed their tails so hopefully they will be able to grow back their little tails. BUT while I was in there I found my instigator. I was spraying a Sussex and one of my barred rocks went after my Leghorns comb again. SO I grabbed the bad barred rock and put her in a large dog crate I have. She is in the run in the crate. I am hoping to demote her, will this work?? She needs food and water in there do I just put some in a container and put them in there knowing she is gonna knock them over?? How long should I do this for or should I not and is there another better way??

    Oh ya forgot to add "Scratch and Peck" is an organic, non gmo, non corn and non soy feed that is made locally around me and I am using the "laying" formula.

    SIGH silly chickens........., Tracy in WA
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  8. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah... thanks for the info on "Scratch and Peck", I was unaware. Thanks.

    Well... I don't know how long you would have to leave her in the crate for her to be "demoted". Do you have a rooster, or all hens?

    There are "small", quart size waterers available at my feed store (also the gallon ones)... If the crate is big enough... you can put a low pan.. like a round or loaf cake pan with the feed.. and I would suggest the quart size waterer -- deeper bowl in the meantime until you can get a small waterer. She will mess them up, knock them over, poop in them..... scratch hay or shavings into them... etc.. you just have to check, clean and change them often.

    They need the distractions of other things to do.... (the cabbage, alfalfa hay, salt pork(?)) -- roosters help to keep the hens "in line" as well. There are good and bad things about having one rooster. The noise, how hard they are on the hen's backs, etc. But, there are good things about a rooster as well. He is the boss.. he helps to keep the hens in line. He protects the flock from predators. That book, Raising Chickens for Dummies explains "the pecking order" very well.

    Watch for another hen to take over the aggressive position of top hen. The number two hen may be aggressive as well... I only have one Barred Rock hen, and my rooster is Barred Rock... My Barred Rock hen is a bit aggressive over food... she will peck the "lowlier" or younger hens and the baby chicks as well... especially when she is eating. (but, not often, and not injuring, just telling them to back off, she's higher up than they are)

    THIS IS WHAT I AM THINKING... the pecking order is just being established. These hens, this flock is "newly forming"... there will be some pecking, some bickering until each one finds their place in the pecking order.. I think that you should just keep her in the crate until the Leghorn's comb heals up, or heals up a bit. (not more than a couple days, if that). I think that what is going to happen is that you will find that another hen starts picking on the others immediately. They have only been a flock for a week.. you just kinda have to "close your eyes" and let them work it out... and they will... the ones being picked on have to learn to get out of the way and give the more aggressive hens a wide berth, and they will.

    Go hang out around the coop and/or run and watch when you feed them... see who eats first and pecks the others away from the food. I think you just have to let them each find their place.. it's like going to a new highschool. Painful, but works out on its own, given time. I am gonna bet that someone else will start pecking and you can't keep separating the one's that step up to be "top hen"... they are doing what is natural and meant to be.

    You may want to just put the Barred Rock back and let them "fight it out"... work out who's boss -- they will, give them time. Add the distractions, get or borrow the book and read up on the pecking order... I think you are doing great, doing all you can and should... sometimes we just have to let "the kids" work it out, right!?

    Take care...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2011
  9. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    WOW that is awesome info, I do have Raising chickens for Dummies and one other on chickens. That makes sense about establishing an order. I have spent a lot of time out there and do go after those that are being mean, I did read a post on here about being the Alfa in the flock and I am gonna work harder on that.

    We do not have a rooster as we are not allowed to where we are. Argh these girls are so totally reminding me of HS LOL

    Thanks, Tracy in WA
     
  10. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep... I had pretty much forgotten what it was like when I first got mine... and, even though they were young, as they grew, they did the same thing yours are doing... picking on each other... not pecking at one's comb... but, just some being more "mean" (really dominate) than others.. and it was hard to watch... I would "get after" the ones being aggressive as well..... but, they eventually settled down. I do remember that all the "picking on each other" was why I started buying alfalfa hay and whole heads of cabbage to give them... and the cabbage really did help distract them... of course, I still had to just turn my back and go into the house sometimes as it bothered me to watch them or hear them "pick on each other". They eventually settled into their pattern, settled down... some still peck and knock the others off the roost at night, when they are settling in for the night... I am sure they neighbors hear me saying: "hey, hey, no fighting kids".... "don't be mean to her".
    Without a rooster, you may get one hen that takes on the part of a rooster... from what I hear. Becomes the "king" (queen) and all... takes charge and protects.
    Check your book on the pecking order... it is actually funny... and it is a lot like highschool. My Easter Eggers tend to be the shy, quiet, walk away, wait to eat ones.... the Barred Rock and the Black Australorp mixes are more top of the flock "bit$%#@". The Rhode Island Red will even chase my passive little dog.
    Take care.... they will work it out.... there might be some bruises and a bit of blood -- but, they will work it all out.
    Sincerely... and You're very welcome... anytime...
     

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